Wildcats surge on the backside, finish runners-up at Topeka


Topeka Invitational

January 17, 2015

With three open weights, the LHS wrestlers knew that it would be difficult to have a strong team showing, especially against teams like Topeka High and Highland Park who had full line-ups. However, thanks to a strong surge on the back side of the bracket, the Wildcats made a run for the team title, falling just shy of achieving the championship. Topeka High won its home tourney with 175.5 points, LHS was in 2nd with 166.5 points, and Highland Park was in 3rd with 125.5 points. With the exception of one wrestler, all Wildcats earned a place in the top-4 in his weight class.

The Wildcats pose after taking 2nd at the Topeka Invitational. Eleven out of twelve Wildcats placed in the top 4.

The Wildcats pose after taking 2nd at the Topeka Invitational. Eleven out of twelve Wildcats placed in the top 4.

Three Wildcats brought home the gold: senior Zach Knox at 132, freshman Ryan Adams at 138, and senior Brenton Wrigley at 195. Knox opened the tournament with a first-period pin, then edged out the #3 seed by a decision in the semifinals. In the finals, Knox trailed by a point, scored a scramble takedown and put his opponent on his back to earn the pin and his first varsity championship of the season. Adams made quick work of all three of his opponents, going 3-0 with three pins to earn his first high school championship. Wrigley won his second championship of the season by pinning all three of his opponents, too.

Four Wildcats brought home 3rd place finishes: sophomore Nathan Keegan at 113, freshman Tucker Batten at 126, sophomore Connor Green at 145, and sophomore Mason Koechner at 220. Keegan’s only loss was to the #2 ranked wrestler in the state from Schlagle. Batten rebounded from a first-round loss to the eventual champion by pinning two opponents and tech-falling his third. Green fought through a hard-earned overtime victory to win his first varsity medal. Koechner lost a close semifinals match but had no trouble bouncing back to take third. Koechner had three pins on the weekend.

On the backside of the brackets, the Wildcats really showed a lot of heart. Freshman Kyle Allen (120 lbs.), sophomore Ben Hupp (160 lbs.), and sophomore Lyndon Smith (182 lbs.) each went 2-2, with all their wins by pin, to finished 4th in their respective weight classes. Junior Jordan Crowder was 1-2 with 1 pin to finish 4th at 170 lbs. Allen is filling in at 120 while Keegan drops down to fill in at 113, and Smith is filling in for Jimmy Dolan at 182 after Dolan was seriously injured in a car accident earlier this week. Freshman Thad Hendrix began the tournament at 106 lbs., but a rib injury suffered earlier in the week caused him to injury default from the tournament.

With our performance at Topeka High, the Wildcats have shown that they can rebound from a team tragedy and battle through against the odds. Next weekend, we travel to Parsons for the 4th Annual Parsons Duals, where we finished 2nd as a team in 2014.

Individual Results:
106 lbs. – Thad Hendrix (fr.) 0-1, injury default
113 lbs. – Nathan Keegan (so.) 3-1, 3rd place
120 lbs. – Kyle Allen (fr.) 2-2, 2 pins, 4th place
126 lbs. – Tucker Batten (fr.) 3-1, 2 pins, 1 tech fall, 3rd place
132 lbs. – Zach Knox (sr.) 3-0, 2 pins, CHAMPION
138 lbs. – Ryan Adams (fr.) 3-0, 3 pins, CHAMPION
145 lbs. – Connor Green (so.) 3-1, 1 pin, 3rd place
152 lbs. – open
160 lbs. – Ben Hupp (so.) 2-2, 2 pins, 4th place
170 lbs. – Jordan Crowder (jr.) 1-2, 1 pin, 4th place
182 lbs. – Lyndon Smith (so.) 2-2, 2 pins, 4th place
195 lbs. – Brenton Wrigley (sr.) 3-0, 3 pins, CHAMPION
220 lbs. – Mason Koechner (so.) 3-1, 3 pins, 3rd place
285 lbs. – open

Team Placing:
2nd place out of 11 teams (166.5 points)

Next CompetitionParsons Viking Duals (January 23, 2015)


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