Van Buren wrestler Lillian Jones wins state title; Addison Loney finishes runner-up

George "Clay" Mitchell
Fort Smith Times Record
Van Buren's Lillian Jones tries to escape during the Class 5A West Conference meet on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021 in Greenwood. Jones won her weight class and the Lady Pointers won the girls' league title.

For the second straight year, a Van Buren wrestler won the first weight class championship at the Arkansas girls state wrestling tournament.

Lillian Jones won the 100-pound weight class at the state meet held at the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock on Wednesday.

"We had a pretty good day," Van Buren coach John Petree said. "Lillian came to compete. She was very determined. She went out there and went to business."

Jones reached the semifinals after defeating Mackenzi Clark (Mountain Home) Mattie Neider (Lake Hamilton), and Sophia Brooks (Beebe). Jones took down Greenwood's Skylar Belin in the finals.

Jones is second consecutive Lady Pointer to lead off the state girls wrestling tournament with a title. Last year, in the inaugural event, Van Buren's Violet Summers claimed first place in the  100-pound class.

Defending 140 state champion Addison Loney finished runner-up in 124 after winning the 5A West title last month. Loney finished 30-1 this season.

Van Buren wrestler Addison Loney reacts as she advances to the finals of the 1A-6A Girls State Tournament on Feb. 20, 2020 in Little Rock.

"She may disappointed right now, but there are a lot of girls who wouldn't mind being runner-up at state," Petree said. "She has another season and this will probably make her very hungry. I don't want to be the next girl who wrestles her."

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Katie Palmer (Fayetteville) won the individual title against Loney in the longest match of the weight class: 5 minutes, 58 seconds. 

Loney advanced to the semifinals after defeating Aiyanna Johnson (Sylvan Hills). In the second round, Loney won in 32 seconds against Northside's Kaila Potter. Belin, who became the first Greenwood girls wrestler to medal at state, also reached the semifinals with wins over Camila Quiles (Bentonville), Daijah Cowen (LR Southwest), and Roselyn Amaya (Searcy).

Skylar Belin

Summers was upset in the quarterfinals to Stephanie Delgado (Northside) and finished fifth overall. 

"Overall, it wasn't a bad year for us," Petree said. "We only lose one senior (Danielle Archer). We wrestle again Thursday and I hope we're ready."

Delgado reached the semifinals when she was defeated by Ashlin Jones (Bentonville). But Delgado did win her third-place match and is now a two-time state placer.

The event was postponed from its original date in mid-February due to inclement weather.