Moore takes silver at state

Wednesday, February 23, 2022
Annie Moore took second place at 115 pounds on Saturday at the 2022 MSHSAA Wrestling Championships. Kyle Troutman/

Lady Wildcat takes final the distance, comes up short

It was the 115-pound girls title match everyone expected at the 2022 MSHSAA Wrestling Championships.

Cassville junior Annie Moore, defending state champion, met Angelina Vargas, a freshman from Park Hill who beat her once already this season. Despite Moore nearly turning her opponent and getting a pin, Vargas proved to be too much, and Moore lost a 10-2 major decision, giving her the silver.

Annie Moore does a handshake with Coach Nathan Fortner after receiving her runner-up medal at state Saturday. Kyle Troutman/

“I knew I would have to bring it if I wanted to win,” she said. “I just let it be God’s will. Whatever happens, happens. I just needed to do my thing, and that’s all I could do.”

Nathan Fortner, Cassville wrestling coach, said Moore is one of the most competitive people he knows.

“I know it crushes her to lose in the final,” he said. “She is a true competitor and she loves to win. She has another year, and as a champion and a runner up, she will be on everybody’s radar.”

Prior to state, Moore talked about the pressure of being a returning champion and not wanting to let anyone down, and after the fact, she feels she hasn’t.

“I’m happy with my performance, and that title match actually went better than I thought it would,” she said. “She never got me on my back, and when I escaped and almost turned her, I was like, ‘Come one, Jesus — let me do it.’ But it didn’t happen. Maybe if she wasn’t so close to the edge of the circle I could have gotten around her.

“It’s a lot of pressure to repeat at state, especially as one class because you can face girls from such bigger schools. That pressure is hard to handle sometimes, but I am not mad about how I did. Everybody is beatable.”

Fortner said the long-arm series that almost led to a pin for Moore was a tense moment.

“If that was any other girl, we probably would have turned her,” he said. “I bet she wins three more state championships.”

Moore said she’s excited for next season, especially with girls wrestling going to two classes. If that were the case this year, Cassville would be a Class 1 school, and Park Hill would have been Class 2.

“I am motivated and want to hit the weights this offseason,” she said. “I want to get another state title. It will be more achievable with two classes, but it will still be hard.”

Moore pinned her first round and quarterfinal opponents before winning a 17-1 technical fall in the semifinals. In Vargas’ four matches, Moore’s was the only one that went past 1:02.

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