Newton High School wrestler Wyatt Hendrickson used a near perfect Greco-Roman style throw to start his 220-pound championship match against Manhattan’s Christian Schlepp to get off to an early lead and then put the match away with a cradle midway in the second period for a pinfall to win a title in the 55th Newton Invitational Tournament of Champions.
Hendrickson claimed the sole TOC title for the Railers. The win also pushed Newton into a tie for 10th place in the 30-school tournament.
“I think I wrestled pretty good all weekend,” said Hendrickson, a three-time TOC champ. “There are things I still need to work on, but I got the takedowns I needed. I love (Greco-Roman) and have a pretty good history with it. When I get in those tie-ups, I free pretty comfortable. I was able to take advantage of that. He’s big and strong. There are a lot of good wrestlers at 220. I just have to keep grinding them down.”
Hendrickson is a two-time junior national medalist in Greco-Roman, which doesn’t allow holds below the waist.
He entered this weekend ranked fourth in the nation at 195 pounds by Track Wrestling and first in the state at 220 pounds by the KWCA. Schlepp was ranked second in Class 6A. All four of Hendrickson’s wins were by fall and he was named the J.J. Thaw Memorial Outstanding Wrestler of the Tournament.
“I just need to keep working in the wrestling room,” Hendrickson said. “I’ve been pretty good, but I need to keep that edge.”
Hendrickson said his next challenge will be in two weeks at the Rocky Welton Invitational in Garden City, where second-ranked (5A) Cade Lautt of St. James Academy is expected to wrestle. Wrestlers from about five other states are expected to compete there.
“He’s a very good wrestler and I’m excited to have a chance to wrestle him,” Hendrickson said. “He wrestled at 170 last year and moved up to 220, so that will be interesting.”
“A top-10 finish, two in the finals and a champ, that’s a pretty solid weekend for us,” Newton coach Tommy Edgmon said.
Newton junior Grant Treaster was tied 1-1 late in the third period of the championship match at 120 pounds against Arkansas City’s Kael Pappan, but gave up a takedown late in the third period for a 3-1 loss. Treaster was ranked first in Class 5A, while Pappan was ranked third. It was just the second loss of the year for Treaster.
“He was right there and got a little heavy with the pressure,” Edgmon said. “Unfortunately, the guy capitalized on the mistake and scored on it. We know what we did wrong and can work on it for the next time.”
Newton claimed three other medals. Colin Bybee placed sixth at 106 pounds. Boone Roberson placed seventh at 138 pounds. Sawyer Mock placed eighth at 126 pounds.
At 106 pounds, Bybee won his first three matches Saturday before dropping a 6-4 decision to Jevin Forest of Arkansas City. In the fifth-place match, Bybee trailed Cutter Sheets of Stilwell, Okla., 6-0 through two periods, dropping an 8-0 major decision.
At 138 pounds, Roberson won two matches before falling to Cayden Hughbanks of Maize 4-3 in the consolation quarterfinals. In the seventh-place match, Roberson scored three third-period takedowns to break a 2-2 tie and down Jacob Mitchell of Manhattan 9-4.
At 126 pounds, Mock won his first match Saturday, but lost in the consolation quarterfinals to Levi Buckridge of Emporia 3-1. In the seventh-place match, Mock led 3-0 against Andover’s Gabe Maki midway through the third period, but gave up a late takedown and back points to fall 5-3.
“Treaster wrestled solid to take second,” Edgmon said. “Colin Bybee is a freshman and he took sixth. Mock at 126 wrestled well to place for us. Roberson wrestled well to place.”
At 145 pounds, Josh Edson lost in the fourth consolation round and finished the tournament 1-2. Dante Harper at 170 pounds lost in the fourth consolation round and finished the tournament 2-2.
At 113 pounds, Gaige Llamas lost in the third consolation round by fall and finished the tournament 2-2.
For Newton Team X (junior varsity wrestlers), Clayton Kaufman fell in the third consolation round by decision and finished the tournament 1-2.
Newton competes at 6 p.m. Thursday at Derby in an AV-CTL I dual meet.
“It will be a tough dual, but then we get to rest that weekend,” Edgmon said. “Then we go to Garden City. There will be good competition there from Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma. Kearney, Neb., will be there.”