Many of our KD Country 94 & Z 96.3 “The Lake” area wrestlers are hoping for a trip to the 3-2-1A State Tournament at Gross Memorial Coliseum in Hays on February 28 & 29. The road to that dream officially begins on Friday at 3-2-1A Regional Tournaments in Russell and Norton.
Beloit, Rock Hills, Lincoln and Sylvan-Lucas wrestlers will compete at Russell and the Osborne and Smith Center teams will head west to Norton.
The Russell Regional features five ranked teams and 22 individually ranked wrestlers.
The Beloit Trojans are currently ranked #3 by the Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association (KWCA) as a team and have five individuals that are ranked going into the postseason as well. The top ranked wrestler for Beloit this season has been Creighton Johnson. Johnson finished 3rd at State last season and is 32-2 this year at 285#, ranked #2 in the state. His two losses have come to a fellow local in Tra Barrientes of Sylvan-Lucas who is 31-1 and ranked #1 in the state at 285#. Barrientes’ lone loss was also to Johnson. The 285# weight class at Russell actually features the top four wrestlers in the state as Tyler Walford of Ellsworth is #3 and Eyann Zimmerman of Republic County is #4. Also from Beloit, Braden Burks is 26-7 and ranked #3 in 3-2-1A at 195#, looking for his second straight trip to State as a sophomore. Hunter Prochaska is 23-7 and #4 in 3-2-1A at 152# and is also looking for a second trip in a row to State. At 182#, Brennan Walker enters Regionals at 31-4 and #4 in 3-2-1A. Tate Kadel, who qualified for State last year as a freshman, is ranked #6 at 145# and is 29-7 on the season. In all, Beloit has 11 wrestlers competing at the 3-2-1A Regional.
Beloit coach Andy Niemczyk is optimistic about his team’s chances at the Russell Regional.
Rock Hills has three wrestlers competing this weekend in Russell. Their top wrestler on the season is Connor Cosand, who is 9-10 at 113#. The Grizzly wrestlers compete with Beloit during the season, but have to wrestle for their own school in the postseason.
Also from the area, Lincoln has two wrestlers competing. Kenton Myers (220#) is 16-15 and Jerry Marinhagen (285#) is 13-15.
In Norton, there are four teams that are ranked by the KWCA, including the top two teams, Hoxie and Norton. There are 30 individual wrestlers that are ranked in the Norton Regional.
Smith Center has two ranked wrestlers currently. Colton Shoemaker is looking to qualify for State for the fourth year in a row. He finished 3rd last season at 113# and is ranked #3 at 120# this season with a 30-9 record. Freshman Bentley Montgomery is ranked #5 in 3-2-1A at 113# and enters the Regional meet with a 21-14 record. Brell Spiess also looks for his third straight state appearance at 182#. He is 31-10 on the season. Also at 160#, Jacob Conrad is looking to qualify for State for the third straight year and is 29-11 heading into the weekend.
Smith Center coach Brock Hutchinson knows the Norton Regional is stacked with talent.
For the Osborne Bulldogs, they have four wrestlers competing. Their top wrestlers this season have been Cameron Delaney (160#) who is 19-13 and Chris Heise (170#) who enters the tournament at 18-13.
Bulldog coach Nate Brown expects a tough tournament as well.
3-2-1A Regional Wrestling gets started this afternoon with first round matches at 2:00. Championship quarterfinals will follow, then the consolation first round followed by the championship semifinals. Action picks back up Saturday morning at 10:00 with the order being: consolation cross-bracketing, consolation quarterfinals, consolation semifinals, consolation finals and championship finals. The top four wrestlers in each weight class will qualify for State.
Listen to KD Country 94 for reports throughout the afternoon and evening on Friday and all day Saturday until the finish of the tournament.
A full rundown of the area wrestlers competing can be found at this link: Area Regional Wrestling Notes
Live results can be found by clicking out the Regional links at this page: KSHSAA Regional Wrestling