After dropping a pair of duals Thursday night in Blair, Fremont High School rebounded Friday during the John McMullen Invitational.
While Norfolk won the team championship with 225.5 points, the Tigers placed second in the 10-team tournament with 181.
“I’m really proud of the team,” Fremont coach Ben Wilcox said. “We had some guys out of the lineup, but we were still able to get second in a tough tournament. I thought the guys wrestled very well and went after it. They battled and we came away with a plaque.”
The Tigers sent five athletes to the finals with two, Cody Carlson at 132 and Trevin Escamilla at 220, coming away with championships.
Carlson opened with a bye before pinning Kaleb VanDriel of Norfolk in 2:21. He then pinned Dylan Weeter of Millard West in 2:49 before pinning Hunter Blamble of Bellevue West in 2:58 of the championship match.
“Cody was on fire today,” Wilcox said. “His last match was his best of the past two days. He dominated all the way through. His technique was very crisp and his set-ups were outstanding. He just took it to his opponent in the finals.”
Escamilla opened with a bye before pinning Michael Terrano of Lincoln High in 3:02. In the semifinals, Escamilla pinned Hunter Mangelsen in :50. He then earned a 2-1 decision over Brett Swanson of Elkhorn in the finals.
“This was Trevin’s first high school championship and what better way to do than at our own invite,” Wilcox said. “He wrestled outstanding and is looking really good at 220.”
Escamilla was at 285 pounds at the start of last season, but has slimmed down to 219.
“He worked his tail off during the offseason lifting weights and exercising with his dad at a gym in downtown Fremont,” Wilcox said. “He is more lean and he is stronger and quicker. He is just a different wrestler. He transformed his body. His confidence is sky high right now, especially after winning his first title.”
Sebastian Villagomez placed second at 106. He opened with a bye before winning two matches by pins. He was pinned by Nate Hartman of Millard West in 5:48 of the championship match.
“He wrestled two really tough guys yesterday in our duals,” Wilcox said. “He came in today and we didn’t know what to expect from the other kids in his bracket. But he wrestled well and he made it to the finals against a tough wrestler.”
Hunter Robertson (145) opened with a bye before beating Blake Kidder of Elkhorn 8-4. He then earned a technical fall (15-0) over Jackson Okereke of Lincoln in the semifinals. He lost by pin (1:11) to Levi May of Millard West.
Fremont’s other runner-up finish was at 160. Riley Fox earned a bye before pinning Connor Brown of Bellevue West in 2:57. In the semifinals, Fox pinned Jack Nelson of Woodbine, Iowa, in 1:27. Brayden Splater of Norfolk edged Fox 4-2 in the finals.
Michael Gehring (113), Tommy Wentz (152) and Kaden Garges (182) were fourth in their respective divisions.
“Tommy was in one of the deepest classes of the tournament,” Wilcox said. “Kaden was in his first high school tournament and I loved how he battled all the way to the end.”
Carlos Ahumada (120) and Jesus DeLuna were fifth in their respective divisions. Isiah Nielsen (195) and Kade Richardson (285) finished sixth.
“I was proud of the way the kids battled after losing two duals Thursday night,” Wilcox said. “I told them after the tournament that this is just a taste of what we can accomplish as a team this year. We’re going to keep getting better. I look forward to our next competition. We’ll be even better when we get a couple of guys back in the lineup.”
The Tigers compete in a dual Tuesday at Ralston. On Saturday, they will wrestle in the Bellevue East Invitational.
TEAM SCORING — Norfolk 225.5, Fremont 181, Lincoln High 181, Millard West 161.5, Sioux City East 153, Bellevue West 132, Elkhorn 130, Woodbine 88, Omaha Gross 84, Omaha Roncalli 4.
EVENT WINNERS: 106—Hartman, Millard West pinned Villagomez, Fremont, 5:48. 113—Franks, Omaha Gross, pinned Wright, Woodbine, :21. 120—Heeney, Sioux City East, def. Plot Soe, Lincoln High, 12-4. 126—Russell, Millard West, pinned Dittmer, Norfolk, 1:36. 132—Carlson, Fremont, pinned Blamble, Bellevue West, 2:58. 138—Wilcox, Sioux City East, pinned Kraus, Millard West, :55. 145—May, Millard west, pinned Robertson, Fremont, 1:11. 152—Licking, Norfolk, def. Valencia, Millard West, 7-2. 160—Splater, Norfolk, def. Fox, Fremont, 4-2. 170—Alford, Lincoln High , pinned Byington, Elkhorn, 3:00. 182—Blain, Norfolk, def. Atkins, Lincoln High, 8-4. 195—Relford, Elkhorn, pinned Ames, Norfolk, :36. 220—Escamilla, Fremont, def. Swanson, Elkhorn, 4-1. 285—Cowling, Norfolk, pinned Krogh, Lincoln High, 2:28.