War of the Roses Duals18 Feb 2016
By Melanie Johnson, ICW staff
This past weekend "The War of the Roses" tournament series made a stop in Loveland Co. Loveland High School was host to 90 girls on Sat. for an individual tournament and 3 teams consisting of 34 girls for a dual team tournament on Sunday. Brent Harvey took over this program 5 years ago, after the previous director of 17 years was retiring. Harvey knew that girls wrestling as a whole was still continuing to develop and he wanted to make sure that these opportunities were still available. Based out of Michigan, Harvey travels all over the United States putting “War of the Roses” tournaments together. He is also currently the Women director in Michigan for USA Wrestling. His interest in taking over this tournament series and being involved with girls wrestling has to do with his own children. Harvey said " My kids have gotten so much from the tournaments, I don't want to see it end and as long as I continue to see the great things girls wrestling does for these wrestlers, I will keep going".
The excitement at the dual team on Sunday was evident as 9 year old Patience Fry from Nebraska, not only wrestles for the girls Nebraska travel team but she also wrestles for the Lincoln club team got plenty of mat time. Her record is 30-9 and she has huge goals for the future. When asked what those goals are, Fry proudly tells you she is going to wrestle in college. Patience has great skills on the mat and there is no doubt she will make a huge impact on the sport of girls wrestling.
Nebraska also brought along 2 sets of sisters, 6 yr. old Lizzy Menke and her 14 yr.old sister Jerzie. Jerzie had one of the best matches of the day going into overtime with Savannah Howard of Northern Colorado girls wrestling team. In the end Jerzie Menke (Nebraska) would pull off the win over Howard with a take down, making it a great match between two very talented wrestlers. Northern Colorado girls wrestling also brought a team of 13 wrestler. There are a fairly new team in Colorado which are attracting some very talented wrestlers. They looked sharp on Sunday when they won both their dual matches against Nebraska and the draw team. Pomona Elite's club member 8 yr.old Persaeus Gomez, is one of the newest wrestlers to join Northern Colorado girls wrestling team. She wrestles in the 45 pound weight class and has already perfected an awesome take down. She is following in her brother Silas's footsteps. When asked how she got into wrestling " I went to one of my brothers practices and it was amazing" Honest words from this young wrestler, whom I expect will go far in all levels of wrestling.
Sunday’s dual team tournament also included a visitor that inspired all these young ladies. Last year’s Bronze medalist at the World Championships in Las Vegas, Leigh Jaynes gave a one hour clinic. Jaynes is a 34 year old, 14 year Army Veteran and a mother to her 3 yr. old daughter. She will be wrestling in the Olympic pre trials in April after securing a spot with her placement at the World Championships in 2015. Jaynes wrestled a match to give one of the older girls a little competition. A match that ended with Jaynes the winner amidst lots of smiles and laughter. She is a true inspiration to the sport of women's wrestling and a huge support to these young ladies as they all seek to achieve their goals and follow in Jaynes's footsteps. At the end of the day, one thing that could not be mistaken is that all of these wrestlers showed up to compete. Northern Colorado Girls Wrestling took home the championship trophy with Nebraska taking second place. You can expect to see another "War of the Roses" tournament in Colorado as this was there second tournament in less than a year and their numbers in attendance just keep growing. As for the 90 girls who showed up to wrestle this past weekend, I expect you can find them in their perspective practice rooms getting ready for their next opponent and the opportunity to head to their next tournament.