By CONOR NICHOLL
This past weekend featured two major boys’ tournaments that are among the largest in Kansas: Beloit and the Bob Kuhn Classic in Hays
Behind Meyers and Nutting, Hays High wins Bob Kuhn Prairie Classic; Buhler senior Sam Elliott stays undefeated
The Bob Kuhn Senior Prairie Classic, a longtime staple at Hays High, featured 26 teams. Hays High, behind Gavin Meyers and Gavin Nutting, won the competition with 153.5 points. Manhattan took second with 120.5 points. Kapaun finished third with 116.5 points. Junction City finished fourth with 115 points, and Salina Central took fifth at 114.
Hays High is not in the top-10 of the 5A rankings. However, HHS sophomore Harley Zimmerman is ranked fourth at 132. Meyers is ranked first in 5A at 220, and Nutting is fifth at 285.
Meyers and Nutting were both tremendous football players and have had great wrestling success. Nutting was a four-year starter for Hays High on the line. Meyers, among other honors, was Top 11 all classes in football and 5A Defensive Player of the Year. He recently picked up an offer from FCS power North Alabama.
At 220, Meyers stands at 23-0. He went 3-0, including wins by fall in 48 seconds, 59 seconds and 3:02. At 285, Nutting improved to 28-0. He also finished 3-0 with wins by fall in 1:03, 1:12 and 1:00.
Hays High had multiple top-4 finishes. At 106, sophomore Elijah McCullough (18-8) took third with a 2-2 record. Both of his losses came to Haysville Campus’ Terence Wallace. At 113, sophomore Tacoma Augustine (21-9) earned fourth with a 4-2 mark.
At 132, Zimmerman (27-1) captured the crown with a 3-0 mark, including two wins by fall and a 9-2 championship victory.
For Manhattan, Easton Taylor (30-3) picked up the 138-pound title in dominant fashion. Taylor finished 4-0 with wins by fall in 2:31, 46 seconds, 9-1 versus Junction City’s Patrick Foxworth and a 2:18 win against Great Bend’s Wyatt Weber. Foxworth stands at 25-6, and Weber is 25-3.
At 195, Jaxon Vikander (22-10) finished second. In the championship match, Russell’s Tyler Moresco improved to 14-1 with a sudden victory against Vikander in the final. Moresco is 14-1, and Vikander stands at 22-10.
At 220, Talique Houston (29-6) finished third.
Other top showings, including loaded 120- and 182-pound classes; Fury beats Rodriguez in high-profile 182 title
Junction City sophomore Ezekiel Witt improved to 29-1 and won the 106-pound championship with a technical fall victory. At 113, Oakley’s Carter Krier captured the title and improved to 26-1 as a freshman.
At 120, Great Bend senior Kaden Spragis captured the championship with a 4-3 win in the final against Haysville Campus senior Dylan Sheler. Spragis is 24-5, and Sheler stands at 20-3. Spragis is ranked fifth at 120. Sheler is ranked first in 6A.
In the 120-pound third place match, Goodland senior D.J. Knox defeated Ellis sophomore Mason Younger, 4-2. Knox, a former state runner-up, is 27-1. Younger is 15-3. Younger has moved back and forth between 113 and 120 this winter, though is expected to wrestle the rest of the season at 120. Knox is ranked fifth in 4A.
At 126, Kapaun Mt. Carmel senior Bubba Wright beat Larned senior Dillen Hook by technical fall. Wright improved to 24-3. Wright is ranked first in 5A.
At 145, Russell senior Jacob Windholz beat Salina Central sophomore Dawson Hogan, 3-0. Windholz improved to 23-3. Also of note, Pratt senior Koda Dipman beat Kingman senior Colby Schreiner for third/fourth place. Dipman is 14-6, and Schreiner stands at 23-3. Dipman earned a 5-3 decision.
Windholz is ranked fifth at 145 in 3-2-1A, and Schreiner is ranked first in 3-2-1A.
At 152, Pratt senior Keishaune Thompson moved to 18-1 with an 8-4 finals decision against Salina Central senior Elix Hernandez. Thompson is ranked third in 4A.
The 160-pound final featured Buhler senior Sam Elliott against Ellis senior George Crawford. Elliott, a two-time state wrestling champion and 4A Offensive Player of the Year this fall, improved to 21-0. He is ranked first in 4A. Crawford has delivered a nice season and stands at 23-2. Elliott won by fall in a minute.
At 170, Goddard-Eisenhower senior Mason Levin improved to 22-2 with a win by fall in 4:25. Levin is ranked second at 170.
At 182, the top-three finished Kapaun Mt. Carmel junior Nathan Fury, Southeast of Saline senior Matthew Rodriguez, and Ellis senior Mason Gottschalk. Fury is 26-4, Rodriguez is 17-1 and won a prestigious Newton Tournament of Champions crown, and Gottschalk was 16-2.
Fury beat Rodriguez, 3-1, and gave Rodriguez its first loss this winter. Gottschalk won by fall in 4:33. Rodriguez is ranked first at 182 in 3-2-1A. Fury stands second in 5A.
At 285, Hoisington’s Cole Gilliland is back and finished second to Nutting. Gilliland had missed last year with injury and is 22-3 this winter. He is a legitimate state contender in 3-2-1A.
Hoxie wins Beloit Invitational; Umentum bests Amrein and Johnson in matchup of three undefeated 160-pound wrestlers
The Beloit Invitational and Bob Kuhn Classic are the major wrestling tournaments this past weekend. Hoxie, the 3-2-1A defending state champion and the prevailing favorite this winter, again won a major tournament against much bigger schools. Hoxie has recently captured titles at Goodland and Dodge City.
