By CONOR NICHOLL
Sabetha, with one senior and one returning state placer, enjoyed one of the stronger days in program wrestling history when it captured the Class 3-2-1A Silver Lake wrestling regional last Saturday. The Bluejays won with 202.5 points, well ahead of runner-up Silver Lake’s 164. Atchison County took third with 140 points.
Sabetha qualified 10 for the state tournament, tied with defending champion and favorite Hoxie for the most in the field. In the last four years, the Bluejays had averaged four state qualifiers.
At 106, freshman Caleb Reyner (19-16) took third. At 113, lone senior Kellen Menold (25-4) earned second. Sophomore Cullen Wikle (31-9) captured the regional title at 126. He won by fall in 3 minutes, 40 seconds, in 16 seconds and a sudden 4-2 overtime victory against Onaga’s Landon Koelling.
At 132, sophomore Colin Menold (35-3) earned the title with a pair of first-period falls, and a 10-8 sudden victory versus Pleasant Ridge’s Mason Ewert in the semifinals. Menold won by injury default in the championship match.
At 152, junior Jonathan Reyner (32-6) captured the regional title in dominant fashion with four wins by fall.
At 138, junior Kellan Spielman (23-20) took fourth. Junior Josh Herrmann (25-9) earned regional runner-up at 170. Junior Jacob Kuenzi (17-15) finished third at 182. Sophomore Dalton Rokey (28-12) earned third at 195. Sophomore Joshua Grimm (21-14) took second at 285.
In the latest 3-2-1A Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association rankings, Wikle is ranked sixth at 126. Colin Menold is sixth at 132, and Reyner is sixth at 152. Sabetha is not ranked in the top-10 in Class 3-2-1A. However, only one team east of Salina is; Rossville stands fifth. Defending champion Hoxie is the overwhelming favorite. State is Friday and Saturday at Gross Memorial Coliseum at Fort Hays State University.
Last year, Sabetha qualified four to the state tournament. Wikle (27-17) went 0-2 at 113. Colin Menold (30-12) was 0-2 at 126, though faced eventual champion Kolton Field in the first round. Herrmann (30-6) took sixth at 170.
In 2020, Sabetha qualified two for state and had one placer. Sabetha had six state qualifiers in 2019, including a 33-1 record and third-place showing from 285-pounder Elliott Strahm. In ’18, Sabetha had four state qualifiers, including Strahm, the Bluejays’ last state champion.