Four Cimarron, two South Gray wrestlers qualify for Class 3-2-1A state meet
The Cimarron Bluejays nor the South Gray Rebels had a member qualify for the Class 3-2-1A state meet for the past two years; so the squads made up for lost time Saturday in their regional meet.
The Bluejays won one weight division and had three other members qualify for the state meet at Hays to finish third in the final team regional standings with 89 points. South Gray had two qualify and finished 16th in the final team standings with 31 points.
Considering these two teams usually are combined made it a very productive day for the CSG wrestlers to have six members to qualify for next week's meet at Fort Hays State University.
Tanner Smith recorded the individual regional championship title for the Bluejays by claiming the 160-pound division. Smith won by a 7-2 decision over Austin McHenry (Hoisington) in the quarterfinals before recording victories by pin over Keith Short (Southeast of Saline) in 38 seconds in the semifinals, and in 2:38 over Dalton Gonzales (Lakin) in the final match.
Smith (23-7) will go in as a top-seed in the state tournament and will face Tommy Avery (28-12) of Jayhawk-Linn in the first round.
A.J. Cooper also had a chance to win the 182-pound class, but finished second after losing by a 7-1 decision to Hagen Hanzlick (Hoisington). Cooper had beaten Will Gunderson (Wichita Independent) by pin at 1:37 in the quarterfinals, and Tristan Paulsen (Stafford) by an 8-1 decision in the semifinals.
Cooper (18-6) will be a second-seed in the state meet and battle Clay Cosand (31-8) of Rock Hills in the first round
Aiden Shaughnessy placed third at 170 pounds, going 3-1 on the day. Shaughnessy beat Chris Honas (Hoisington) in the first round by a 6-1 decision, before losing by a 17-2 technical fall to Nick Wuthnow (Salina Sacred Heart). Shaughnessy qualified for the state meet with pin at 1:24 on Liam Eck (Ellsworth) and closed out the match with a 2-0 decision over David Baca in the third place match.
Shaughnessy (23-12) will be a third-seed in the state meet and will face Cameron Staples (26-7) of Trego Community in the first round.
Austin Flores opened up the day at 220 pounds by recording a 3-2 decision over Austin Williams (Garden Plain), before getting pinned at 3:52 by D.J. Serviss (Fairfield) in the semifinals. Flores qualified for state with a 1-0 decision over Zach Gustus (Ellsworth), then pinned Williams in 30 seconds in their second battle of the day.
Flores (18-10) will be a third-seed in the state meet and will face Gus Farthing (40-4) of Burlington in the first round.
The Rebels were led by Caleb Watts, who finished third at 195 pounds. Watts pinned Wyatt Goodin (Wichita Independent) in 1:28 to win his quarterfinal match before losing by an 8-0 major decision to Avery Urban (Hoisington) in the semifinals. Watts recorded a win by pin over Clayton Eggleston (Lakin) at 5:01 in the consolation semifinals and then recorded his second pin victory over Goodin — this time 1:32 — in the third place match.
Watts (21-11) will be a third-seed at the meet and will face Isaac Wenger (13-1) of Sabetha in the first round.
Zack Crick also claimed a spot at the state meet for the Rebels at 285 pounds. Crick won his quarterfinal match by pin at 2:32 over Tanner Gremmell (Minneapolis) before getting pinned by Clay Wilcox (Chaparral) at 1:28 in the semifinals. Crick qualified for state with a pin at 4:45 over Stephan Selby (Salina St. John's Military), before losing a 4-0 decision to Laramie Lumley (Sublette) in the third place match.
Crick (22-11) will be a fourth-seed at the state meet and will face Billy Mersereau (27-11) of Cherryvale in the first round.
Hoisington won the regional team title with 169.5 points, followed by Lyons (115.5), Cimarron, Southeast of Saline (87) and Bennington (72).