Wrestling roundup: Mill Valley wins regional title; 30 area grapplers qualify for state
After qualifying 11 grapplers for the Class 5A state tournament, the Mill Valley wrestling team edged Blue Valley Southwest by a half point to win a regional title on Saturday at Turner.
Zach Keal (106 pounds), Austin Keal (113), Bryson Markovich (132), Conner Ward (145) and Jarrett Bendure (152) were all crowned as regional champions to help Mill Valley finish with a team score of 231.5.
Brodie Scott was the runner-up at 138 pounds. Ethan Kremer (third at 195 pounds), Hayden Keopke (fourth at 182), Christian Roth (fifth at 220), Devon Handy (fifth at 120) and Max Whisler (sixth at 126) also punched their tickets to the state tournament, which will take place Friday at Saturday at Hartman Arena in Park City.
All five weight class champions for the Jaguars defeated at least one state-ranked wrestler en route to winning regionals titles.
Zach Keal (ranked No. 2 in 5A) won by a 2-0 decision over fourth-ranked Daniel McMullen of BV Southwest in the championship match. Sixth-ranked Austin Keal followed by winning a 2-1 decision over fourth-ranked Justin Williams of BV Southwest.
The 132-pound title match went down to the wire, as Markovich (No. 3 in 5A) won by ultimate tiebreaker in the finals over fourth-ranked Johnny Akin of St. Thomas Aquinas.
Bendure and Ward, who are ranked No. 1 in their respective weight classes, both won by injury default in the finals. Bendure topped third-ranked Joey Hancock of Leavenworth, while Ward triumphed over third-ranked Riley McCall of BV Southwest. Bendure also won by forfeit over sixth-ranked Matthew Stack of BV Southwest in the semifinals.
The lone losses of the tournament for Scott and Kremer both came against state-ranked wrestlers. Scott won by fall over sixth-ranked Cade Wathke of Shawnee Heights before dropping a 4-0 decision to fourth-ranked Joseph Irwin of Lansing in the finals.
Kremer (No. 6 in 5A) posted a 3-1 record with his only setback coming against fourth-ranked Cameron Bates of Turner by a 5-0 decision.
SJA's Lautt wins regional title
St. James finished 11th in the 5A regional at Turner behind 182-pound weight class champion Cade Lautt.
The St. James sophomore, who is ranked third in 5A, won two matches by fall before winning a 5-1 decision over fifth-ranked Ricardo Yanez of Turner.
Lautt was one of six St. James wrestlers to qualify for state. Drew Ernsdorff placed third at 132 pounds with a record of 4-1. Ernsdorff's lone loss came against Akin in the semifinals.
Connor Weltmer went 3-2 en route to a fourth-place finish at 170 pounds. Harry Spencer (285 pounds) and Isaac Stean (195) finished sixth, and Max Lutz (145) placed seventh to round out the state-bound wrestlers for the Thunder.
Four De Soto wrestlers garner 8th-place finishes
De Soto's Henry Rokusek, Lane Warner, Luke Barger and Jacob Goodin placed eighth in their respective weight classes to qualify for the state tournament.
The 120-pound Warner will be making his second trip to the state tournament. Rokusek (113 pounds), Barger (170) and Goodin (285) will all be making their first trip to state.
De Soto placed 14th at the Turner regional.
SMNW's Habben claims regional championship
Shawnee Mission Northwest senior Jerad Habben wrestled his way to first place at the 6A regional at Lawrence High.
Habben, who is ranked No. 3 at 132 pounds, won his first two matches by fall before earning a 12-4 major decision against Olathe North's Gunner Murphy in the championship match.
Charles Brockmann and Gabe Arreguin will join Habben in representing the Cougars at the 6A state tournament, which will also be held on Friday and Saturday at Hartman Arena.
Brockmann (No. 2 in 6A) took third after going 3-1 at 120 pounds. The SM Northwest junior's only loss came by in an ultimate tiebreaker at third-ranked Dallas Koelzer of Olathe South. Arreguin finished sixth at 106 pounds.
The Cougars finished 11th in the team standings. Olathe North won the regional title.
Six SMN wrestlers state-bound
Shawnee Mission North only had seven wrestlers take the mat at the 6A regional at Lawrence High, but six of the them earned top-eight finishes to qualify for state.
Heavyweight Alex Williams led the Indians with a fourth-place finish after going 2-2.
Aidan Randall (fifth at 120 pounds), Alonso Salgado (sixth at 138 pounds) and Jeffrey Downey (seventh at 182 pounds) garnered three wins apiece.
Tanner Willmon, who is ranked sixth at 195 pounds, had the most difficult path to qualify for state. Willmon placed eighth with a record of 2-3. Two of Willmon's three losses came against third-ranked Jared Cruz of BV Northwest and Cody Marlette of Olathe Northwest, who the SM North senior defeated at the Sunflower League tournament to knock out of the state rankings. Justus Hulse added an eighth-place finish at 132 pounds to earn his first trip to state.
The Indians placed 13th as a team.