After several months of confusion, Benton senior Brooke-Lynn Rush has made the decision on where to further her wrestling career.

The state wrestling champion signed her letter of intent with Missouri Valley on Wednesday in front of her family, coaches, teammates and classmates.

“It was really stressful the last few months of my life trying to make my decision, but I’m happy and confident that I made the right decision,” Rush said.

The nationally ranked wrestler made up her mind Tuesday morning. She said writing down pros and cons over time helped her, but what made the biggest impact was her coach’s advice.

“I listened to what they had to say and they were all pointing toward Missouri Valley. So I just knew it was the right decision,” Rush said.

The senior Cardinal said she was impressed by Missouri Valley’s wrestling program and what they’ve accomplished in the last 20 years. She also mentioned she feels more comfortable at a smaller school.

Rush finished out her senior year as ranked No. 8 in the nation among the girls division.

“Brooke-Lynn’s obviously been a very special person in our wrestling program for a lot of years,” Benton coach Brad Hubbard said. “Valley is getting a gem.”

This season marked the inaugural year of girls wrestling at the MSHSAA State Wrestling Championships. Rush made history when she placed first in her weight class.

Before then, the Benton senior had competed with the boys since her freshman year. Rush took advantage of the first girls wrestling season in Missouri state history as she capped her 21-0 season with a narrow 6-5 victory over previously undefeated St. Genevieve sophomore Kaylee Gross to become the best 152-pounder in Missouri.

Missouri Valley coach Carl Murphree met Brooke-Lynn a few years ago at the school’s wrestling camp.

“You see somebody at a young age and see something special so we knew she was special from the gecko,” Murphree said. “We’ve been kind of waiting till this senior year of hers to have this opportunity for her to go to valley.”

The 18-year-old is excited for her college career, but admits she will miss Benton.

“I’ll miss everyone,” she said. “It’s a family type of community and I’ll miss that the most.”

Hubbard asked his senior standout is she had any advice for her younger Benton teammates.

She answered, “You better keep wrestling and work hard because you guys have the same opportunity as I do.”

Rush plans to study psychology and sociology as her goal is to become an FBI agent.

Kristen Carver can be reached

at kristen.carver@newspressnow.com

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