Four Panthers qualify for state wrestling championships
ABILENE — Concordia High School junior Skyler Hittle will be making his third consecutive trip to the Class 4A state wrestling tournament.
Kyle Marks, Drake Hake and Cameron Miller each earned their first trip to state by placing in the top three at the regional tournament in Abilene.
Hittle, 195 pounds, and Marks, 220 pounds, recorded first-place finishes in the regional.
Hake finished second in the 138-pound class.
Miller placed third in the 113-pound class.
Concordia scored 104.5 points to place sixth as a team in the tournament.
Colby captured the team title with 196 points.
Holton was second with 177.5, and Smoky Valley was third with 142.
The state tournament will be Friday and Saturday at the Bicentennial Center in Salina.
Hittle, who is 35-3 heading into the state tournament, defeated Tyler Peterson, Smoky Valley, in the regional championship match.
After winning by technical fall, 18-3, over Kasey Feyh, Wamego, in the opening round, Hittle pinned Seth Hutchins, Larned, in 1:58 and then pinned Troy Quenzer, Colby, in 1:47 in the semifinals.
Marks, a junior, recorded four consecutive pins on his way to the 220-pound title. He stuck Austin Hart, Colby, in the second period in the championship match.
Marks pinned Lody Black, Clay Center, in the opening round. He then stuck Wyatt Haberman, Larned, in the quarterfinals and Jesse Correll, Rock Creek, in the semifinals.
Hake, a sophomore, won his first three matches by fall before losing a narrow 10-8 decision to Lucas Lovvorn, Holton, in the championship match.
It was just the second loss of the season for Hake, who is 30-2.
Hake pinned Nick Desch, Topeka Hayden, in the opening round. He pinned Keenan Crane, Chapman, in the quarterfinals and Ethan Fowler, McPherson in the semifinals, before suffering the loss to Lovvorn.
Miller, a freshman, received a bye in the first round. He then needed just 16 seconds to pin Kaden Sare, Smoky Valley.
Justin Pool, Holton, won a 10-2 major decision over Miller in the semifinals.
Pool would lose 6-0 to Zane Baugh, Abilene, in the title match.
Miller (14-3) beat Alex Young, Colby, in the consolation semifinals. He defeated Aaron Avelar, Goodland, 4-1 in the third-place match.
“I am very proud of the way our wrestlers competed at regionals. These young men wrestled with a lot of heart and determination,” Concordia coach Kevin Brown said, “We are excited about having four young men qualify for state and their chances of bringing home a state medal. I am looking forward to extending their seasons one more week, and preparing for an exciting weekend in Salina.”
Brenton Edwards picked up two wins for Concordia in the 106-pound class. He pinned Dallas Nold, Rock Creek, in 25 seconds in the opening round.
Edwards was pinned by eventual runner-up Logan McDowell, Abilene. He pinned Luke Martin, Clay Center, in 1:43, before losing by fall to Brett Lemon, Chapman.
Concordia’s Gage Canfield, 120 pounds, squeezed out a 9-7 win over Taylor O’Leary, Colby, in the opening round. He was pinned by Hunter Price, Holton, who went on to finish second.
Canfield was eliminated with an 11-9 loss to Cole Sutterfield, Chapman.
Isaac Sprague, wrestling at 126 pounds for the Panthers, won a 14-2 major decision over James Gilbert, Larned, in the opening round. He was pinned by unbeaten Dustin Reed, Colby.
Reed went on to place first.
Sprague lost 12-4 to Alex Boswell, McPherson.
Jaden Payeur, 132 pounds, was pinned by second-place finisher Seth Strauss, Abilene, in the opening round. He pinned Casey Rehm, Larned, before losing by fall to Dalton Taylor, McPherson.
Jared Knapp, 145 pounds, was pinned by Bryce Golightley, Royal Valley, in the first round. He lost by fall to Caleb Cott, Highland Park.
Keenan Edwards, 152 pounds, lost by fall to Jacob Hagedorn, Abilene. He was pinned by Gabe Ware, Clay Center.
Shea Crum, 170 pounds, was beaten 15-3 by Zack Witt, Chapman. He dropped a 4-3 decision to Brandon Goehring, Goodland.
Stafen Guevara, 285 pounds, was pinned by Cooper Zeller, Holton, who went on to place third.
Guevara lost by fall to Brix Brickney, Smoky Valley.
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