Mitchell’s Frankie Kranz claims conference title at inaugural ESD girls wrestling meet

The Kernels’ Danny Borja and Frankie Kranz each made it to the final round on Tuesday.

Action from the girls ESD wrestling conference on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023, at the Mitchell High School.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic

MITCHELL — Mitchell’s Frankie Kranz brought home a conference title as the Kernels hosted the inaugural Eastern South Dakota Conference girls wrestling tournament on Tuesday night.

Kranz, an eighth-grader wrestling in the 106-pound weight class, improved to 33-12 on the season with three pins in her matches over the course of 5 minutes and 7 seconds. She had a 59-second pin of Brandon Valley’s Rinoah Gabriel in the quarterfinals, a 2:53 pin over Huron’s Chalie Sah and defeated Shaylee Speck, of Pierre, in 1:15 in the championship round.

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MITCHELL — Photos of the action from the girls ESD wrestling conference on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023, at the Mitchell High School.

“We’re getting to the point where we want to be reaching that peak,” Mitchell coach Andy Everson said. “Frankie wrestled through every position and we did a good job of not slowing down and pausing and giving up points. She wrestled hard and really had a great tournament.”

The Kernels’ Danny Borja finished in second place at 120 pounds behind Harrisburg’s Regina Stoeser, who improved to 30-1 as a freshman with a pin of Borja in 1:58. Borja, who is now 34-7 in her freshman season, won her semifinal match over Pierre’s Bezrey Benning by 9-5 decision.

“(Danny) ran into a buzzsaw,” Everson said. “The Stoeser girl is the real deal and Danny’s got a couple of those types of wrestlers in her weight class. We’ve battled with them but they’re at another level right now. We just have to keep working because we’ve got six more practices before we go to the state meet and we can go have some success there.”


Mitchell's Danny Borja looks to control her opponent during the Eastern South Dakota Conference girls wrestling championships on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023, at the Mitchell High School.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic

In the team scoring, Pierre won the inaugural title with 152 points, as the Governors had five of the 10 champions. Harrisburg had 69 points, Aberdeen Central had 66, Brookings was fourth with 47 and Huron was fifth at 46, followed by Mitchell with 38 points in sixth place.

Four Kernels wrestled in the tournament, with Emma Trode finishing 0-2 in the 113-pound weight class. Everson gave special recognition to Liliana Luque, who was making her high school debut on Tuesday after wrestling middle-school matches this year. An eighth-grader, Luque finished 0-2 in the 126-pound weight class but carries a lot of potential into the future.

“She’s just getting started and we’re going to be seeing her name in the future,” Everson said. “She has some really good potential but she’s just not used to the pace of the high school level yet. I’m looking forward to seeing where she’s at in a year.”

Kranz and Borja are expected to be selected for the state tournament field, which begins Feb. 23 and will involve 16 wrestlers in each weight class. Their first-round matchups will be announced this weekend.

ESD girls wrestling championships

Tuesday at Mitchell H.S. 

Team scores: 1. Pierre 152, 2. Harrisburg 69, 3. Aberdeen Central 66, 4. Brookings 47, 5. Huron 46, 6. Mitchell 38, 7. Brandon Valley 37, 8. Yankton 28

Individual results 


106 — Championship: Frankie Kranz (Mitchell) 33-12, 8th. over Shaylee Speck (Pierre) 25-14, 8th. (Fall 1:15); Third: Chalie Sah (Huron) 21-20, 8th. over Avery Bendewald (Aberdeen Central) 15-20, Fr. (Dec 5-3)

113 — Championship: Madyson Gillen (Aberdeen Central) 31-8, Jr. over Lexie Hillmer (Pierre) 28-13, 7th. (Dec 6-2); Third: Susu Kamara (Harrisburg) 17-16, Jr. over Kendall Clayton (Brandon Valley) 14-15, 8th. (Dec 14-7)

120 — Championship: Regina Stoeser (Harrisburg) 30-1, Fr. over Danny Borja (Mitchell) 34-7, Fr. (Fall 1:58); Third: Kezrey Benning (Pierre) 25-13, Fr. over Kami Erickson (Brookings) 18-14, Fr. (Fall 2:31)

126 — Championship: Dani Ringstmeyer (Pierre) 27-10, So. over Htee Htoo (Huron) 28-10, Sr. (Dec 11-7); Third: Ula Martin (Aberdeen Central) 20-22, So. over Jaclyn Kyte (Yankton) 27-14, . (SV-1 4-2)

132 — Round robin places: 1. Johanna Steinlicht of Brookings; 2. EhLer Klay of Huron; 3. Sammie Reil of Harrisburg; 4. Jasmine Maas of Aberdeen Central

142 — Championship: Nevaeh Leonard (Yankton) 32-2, Sr. over Abbigail Lewis (Pierre) 32-6, 8th. (Dec 1-0); Third: Addi Viox (Harrisburg) 22-15, So. over Lin Paw Jone (Aberdeen Central) 10-16, 7th. (Fall 4:13)

154 — Round robin places: 1. Hattie Baldwin of Pierre, 2. Rhiannen Heimdal of Harrisburg, 3. Annala Davis of Brandon Valley

170 — Round robin places: 1. Ireland Templeton of Pierre, 2. Maizy Mathis of Brookings, 3. Fantasia Felcher of Brandon Valley, 4. Kaitlyn Florey of Huron


190 — Championship: Marlee Shorter (Pierre) 22-3, Sr. over Anna Schoewe (Brandon Valley) 3-4, Fr. (Fall 0:46)

285 — Championship: Ciara McFarling (Pierre) 15-0, So. over Autum Gauer (Aberdeen Central) 14-10, Sr. (Fall 1:39)

Traxler is the assistant editor and sports editor for the Mitchell Republic. He's worked for the newspaper since 2014 and has covered a wide variety of topics. He can be reached at
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