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Nebraska high school wrestling state tournament wrap-up (2/18/2024)

Millard South, Aquinas Catholic add to history; Waverly and Battle Creek win first team titles; Westside girls climb to the top

Another exciting season of Nebraska High School Wrestling reached its pinnacle over three days at CHI Health Center. Over five classes and 1,100 wrestlers descended upon downtown Omaha for three days of action on the mat Thursday, Friday and Saturday. 

When the lights finally went out and teams headed for home, Millard South in Class A and Aquinas Catholic in Class D added to the luster as powerhouse programs. Millard South won its sixth team title in a row and tied the Class A record for consecutive championships. Aquinas, after winning five titles in Class C from 1994 through 2022, added a second in a row in Class D. For the Patriots, it was their 12th title all time. The Monarchs will take their seventh trophy back to the case in David City.

Millard South wrestlers, coaches and team managers come together for a photo after winning the Class A team championship Saturday in downtown Omaha. It was the sixth title in a row and 12th overall for the Patriots. Photo by @nsaahome on X.

Millard South wrestlers, coaches and team managers come together for a photo after winning the Class A team championship Saturday in downtown Omaha. It was the sixth title in a row and 12th overall for the Patriots. Photo by @nsaahome on X.

Waverly in Class B and Battle Creek in Class D stood atop the podium as a group for the first time in school history. In the girls team race, Westside won its first championship, dethroning South Sioux City. The Cardinals won the first two team trophies in Nebraska history.

Overall, 18 wrestlers won a gold medal for the second or third time in their careers. It was the first time since 2013 there wasn’t a four-time champ. However, there also weren’t any three-time champs in the tournament. Bennington’s Maycee Peacher will have a chance next year to become the first girls four-time champ in state history. Another Bennington wrestler, Kyler Lauridsen, and Omaha North’s Tyson Terry will have a chance to do it on the boys’ side.

Class A: Millard South still reigns supreme

The Patriots continue a winning tradition though not quite as dominant as a year ago. Millard South had three champs this time around – Logan Glynn (150), Henry Reilly (165), Caeden Olin (215) – and 10 medalists for 199 team points. That was 45 points ahead of Creighton Prep and its one champ (Adonis Bonar at 190), three runners-up and nine total medalists.

Reilly was one of two Class A wrestlers to complete a perfect season. The Millard South senior topped off a 23-0 season by scoring a 9-3 decision. Junior Tyson Terry, mentioned earlier, won his third title with another perfect mark – this one 44-0. Presden Sanchez of Prep had a chance to make it three unbeaten in Class A but he dropped the 120 title match to Enrique Haynes of Millard West 5-3.

Other notable results included Abd Unle taking the 113-pound championship and giving Omaha Bryan its first champ in 24 years, Columbus senior Brenyn Delano (126) winning a title for his fourth state medal, Scottie Meier Jr. of Lincoln East knocking off former champ Jermaine Dortch of Omaha North and Olin winning his second straight title.

At 138 pounds, Columbus sophomore Mason Petersen denied Millard South senior Miles Anderson a third consecutive gold medal. Anderson won championships at 113 and 126 but couldn’t escape Petersen in the second period and squandered a takedown in the third because of locked hands. Anderson chose to let Petersen up from the bottom to start the final two-minute frame, took him down 13 seconds into the third but then was suddenly tied on the locked hands call with 1:08 remaining. Petersen escaped shortly after for a 3-2 advantage then sewed up the win on a takedown with 29 seconds remaining.

Class B: Six Waverly finalists earn Vikings first team title

Waverly split six Class B championship matches and had seven total medalists while rolling to a team championship for the first time in school history. Hunter Jacobsen at 120 pounds, Brayden Canoyer at 138 and Drew Moser at 175 paced a group that totaled 176 points and held off Skutt Catholic by 8.5 points. Skutt went 4-2 in the finals and also had one other medal. Bonus point wins and overall match wins throughout the lineup proved to be the difference for Waverly.

Moser was one of five repeat or three-peat champs in Class B. Bennington’s Kyler Lauridsen is one championship away from joining his brother as a four-time champ after taking the 150-pound title by 1-0 decision against Waverly’s Garrett Rine. Lauridsen pinned two of his first three state opponents and put together an 18-3 technical fall in the quarterfinals. He escaped Rine six seconds into the middle period then rode Rien out for a full two minutes and a championship win.

Bennington’s Cadyn Coyle was in his third straight title match and made it two in a row at by winning 8-1 at 113. Skutt’s Tyler Harrill won 9-2 at 144 for his second championship in a row, Moser finished off a perfect 46-0 record at 175 pounds with a pin just 31 seconds into the match and Cade Ziola of Skutt scored a 20-5 tech fall at 190 for back-to-back titles. South Sioux City’s Tony Palmer denied Elkhorn’s Mason Villwok two in a row by 1-0 decision and an escape 18 seconds into the third.

