PARK CITY — The Newton High School wrestling team salvaged an emotionally devastating week with a pair of state titles, a runner up and one other medal Saturday at the Class 5A state championships at Hartman Arena.
Assistant coach J.J. Thaw, who died earlier in the week, was honored with a moment of silence before the championship finals.
Newton placed sixth in the 31-team field with 97.5 points. Goddard retained the team title with 250.5 points, followed by Valley Center at 125, Maize at 119, Mill Valley at 113.5 and Blue Valley Southwest at 107.5.
“We were in fifth place for most of the day, but coming into the finals, we were bumped back to eighth place,” Newton coach Tommy Edgmon said. “Two pins in the finals pushed us back up to sixth place. That’s one better than last year. We really showed improvent. With all that’s happened with the death of (Thaw), the kids were able to concentrate on the task at hand. He’s always in the corner right beside me, giving me advice and giving the kids encouragement. I didn’t have that in my ear.”
Newton’s Wyatt Hendrickson opened the championship finals with a pin over Brady Bockover of Bishop Carroll at 195 pounds. Hendrickson jumped to a 4-1 lead in the first period and scored the pin with two seconds left in the second period.
“I didn’t want to give him a chance to get any momentum,” Hendrickson said. “I pinned him in the second (in the regional finals), but this was a little more of an intense match. Brady also was preparing. You always wrestle a little bit better in this kind of atmosphere.”
Hendrickson improves to 34-1, finishing one spot higher than last year.
“It feels like an achievement,” Hendrickson said. “Last year, I came close. This year, I feel like I did what I wanted to do. I will wrestle this summer in Virginia and North Dakota this year to get my skill level as high as it can be. Some people will be gunning for me, which will be expected. I will probably stay at 195. If I wrestle in college, I will probably go to 197. I need to get my technique up. I know my conditioning is there. I just need to work on my technique. It was getting a little sloppy at times.”
Grant Treaster scored a quick takedown of Goddard’s Lucal Glover in the finals at 113 pounds. Treaster locked a cradle and scored the pin with 16 seconds left in the first period.
“I surprised myself with the cradle,” Treaster said. “But it was there and I took it.
“He is tough. I’m better on my feet. I felt like I finished better. I felt really good this week. My weight was under control. I tried to think of good things. I was fresh. I worked harder on top and to get takedowns.”
Treaster finishes the season 36-2 and two spots higher than last year.
“I want to try and win state next year,” Treaster said. “I want to work to get better.”
Treaster credits working with his brother Logan, a Midshipman wrestler at the U.S. Naval Academy and former state champion, with his improvement this season.
“I was working out with him from Christmas break to New Years and got better because of that,” Treaster said. “He helped out along the way. … I wrestle freestyle and Greco this summer. When Logan gets back, we’ll work together. I want to get that college experience from him. After Fargo (the Cadet and Junior Nationals) until the start of school, we’ll keep working out and keep that focus.”
At 220 pounds, Cyle Gautschi faced unbeaten and top-ranked Cordel Duhart of Blue Valley Southwest. After a scoreless first period, Gautschi scored a second-period escape. Duhart scored the escape in the third period. Gautschi was nearly taken down late in the match, but held on for overtime.
After a scoreless overtime, Gautschi was ridden out in the first tie-break period. Duhart scored the escape in the second tie-break for a 2-1 decision.
“It was real close,” Gautschi said. “I tried to get a shot in. I couldn’t get locked up with him. I got an early stalling call, so I had to be careful and stay on the mat. I didn’t want to give him another point. I wanted to keep the action in the middle.”
Gautschi finishes the season 28-4 with two losses to Duhart. He finished one spot ahead of last season.
“I’m still looking into some colleges,” Gautschi said. “I don’t know if I will wrestle or play football. I like to play football (he was a defensive lineman and nose guard for Newton). I’d eventually like to get into law enforcement.”
Dante Harper opened the day at 160 with a pin over Cameron Perry of St. Thomas Aquinas with one second left in the second period.
