Making history: Mexico rallies to win first state wrestling title

The Mexico Bulldogs claimed the school's first state wrestling championship Saturday night at Mizzou Arena. (Josh Kurelac/KRCG13)

COLUMBIA, Mo. --- Sometimes, it actually is over before it's over.

Yogi couldn't be right all the time, after all.

And in this case, the Mexico Bulldogs were even trailing at the time you knew it was over. That, perhaps, made this sweet and historic moment even sweeter.

When Mexico junior Dillon Nichols won the 138-pound individual title during the Missouri State Wrestling Championships on Saturday night at Mizzou Area, the Bulldogs were within 5.5 points of overtaking Monett for the lead in the Class 2 race.

With Monett out of wrestlers in the championship round, Nichols handed it over to Mexico's impossibly good senior tandem of Kellen Ekern and Terrese Aaron.

Forget it.

It was over.

Ekern pinned Priory's Greg Rolwes in the third period of their 170-pound final --- Ekern's third straight individual title --- to clinch the team state championship for the Bulldogs --- the first in Mexico's school history.

Not to be forgotten, Aaron put on an exclamation point, winning by fall and finishing his second undefeated championship season and give Mexico a comfortable 122-115.5 -point win over Monett.

State Champions ... has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? Mexico coach Gayle Adams fought back tears as he talked about it.

"For all the hard work that we've all put in --- I'm a little emotional about it --- it means a lot to me, a lot to the school," Adams said, his voice cracking. "The community and the school support they've given us ... it's just awesome."

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