Connect with us


Four-time all-stater makes history, leads West Michigan Conference girls wrestlers

Montague senior Emma Pendell is school’s first four-time all-stater on the mat.

Emma Pendell was hoping for a different spot on the podium, but the Montague senior still made history in the 2023-24 girls wrestling season.

Pendell became the first four-time all-stater for girls or boys in Montague wrestling history. She is one of three girls wrestlers from the West Michigan Conference who finished in the top eight of their respective divisions in the MHSAA individual state finals March 1-2 at Ford Field in Detroit.

Pendell joined teammate Ava Pelton and Manistee’s Ava Pike as all-staters. Here is more info on each wrestler:

Ava Pelton, Montague

Photo by Courtney Jimison | CatchMark

The junior for the Lady Mat Cats was the top finisher among girls wrestlers from the West Michigan Conference. Pelton placed third at 155 pounds in the MHSAA individual state finals at Ford Field.

Pelton defeated Allendale’s MacKenzie Maka in overtime for third place at the state finals.

Pelton was the only wrestler to beat every ranked girl in her weight class with the exception of one.

Pelton, who also excels in soccer, finished 29-5 on the mat this season for Montague. She was voted the CatchMark SportsNet Player of the Year for girls wrestling in 2023-24.

She was a state finals qualifier as a freshman and sophomore, including capturing a regional championship this season.

Additionally, Pelton was named to the third team of Michigan Grappler’s girls wrestling dream team.

Emma Pendell, Montague

Photo by Courtney Jimison | CatchMark

This season, Pendell placed seventh at 145 pounds in the MHSAA individual state finals at Ford Field. She finished with a 25-6 record in her senior season.

In 2022, the first year girls wrestled alongside boys in the state finals at Ford Field, Pendell captured a title at 140 pounds as a sophomore, becoming Montague’s first state champion since Bill Priese in 1989.

In her junior year, she placed fourth in the state at 140 pounds. As a freshman, she placed seventh.

Ava Pike, Manistee

Manistee junior wrestler Ava Pike poses for a portrait at the MHSAA individual wrestling state finals Saturday, March 2, 2024, at Ford Field in Detroit. Pike placed eighth in the state at 100 pounds to earn all-state honors. (Scott DeCamp | CatchMark)

Pike, a junior, made it to the medal stand at 100 pounds in the MHSAA state finals at Ford Field. She placed eighth to earn all-state honors.

Pike won her first match of the weekend, then fell into wrestlebacks before notching her spot on the medal stand.

Pike closed the season with a 16-10 overall record.

Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Must See

More in Wrestling