At Beloit, Hoxie collected 216 points, while Blue Valley Southwest finished second with 194.5 points. BVSW was the 2020 5A runner-up and finished ninth in 5A last winter. Southwest is currently ranked second in 5A. Clay Center finished third with 149 points. Chanute was fourth with 129.5 points, and Colby took fifth with 125.5 points.
According to longtime Hoxie coach Mike Porsch, it marked the first time Hoxie won the two-day tournament outright since 2003. Hoxie tied Manhattan for the title in 2004. Last season, Hoxie won the Beloit tournament when it was moved to one day.
In the 4A rankings, Chanute stands second, Colby sixth and Abilene ninth.
Hoxie had its bevy of first and second place finishes. Tate Weimer (23-5) was second at 113. Weimer is ranked first in 3-2-1A.
He lost to Chanute’s Kolton Misener in the final. Misener stands at 24-2 and went 4-0 in the tournament with a pair of first-period wins, a technical fall victory and the major decision in the finals.
At 120, Wayne Shepard (20-7) lost, 5-4, to Colby’s Aiden Cook in the championship. Shepard is ranked third in 3-2-1A.
In a big match at 126, Concordia’s Daniel Vines beat Hoxie’s Carson Ochs by major decision. Vines is 26-1, and Ochs stands at 23-3. Ochs is ranked first. Vines is ranked sixth in 4A.
At 138, defending state champion Drew Bell (26-0) won three matches by fall in 1:34, 9-5 and 50 seconds. Bell is ranked first in 3-2-1A.
At 152, Drew Bretz (25-2) took second when he lost to Blue Valley Southwest’s Cole Cronk by a 5-1 decision. Cronk stands at 30-4. Bretz is also ranked first in 3-2-1A.
The 160-pound weight class was highly anticipated entering the tournament. Three wrestlers entered with undefeated records: Brett Valley Southwest’s Brett Umentum, Hoxie’s Derek Johnson and Hill City sophomore Aiden Amrein. Umentum is a two-time state runner-up. Johnson is a two-time state champion. Amrein finished third in 3-2-1A.
Johnson, Uniontown senior Bryce Eck and Amrein are the favorites for the Class 3-2-1A finale next month. Amrein won his first match by fall in 1:11, and Umentum picked up his first win by 1:21. Johnson, Eck and Amrein are ranked 1-2-3 in 3-2-1A.
In the semifinals, Umentum beat Amrein, 9-0. On the top side, Johnson won his first two matches by fall in 51 seconds and 3:09.
Then, Johnson lost for the first time since his freshman year with a 3-1 defeat to Umentum, who is ranked first in 5A.
At 170, Sam Watkins (26-3) took second to Colby’s Tyler Voss, 3-1, in the finals. Voss stands at 28-2.
In addition to Umentum, Kaden Markley (17-10) took second at 106. Hayden Mills (29-4) earned second at 132. Cole Cronk (30-4) won at 152. Torin Forsyth (26-9) took first at 220. Andrew Farrell (22-9) was third at 285.
Plainville with solid finish
Plainville is ranked second in 3-2-1A behind Hoxie. The Cardinals had several top-four placers. Logan Normandin (23-5) finished third at 132, including four wins on the backside. He lost to Chanute’s Trey Dillow in the championship quarterfinals, 7-6. Then, the pair matched up in the third-place match, and Normandin won 3-2.
At 182, Ben Hansen took third with his first loss this season and moved to 16-1. In the third place match, Hansen earned a 3-1 decision against Blue Valley Southwest’s Nathaniel Keys. Hansen is ranked second in 3-2-1A.
At 195, Kyle Werner (22-3) won the title with three victories: a 9-0 major decision, 2-1 decision and a sudden victory defeat versus Beloit’s Brennan Walker. At 220, Draxtin Hovis finished third with a 4-1 showing. He bumped to 22-4 this year. Werner is ranked third in 3-2-1A.
Chanute’s Leedy stays perfect, among other top showings
At 145, Chanute’s Ty Leedy (23-0) won all three matches by fall, in 56 seconds, 2:58 and 5:59. The three opponents were a combined 55-19. Leedy is ranked first in 4A.
Three wrestlers finished with four pins: Abilene’s Tucker Cell, Salina South’s Kayson Dietz and Brandon Fletcher. Cell is ranked first in 4A. Dietz is ranked fourth at 285 in 5A.
Hill City’s Amrein pinned three opponents with a cumulative time of 3:17, the least time of any of the 11 wrestlers with three pins. Cell and Dietz led the field with 30 points.
Chanute’s Misener finished third with 28.5 points, Leedy took fourth with 28 points, Umentum had 27, Hoxie’s Drew Bell with 26, and Concordia’s Vines delivered 25.
Eureka girls perform well at own tournament
Eureka girls won the team title and captured the sportsmanship award at the second annual Eureka women’s tournament. Eureka won with 115 points.
Baldwin girls had four placers at the Rock Creek tournament. Brianna Mitchell (14-6) took third at 109. Elee Pittman won a 191-pound championship. She improved to 18-4. Madi Hargett earned the 235-pound title and moved to 19-2. Kaitlin Base took fourth at 170 with an 11-10 record.
Andover’s Gabe Maki was the 145-pound champion of the Husky Invitational, held at Blue Valley Southwest. He earned the Zach Roberson Award for the Most Outstanding Wrestler. Andover won the competition with 321.5 points. Maize took second at 299. Lawrence Free State finished third with 297. At 120, Landry Root (17-3) earned second for Andover. Colter Rieschick (10-5) took second at 126.
Adam Maki improved to 19-4 with a 138 title. Gabe Maki is 23-2 at 145.
Norton’s Kolton Field, a two-time state champion, earned his 100th career victory.
Olathe East’s Jacob Bradley picked his 100th career win.