OMAHA — It’s a familiar scene for two Hastings High wrestlers after day one of competition at the state tournament. HHS’ Brandon Kile and Nolan Laux both won their first two matches to clinch spots in the semifinals.
“I thought Brandon had a real gutsy performance. I don’t think he wrestled as well as he had hoped, but he was down 3-0 and battled all the way back. That’s huge in that type of match,” said Hastings High coach Brian Laux. “I thought Nolan wrestled one of his better matches of the year. I think his experience showed in that match.”
To say Kile had to work hard to earn his win in the quarterfinals is putting it lightly. The 113-pounder was down 5-2 in the third period. But with 37 seconds left in the match, Kile recorded a takedown to make it 5-4. He let his opponent — Grand Island’s Skylar Schmidt — up with an escape, giving up one point. Just 10 seconds later, Kile added another takedown to tie the match at 6-6.
The match was still tied after the sudden death overtime and the tiebreaker rounds. Kile finally earned a one-point victory to clinch his second consecutive medal.
“I think I could have wrestled better, but I’m glad I pulled it out and I get to advance to (Friday) night,” Kile said.
Nolan ran into an opponent that placed sixth last year in Millard South’s Ryan Kostszwea, but the junior handled him easily, winning 8-0.
“I knew going into the match, it was going to be pretty tough,” Nolan said. “I saw Kostszwea was having a pretty successful year. I watched his first match and saw he was pretty good on top and just learned from that. I wrestled to places where I felt comfortable instead of to his match.”
Nolan placed third his freshman year and won the championship at 106 last season. Now, he’s ensured he will be back on the medal stand somewhere. The junior said there were some that didn’t think he could make it this far after bumping up two weight classes.
“Going up two weight classes, people didn’t think I would be strong enough to make up for the difference, but I’ve put in enough work this summer that I’m glad it paid off,” Nolan said.
HHS’ Errich Holston (132) was pinned by three-time medalist Dante Rodriguez of Kearney in the quarterfinals, while Nate Morrow (138) lost in an 8-2 decision in his quarterfinals match.
The Hastings High coach said if there were any surprises in the first day, it was 152-pounder Huy Truong losing in the first round, but Laux said he will have the opportunity to make up for it on Friday.
“I don’t want to say (Huy) was flat and I don’t know if nerves got to him, but he didn’t seem like himself,” Laux said. “He has a big day (Friday). I think he’ll respond as will a number of these other guys. I’m excited to get (Friday) started. Because it could be a good day.”
Friday’s consolation rounds start at 12:30 p.m., while the semifinals are at 5 p.m.
Harvard led all Class D Tribland schools by sending two wrestlers to the semifinals. Dallas Doupnik Jr. (220) and 195-pounder Colton Ives both earned pins in their quarterfinals match to ensure they will be on the podium.
“It’s pretty awesome to know that I’m not the only one on my team to place this year,” Doupnik Jr. said. “It’s been a while since Harvard has had two placers.”
After wrestling his freshman year, Ives spent the next two seasons playing basketball. But he’s back on the mat and right where he wants to be after day one of the state tournament.
“It’s awesome, especially after taking two years off of wrestling — to come back and know that I’ll medal is awesome. I really don’t know how to describe it,” Ives said.
Sutton’s Tyler Bailey (126) is also back on the medal stand after an emergency medical procedure kept him out of last year’s state tournament.
“After missing last year, it’s good to be back,” Bailey said. “I just have to wrestle tough. I have (Amherst’s Clayton) Dana in the semis, and he’s going to be a tough match.”
Bailey placed second in 2012 at 106. Having experience what it was like to have the state tournament taken away from him, he was extremely motivated to get back this year.
“I was extremely motivated (this season). I’ve been working hard in the offseason,” Bailey said. “I’ve just worked hard to get here.”
Thayer Central 152-pounder Cody Krula was Tribland’s final Class D wrestler to advance to the semis. Krula placed fourth in 2012, but is hoping to improve on that finish.
“I want to be a state champ,” Krula said. “I don’t expect anything less.”
One of the premier quarterfinals matchup was a rematch of last year’s 120-pound championship. Franklin’s Mack James (126), who finished second last year, wrestled Pender’s Mark Dunn, a two-time state champ — Dunn was also the wrestler that beat Bailey in 2012. James and Dunn were tied 2-2 in the third period until Dunn earned an escape with 12 seconds left to win the match.
Sutton’s Ignacio Rivera (106), Franklin’s Brody Lewis (132) and Thayer Central’s Tyler Hergott (145) also lost their quarterfinals matches.
