By Shari Friedel
Plainsmen wrestlers had an outstanding day at the District D-4 meet on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 8-9 at Sutherland High School, finishing fifth as a team, and qualifying all four seniors, Austin Thelander, Trey Johnson, Mark Hanson and Vinny Ross for the state meet in Omaha.
“These four seniors have put in a lot of time and effort to get to this point,” said Coach Dean Friedel. “We are hoping to get geared up during practice this week to be better prepared for Omaha.”
First place medals went home with Thelander, Hanson and Ross. Johnson earned a third place medal.
Johnson pinned his first opponent and despite an injury in his second match, came back and pinned his next two opponents, one in under 15 seconds.
Hanson and Ross pinned all of their opponents at districts.
Both Thelander and Ross finish the season with only one loss apiece.
With a team score of 91, the Plainsmen finished behind first place Bayard who scored 186; Hay Springs in second, 103.3; SMC 98.5 and Morrill 91.
Other teams and scores were Sutherland sixth, 86; Mullen seventh, 67.5; Garden County eighth, 48.5; Banner County ninth 44; Hyannis 10th, 36; Hemingford 11th, 32; Crawford 12th, 31.5; Hitchcock County 13th, 28; Minatare 14th, 17; Sioux County 15th, 17; Creek Valley 16th, 8; and Wauneta-Palisade 17th, 4.
Assisting Coach Friedel this year were Todd Ford, Mike Klein and Mike Stelling.
Austin Thelander (106 lb.) first place, 21 team points; bye; bye; won 16-2 (major decision) vs. C. Weber, Hemingford; won 8-4 vs. CJ Sidrow, Morrill. Season record: 35-1.
Brennan Toner (120 lb.) bye; pinned by C. Ray, Hay Springs 2:25; bye; pinned by T. Sutphen, Hyannis 2:08. Season record: 4-19.
Trey Johnson (126 lb.) third place, 18 team points; bye; pinned Z. Wright, Hitchcock County 2:49; pinned by C. Tyan, Sutherland 4:00; pinned G. Grubbs, Banner County :12; pinned M. Cinnoco, Minatare 1:53. Season record: 25-14.
Mark Hanson (138 lb.) first place, 26 team points; bye; pinned J. Johnson, Hay Springs 2:41; pinned G. Zwiebel, Morrill 2:04; pinned C. Weber, Hemingford 3:00. Season record: 24-17.
Vinny Ross (285 lb.) first place, 26 team points; bye; pinned J. Hart, Garden County :57; pinned C. Wurm, Bayard 5:07; pinned J. Cosler, SMC 1:34. Season record: 39-1.
The Centurylink Center in Omaha will be the final destination for this year’s Plainsmen, with first round action beginning Thursday, Feb. 14.
“The intensity and flow of the matches increases at districts and even more so at state competition, Friedel said. “Our two returning medalists, Vinny and Austin, understand this having previously been qualifiers and state medalists. Our two state meet rookies, Trey and Mark, will have to learn quickly.”
Fans can follow match results on: trackwrestling.com.