Wrestling produces first ever state champion in historic state meet


Cooper Meldrum

Junior Hunter Duncan pins a Highland Park wrestler during his match.

After qualifying 10 of 15 wrestlers at the regional meet, the boys and girls wrestling teams enjoyed a historic state meet this past weekend in Cypress.

Senior Morgan Elvin placed first in state for her weight class and became the wrestling program’s first state champion.

“I still can’t quite believe it but it’s very exciting to be the first one,” Elvin said.

Lovejoy had four of the ten qualifiers place in state including Elvin, Rucker, Underwood, and Ashley. Ashley placed second and both Rucker and Underwood placed fifth.

Elvin expressed how her coach Mike Eaton was a big impact on her success this season and how their relationship started way back in middle school.

“Coach Eaton has been a positive role model and coach to me since middle school so he pushed me and my teammates to work hard this season which led to our success,” Elvin said.

Lovejoy had a solid semifinal round from Feb. 15-16, winning four of five and putting four men in the regional championship match, the most ever in program history.  Sophomore Ralph Rucker placed first in his weight class. Sophomore Jakob Underwood, junior Hunter Duncan, and senior Johnny Dorlon all three finished as silver medalists in their respective weights. Junior Alex Vislosky placed third.

On the women’s side, Senior Morgan Elvin placed first, junior Katherine Heath placed second, freshman Avery Ashley placed third, and senior Lilly Musselman and sophomore Charis Vela both placed fifth for their weight classes.

“I think that our performance at state sets the tone for the upcoming years,” Heath said. “I think it gives determination or motivation to all the wrestlers to go for the end goal of being a state champ. Personally, I think this was one of our best years that the boys and girls have done overall all season.”