Updated: Apr 11
Prairie View senior Kylee Eastwood talked with David Heidrick of Eastern Kansas Sports after winning the 170-pound championship match in the Kansas State 4-1A Tournament on Feb. 24 in Salina.
Eastwood, with 33 wins and five losses, won by a fall over sophomore Grace Johns of Chapman (20-2) in the final match. In December she committed to wrestling at William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa, next year.
DH: Was there anybody in your bracket you were paying special close attention to, before or during the tournament?
K.E.: I was definitely paying attention to Jolie Ziegler (Council Grove) before the tournament, because she’s been the state champion the past two years. Then throughout the tournament I kept an eye on Grace Johns (Chapman) who I wrestled in the finals.
DH: What was going through your mind after your third victory in the semifinal, putting you in the final?
K.E.: What was going through my mind was, "Holy crap! I actually have a shot at being a state champion." I was so happy.
DH: How did you feel before the last match started, when you toed the line, knowing it was your last bout win or lose?
K.E.: I felt a little nervous but I felt more ready than anything. I really felt like I am going to go out there and wrestle hard and not give up. Knowing this was my last high school tournament and that I get to compete at this level and beyond is sweet. I went into my last match knowing that I wanted it more than everyone else at that moment.
DH: What are you going to do with your medal? What does it say?
K.E.: I am going to keep that medal and take care of it and cherish that thing. Because that right now is my most prized possession. To me it represents all of the hard work and adversity I faced to get here in the first place.
DH: Are you going to do some more wrestling this year before you head off to compete at the college level?
K.E.: I am going to wrestle at Kids Districts and Kids State with the Linn County Twisters. Then over the summer I want to wrestle with Team Kansas and compete more at the national level.
DH: You are the first and only girls state wrestling champion in PV history. How does that feel?
K.E.: It feels very surreal. But to me it feels like a dream come true. It feels great to represent my coaches and school so highly and it’s just a great feeling. And it feels like all of my hard work finally paid off.
DH: Anything else you would like to say?
K.E.: I want to thank my friends, my family, my teammates, and my coaches for always having my back and believing in me, and never letting me believe that I was at my peak potential. Because there is always room for improvement!