Class C: Battle Creek Brave enough to win it all

Battle Creek sent two wrestlers to the top of the podium, had three in a title match and six medalists overall for a 127-point team total and the only Class C total above 100 points. Broken Bow was the runner-up while putting together five total medals. Two Indian wrestlers made finals but came up short.

Ryan Stusse Jr. at 120 pounds wrestled for gold two years ago, came up short then took bronze as sophomore. He closed out his junior season on a 4-2 victory and his first gold medal. Brek Thompson earned Battle Creek its second champ by 13-4 major decision in the 175-pound weight class. Ayden Wintz won three in a row at 113 but came up short 8-2 to unbeaten (29-0) Zaiyahn Ornelas of Wilber-Clatonia. Wintz was the 133 champ a year ago.

Crofton/Bloomfield Robbie Fisher closed his Warcats career as a three-in-a-row champion on a 3-2 decision. Central City senior Tristan Burbach won his second in a row and finished unbeaten (46-0), coming from behind on Valentine’s Will Sprenger during a 6-4 overtime win. Sprenger led 3-0 and 4-2 but was forced to overtime because of a takedown with seven seconds to go in the third period. For Sprenger, it was a third straight loss in the title match.

O’Neill’s John Alden (138), Chadron’s Quinn Bailey (157), Crofton/Bloomfield’s Wyatt Tramp (165) and Chase County’s Jaret Peterson (215) each finished off a perfect season. Alden came back from a controversial loss in last year’s title match with a 42-0 mark and a 24-8 technical fall. Bailey improved to 47-0 by pin midway through the second period, Tramp closed out the year 49-0 in an 8-7 victory and Peterson took gold at 48-0 on an escape nine seconds into the ultimate tiebreaker. His win over Broken Bow’s Cal Wells denied Wells a repeat title.

Class D: Kavan’s win powers Aquinas to another trophy

Aquinas senior Jakob Kavan had spent his entire career as the bridesmaid – losing gold-medal matches at 113, 120 and 183 pounds. He returned to Omaha for the fourth time and avoided any drama while finally finishing his story as a champion. Two pins and a 15-0 tech fall led into a 6-2 championship win. His gold medal was one of three Monarch champs and four in the finals. Aquinas scored 118.5 points and was 34.5 better than Shelby-Rising City in second.

Kavan’s teammates that won gold included a repeat for Kelby Coufal at 157 and a first-time title for Calib Svoboda at 215. Heavyweight Josiah Brezina lost a 6-4 decision but scored three pinfall wins on his way to the championship match.

Shelton’s Sebastian Sauceda completed a perfect 31-0 mark with a pin early in the third period and became a back-to-back champ. Braxton Siebrandt of Wisner-Pilger became a repeat champion and won the 132-pound title in an 11-4 victory. Chase Gracey of Mullen denied Wyatt Urkoski of High Plains a perfect record when he handed the 53-0 wrestler his first loss 8-4 during the 175-pound championship.

Girls: Two champions, five medals enough for Westside girls

An unbeaten three-peat winner and a returning champion highlighted a team championship for the Westside girls at state wrestling.

Senior Regan Rosseter ended her varsity career with a perfect 48-0 record, pinned three opponents and won in the finals 9-4 to back up a 2022 title at 126 and last year’s 130-pound gold. Zoey Barber was a 2022 champ at 114 but settled for fifth last year when she jumped up to the 135-pound decision. She moved up again, but this time closed the year with three pins and a 10-5 decision for her second career championship. Her title-match win denied Conestoga’s Maggie Fiene a 45-0 season.

Gold medals for that duo plus two-thirds and a fourth by the rest of the state roster totaled 111 points and edged out Grand Island by a single point. A silver medal plus two bronze and three fourth-place finishes weren’t quite enough for the Islanders to overtake the Warriors.

Johnson County Central junior Jocelyn Prado ended a 49-0 season with a pinfall at 100 pounds and won her second title in a row during her third straight title match. She was one of four wrestlers who claimed another title. Along with Prado, Rosseter and Barber, Bennington’s Maycee Peacher is now a three-time champ thanks to an overtime pinfall.

Other returning champs weren’t so successful. Ann Marie Meiman of Omaha North (135) capped a 41-1 year by pinning back-to-back champ Alexis Pehrson of Skutt. Adam Central’s Kayden Sipp (140) beat last year’s 135-pound champ, Dylen Ritchy of Ralston, by overtime takedown and an 8-6 decision.

--Nathan Charles I @SBLiveNeb