Bonner Springs youth wrestler Olivia Stean tossed Gardner-Edgerton’s Shelby Davis in their first-round bout. The match was part of the Rocky Mountain Nationals tournament in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo copyright 2020 by Brian Turrel)
by Brian Turrel
Bonner Springs freshman Olivia Stean was one of over 2,000 youth wrestlers from 40 states who descended on HyVee Arena in Kansas City, Missouri, for the Rocky Mountain Nationals wrestling tournament. She placed second in her division.
Stean, who is in her third year with the Bonner Springs Youth Wrestling Club, won her first two bouts convincingly, pinning Gardner-Edgerton’s Shelby Davis in the first round and getting a major decision over her second-round opponent. She lost to two Utah wrestlers in the third and fourth rounds, by fall in the third round and by a 3-0 decision in the fourth.
Stean got her interest in wrestling from her father Greg, taking up the sport when her brother showed little interest in it. Her mother Laura says the whole family has “got the wrestling bug,” and that Olivia has “found her niche” in the sport.
Stean wants to get in as much competition as she can and will also be taking part on Sunday in the freestyle section of the tournament. Freestyle wrestling has different rules than the folkstyle wrestling that is most common in interscholastic competition.
Olivia looks forward to competing for the Bonner Springs High School wrestling team in the upcoming season, although she may be one of very few female wrestlers on the squad.
Covid-19 precautions were abundant at the tournament. Temperatures were taken at the door. Spectators, coaches, referees and event staff were wearing masks. The number of attendees at one time was strictly capped to allow distancing.
Woody Carter, sales and events manager for the HyVee Arena, took pride in the care and planning that went into the event, which included splitting the event on two floors of the facility to further spread out the wrestlers and spectators.
Carter said that health inspectors had been over the event’s procedures in detail on Friday to ensure the event met all the regulations established by the city and Mayor Quinton Lucas, who had previously criticized the event.
Carter also emphasized the economic benefits to the area of hosting events with a national draw, and mentioned that even hotels from Kansas City, Kansas, had called to thank him for the increased business and being able to rehire laid off staff.
The Rocky Mountain Nationals wrestling tournament concludes Sunday. Olivia Stean’s matches start at 8:30 a.m. Results can be followed at http://arena.flowrestling.org/event/106cf8d8-48f8-43bb-9607-5c77d177f435.
Second floor of the HyVee Arena. The tournament was split across both floors to help disperse the wrestlers and attendees. (Photo copyright 2020 by Brian Turrel) Stean posed with her trophy following the tournament. (Photo courtesy of Laura and Olivia Stean) Stean applied a pin to Davis and won the match in only one minute, 10 seconds. (Photo copyright 2020 by Brian Turrel) Stean wrestled against Caelyn Hanff of Wright City, Missouri, in the second round. (Photo copyright 2020 by Brian Turrel) The referee congratulated Stean after her second round win. (Photo copyright 2020 by Brian Turrel)