Nixa wrestling

NIXA'S KIRSTEN FUGITT gains the upper hand on an opponent from Jefferson City last week.

Nixa could be looking at a trio of state-qualifiers from one family this season. The Fugitt threesome of Deagan, Zan and Kirsten appear on track toward berths at State.

Zan, a 106-pound freshman has won seven in a row and is 22-3. Deagan, a 120-pound junior, has won eight straight and is 19-5. They were both 4-0 over the weekend at the Lafayette Invitational. Kirsten, a freshman, won the 130-pound title at the Nixa Girls Invitational, is 13-4.

“Hopefully, we can all three make State and place,” Zan said.

Deagan and Zan have grown up on the mat, but Kirsten is a newcomer to the sport, even though she's been around it for years.

“I’d watched lot of matches and knew a couple of moves,” Kirsten said of her wrestling knowledge prior to this season. “But I never really had tried anything. My Dad and brothers wanted me to try it, so I said, ‘OK, I’ll try it.’”

Zan has enjoyed seeing his twin sister gain an appreciation for the same sport he and Deagan have loved since they were tiny-tots.

“We always joked around with her about wrestling and this year we finally persuaded her to do it,” Zan said. “She said she would try it for two weeks. She’s liked it ever since and has kept going. She picked up on it right away.

“I like teaching her,” he added. “I think she’s going to end up being a good wrestler.”

The combination of her brothers’ help and her background as a competitive cheerleader allowed Kirsten to take to wrestling naturally. She cheers for All-Star Gymnastics & Cheer, traveling as far away as Dallas and Orlando, Florida, for competitions.

“She’s very flexible, that helps her,” Zan pointed out.

“Competitive cheer and wrestling are both insane,” Kirsten said. “You hear people cheering for each other all the time. Sometimes, it can be difficult doing both (sports). Most of the time, they have separate schedules. Sometimes, though, they (conflict) and I have to split my time between them 50-50.”

Even though Kirsten has been familiar with the atmosphere at matches, she's still not completely comfortable stepping onto the mat herself.

“I still get really nervous,” she said. “It’s always right before my match. Once we’re about to get on the mat, that’s when it’s bad. But when you get on the mat, everything kind of fades out and it’s just you and the other person.”

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