AURORA – Conestoga wrestlers secured respect from athletes at many larger schools this weekend with their efforts at the district tournament.
The Cougars claimed seventh place in the District B-3 Meet with 90 points. The team traveled to Aurora to face many ranked wrestlers in the tournament. Hastings and Wahoo both finished in the top ten at last year’s state meet and Waverly and Raymond Central both had six state qualifiers.
Four Conestoga athletes earned state tournament berths at districts. Wrestlers had to finish in the top four spots of their weight brackets to qualify for state.
Cesar Sandoval guided the team with a second-place medal at 120 pounds. He pinned his first two opponents to ensure his state ticket. Returning state medalist William Lomax of Boys Town edged Sandoval 3-2 in the title match. Lomax improved to 32-1. Sandoval ended the tournament with a 40-6 mark.
Dawson Hardesty (106 pounds), Owen Snipes (182) and Hunter Thonen (220) all collected fourth-place finishes. Hardesty will enter the state tournament 22-12 and Snipes will have a 30-17 mark. Thonen improved his season resume to 33-12.
The Class B State Meet will take place at CHI Health Center in Omaha Feb. 14-16. The first round will begin at 4 p.m. Feb. 14 with quarterfinals to follow. The first two consolation rounds will begin at 12:30 p.m. Feb. 15. Consolation third-round matches and championship semifinals will start at 5 p.m. that day.
Consolation semifinals and third-place and fifth-place matches will take place Saturday beginning at 8:30 a.m. Championship finals are scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Hastings 214.5, Wahoo 193, Waverly 117, Aurora 109.5, Raymond Central 105.5, Fairbury 105, Conestoga 90, Crete 80, Auburn 67, Boys Town 54, Falls City 32, DC West/Omaha Concordia 24
106 – Dawson Hardesty (4th, state qualifier)
Pinned Markus Miller (HST) 2:42, pinned by Caden Svoboda (AUR) 3:31, pinned Jayson Patchin (OCN) 4:02, pinned by Malachi Bordovsky (WAH) 3:27
113 – Braden Ruffner
Pinned by Sebastian Lausterer (WAH) 5:36, pinned Kayden Jensen (OCN) 2:04, dec. by Jalen Maher (AUB) 5-0
120 – Cesar Sandoval (2nd, state qualifier)
Pinned Dylan McDonald (OCN) 0:17, pinned Shawn Buchanan (CRT) 2:55, dec. by William Lomax (BTO) 3-2
126 – Keaghon Chini
Pinned Thomas Buchanan (CRT) 4:38, dec. by Nick Springer (RCN) 8-2, dec. by Carson York (FRB) 4-2
132 – Cameron Williams
Pinned Tanner Swain (CRT) 2:49, pinned Jordan Thorson (WAH) 4:00, pinned by Trevor Kluck (AUR) 3:12, dec. by Max Revers (OCN) 3-0
138 – Jacob Dragon
Pinned Lane Burns (FCY) 0:44, dec. Drew Keller (AUB) 9-4, maj. dec. by Mason Brumbaugh (HST) 12-0, dec. by John Karpov (RCN) 5-2
145 – Jaemes Plowman
Pinned by Seth Wonch (AUR) 3:41, pinned Zachary Binder (CRT) 4:13, pinned Michael Wickham (FCY) 1:18, pinned by Peyten Walling (WAH) 3:57
152 – Justin Pick
Pinned by Zane Bennett (WAH) 0:59, pinned by Brad Hall (AUB) 2:41
160 – Dillon Leffler
Pinned by Dylan White (CRT) 1:19, dec. Tiger Evans (RCN) 8-2, pinned by Kyle Black (FCY) 2:52
182 – Owen Snipes (4th, state qualifier)
Dec. Brekyn Papineau (AUR) 10-8, pinned by Seth Firmanik (FRB) 2:57, maj. dec. Wyatt Fanning (WAV) 14-1, dec. by Kolton Johnson (CRT) 3-1
220 – Hunter Thonen (4th, state qualifier)
Pinned Joseph Risko (OCN) 0:54, pinned Meyer Sikes (AUR) 0:53, dec. by Blake Davis (HST) 6-4, pinned Skylar Sterns (RCN) 0:42, pinned by Jared Nielsen (WAV) 1:51