By Alan Carman
The Imperial Republican
After two days of tough wrestling, the Chase County wrestlers qualified two members for the state tournament in Omaha.
Keithan Cochran and Jeremiah Lueth both advanced to the finals of the district tournament last week in Valentine, which assured both a spot at the state tournament.
Cochran came up against the number one seed in the tournament in the semi-finals in Kirby Pomplun of Sargent/Burwell. Cochran dominated the match, winning an 8-3 decision to advance to the finals to face Mitchell’s Keagon Blanco (30-4).
Blanco got a quick start on Cochran and the match ended in 38 seconds with Cochran getting pinned and taking home the district runner-up medal.
Jeremiah Lueth was the second seed in the tourney and showed that it was deservidly so. Lueth pinned his way to the finals where he would face number one seed Marcus Nelson of Valentine. This would be a rematch of an earlier meeting in Ogallala, where Nelson pinned Lueth.
In a much better match, Lueth took the early lead over Nelson but was unable to hold on to it, losing a very close 4-7 decision to claim second place.
Nathan Hinojosa started off slow but came back through the consolation bracket with a fury. After losing his first match 1-4, Hinojosa came back with a pair of quick pins to advance to the heartbreak round.
Facing Tanner Rien of Mitchell, Hinojosa wasted no time locking up and throwing Rien straight to his back. Unfortunately in the process something popped in Hinojosa’s knee and even though he was leading the match 5-0,was unable to finish.
Other wrestlers competing for Chase County were Trevor Fuehrer, Garret Thompson and Clay Redden. Each of these wrestlers ended the tournament by going two matches and out.
Team scoring and number of wrestlers qualifing:
Sargent/Burwell 190-9, Valentine 173.5-8, Mitchell 127-5, Ainsworth 123.5-6, Gordon-Rushville 98-4, Kearney Catholic 91-5, Loomis/Bertrand 89-3, Bridgeport 75-3, Ord 67-4, West Holt 67-2, Southern Valley 55-2, Hitchcock Co./Wauneta-Palisade 49-2, Hershey 45-1, Chase County 43-2.
119 Keithan Cochran had a bye, major decisioned Ramirez (HWP) 11-1, decisioned Pomplun (SAB) 8-3, pinned by Blanco (MIT) 0.38 for second place.
130 Clay Redden pinned by Arnold (VAL) 1:12, had a bye, pinned by Bergquist (SVA) 1:35.
135 Garret Thompson pinned by Cassidy (SAB) 2:59, had a bye, major decisioned by Akins (WHO) 0-12.
140 Jeremiah Lueth had a bye, pinned Swanson (MIT) 5:30, pinned Pollock (AIN) 3:15, decisioned by Nelson (VAL) 4-7 for second place.
171 Trevor Fuehrer decisioned by Klassmeyer (HER) 6-1, had a bye, pinned by Dahlgren (LOB).
285 Nathan Hinojosa had a bye, decisioned by Bachelor (VAL) 1-4, pinned Estrada (LOB) 0:30, pinned Aratani (MOR) 1:27, pinned by Rien (MIT) 0:52.
The state tournament starts today (Thursday) at the Qwest Center in Omaha. Class B and C begins at 4:30 p.m. CT. Admission prices for Thursday and Friday rounds are $7 per ticket. Friday’s round begins at 12:30 p.m. CT.
Friday night semi finals begin at 5 p.m. CT, with Saturday morning consolation semi-finals and finals beginning at 9:30 p.m. CT.
Saturday afternoon finals begin at 2:30 p.m. CT and will be aired on NTV.