In the consolation quarterfinals, Harper pinned Dylan Ward of Lansing with eight seconds left in the first period to clinch a medal.
In the consolation semifinals against Chase Ramirez of Valley Center, Harper was ridden out in the second period, but given a penalty point for stalling. Ramirez scored a takedown in the third period. After a scoreless overtime, Harper rode Ramirez out in the first tie-break period. Ramirez gave Harper an intentional escape to start the second tie-breaker, but was credited with a takedown and two back points just before the buzzer for a 5-2 decision.
In the fifth-place match against Chase Gumeringer of Andover, Harper scored the first takedown and rode Gumringer out in the first period, but was called for locked hands, giving up a point. In the second period, Harper was ridden out and gave up three back points. In the third period, Harper gave up an escape and a takedown, dropping the match 7-2.
Harper ends the season 35-12.
“He had some close backside matches,” Edgmon said. “We had a lead with seven seconds left and got taken to his back. If he would have won that, he would have faced an Emporia kid who he has had some good matches with. He went from a non-placer last year to a medalist this year. That’s a big improvement.”
At 120 pounds, Sawyer Mock fell behind 6-0 to Seth Doud of Goddard Eisenhower before getting pinned in the third period. Mock ends the season 16-22.
At 132 pounds, Boone Roberson fell behind 3-1 to Nilton Sandoval of Emporia. Roberson scored an escape in the third period, but lost the match 3-2. Roberson ends the season 23-16.
At 138 pounds, Josh Edson trailed Seth Nitzel of Blue Valley Southwest 3-0 after two periods, dropping the match 5-1. Edson ends the season 22-16.
Gautschi is the sole senior among Newton’s state qualifiers. Newton loses a couple other seniors, but will expect to have a number of wrestlers back for next year.
“We’ll come back with a strong junior class and two seniors in Wyatt and Dante Harper,” Edgmon said. “Wyatt and Dante and Grant wrestle in the summer. We need to get more of our kids involved in that. They are our captains and will lead the others. Summer wrestlers make winter champions. If we can get four or five guys next year, we can really improve.”
Class 5A State
at Hartman Arena
Team scores — Goddard 250.5, Valley Center 125, Maize 119, Mill Valley 113.5, Blue Valley Southwest 107.5, Newton 97.5, Emporia 91, St. Thomas Aquinas 90.5, Kansas City Schlagle 80.5, Shawnee Heights 78.5, Kapaun-Mt. Carmel 72.5, Lansing 51.5, Great Bend 49, Bishop Carroll 46, Salina Central 45, Liberal 43, Wichita Heights 35, Kansas City Turner 32, Leavenworth 32, Salina South 25.5, St. James Academy 25, Goddard Eisenhower 23.5, Andover 23, Pittsburg 15, Maize South 11, Highland Park 8, Olathe West 6, Topeka Seaman 3, Topeka West 3, De Soto 0, Kansas City Wyandotte 0.
113 — 1. Grant Treaster (4-0): F. W Lucas Glover, Goddard 1:44.
120 — Sawyer Mock (1-2): C2. L Seth Doud, Goddard Eisenhower 3:58.
132 — Boone Roberson (1-2): C2. L Nilton Sandoval, Emporia 3-2.
138 — Josh Edson (1-2): C2. L Seth Nitzel, Blue Valley Southwest 5-1.
160 — 6. Dante Harper (3-3): C2. W Cameron Penny, St. Thomas Aquinas 2:59; CQF. W Dylan Ward, Lansing :52; CSF. L Chase Ramirez, Valley Center 5-2 TB2; 5th. L Chase Gumeringer, Andover 7-2.
195 — 1. Wyatt Hendrickson (4-0): F. W Brady Bockover, Bishop Carroll 3:58.
220 — 2. Cyle Gautschi (3-1): F. L Cordel Duhart, Blue Valley Southwest 2-1 TB2.