The consolation rounds begin at 12:30 p.m. with the semifinals set for 5 p.m.
106 — Austin Miller, Lincoln Pius X, pinned Colton Hatch, Hastings High; 3:22
113 — Brandon Kile, Hastings High, pinned Dax Galloway, Omaha Central; 4:14
120 — Nolan Laux, Hastings High, pinned Caden Frazier, Lincoln Northeast; 0:46
126 — Joey Perez, Papillion LaVista, dec. Nicholas Sadd, Hastings High; 5-0
132 — Errich Holston, Hastings High, dec. Austin Martz, Lincoln East; 6-1
138 — Nate Morrow, Hastings High, dec. Gach Yiech, Omaha South; 10-7
145 — Thomas Dalton, Lincoln Pius X, pinned Kaleb Neugin, Hastings High; 4:59
152 — Tyler Calder, Millard South, dec. Huy Truong, Hastings High; 7-6
160 — Jobie Loving, North Platte, pinned Brady Michel, Hastings High; 3:08
170 — Conner Myers, Lincoln Southwest, pinned Dennis Maar, Hastings High; 3:28
182 — Mike Lambert, Fremont, pinned Dominic Rasmussen, Hastings High; 5:19
195 — Zack Sorich, Millard West, dec. Travis Hartwig, Hastings High; 11-2
113 — Brandon Kile, Hastings High, UTB Skylar Schmidt, Grand Island; 7-6
120 — Nolan Laux, Hastings High, maj. dec. Ryan Kostszewa, Millard South; 8-0
132 — Dante Rodriguez, Kearney, pinned Errich Holston, Hastings High; 2:52
138 — Colton Thompson, North Platte, dec. Nate Morrow, Hastings High; 8-2
106 — Ignacio Rivera, Sutton, pinned Justus Peterson, Morrill; 4:34
Cooper Weber, Hemingford, pinned Marshal Holtzclaw, Thayer Central; 2:43
Jacob Calvert, Dundy County-Stratton, pinned Drew Goosic, Franklin; 0:25
113 — Jeffrey West, Elm Creek, pinned Keaton Meyer, Superior; 3:16
Kalen Klingelhoefer, Amherst, pinned Shea Shannon, Franklin; 0:48
126 — Tyler Bailey, Sutton, pinned Silas Monette, Mullen; 0:22
Mack James, Franklin, dec. Aaron Allison, North Platte St. Patrick’s; 4-0
Ty Sutphen, Hyannis, dec. Jadyn Dightman, Thayer Central; 7-4
132 — Brody Lewis, Franklin, dec. Jubilee Sanchez, Arcadia-Loup City; 7-2
Kyle Wilkinson, Neligh-Oakdale, pinned Alex DeLarm, Sutton; 3:51
Drew Loberg, Randall, pinned Justin Criner, Thayer Central; 1:41
138 — Logan Dibbern, Amherst, pinned Jamie Lange, Thayer Central; 4:30
145 — Tyler Hergott, Thayer Central, pinned Nick Wright, North Platte St. Patrick’s; 1:57
152 — Cody Krula, Thayer Central, dec. Dallas Johnson, Axtell; 8-1
Devin Dibbern, Amherst, dec. Dillion Schnuerle, Franklin; 5-1
160 — Garrett Cox, Mullen, dec. Dan Allgood, Superior; 7-2
Tristan Weitzenkamp, Scribner-Snyder, dec. Tommy Campbell, Wilcox-Hildreth; 8-7
170 — Chris Peterson, Elkhorn Valley, dec. John Bitterman, Sutton; 6-2
182 — Tyson Bolling, Plainview, pinned Tristan Lucas, Harvard; 1:52
195 — Colton Ives, Harvard, maj. dec. Chantz Klein, Sumner-Eddyville-Merner; 22-12
220 — Dallas Doupnik Jr., Harvard, pinned Taylor Alcorn, Crawford; 5:30
285 — Zachary Zeleski, Overton, pinned Kane Majors, Sutton; 0:33
106 — Sean Mann, Winser, pinned Ignacio Rivera, Sutton; 2:29
126 — Tyler Bailey, Sutton, tech fall Sean Mendlik, Archbishop Bergan; 16-0
Mark Dunn, Pender, dec. Mack James, Franklin; 3-2
132 — Thomas Foster, Medicine Valley, dec. Brody Lewis, Franklin; 5-4
145 — Benny Oliver, Pender, tech fall Tyler Hergott, Thayer Central; 15-0
152 — Cody Krula, Thayer Central, maj. dec. Bailey Fletcher, Scribner-Snyder; 12-4
195 — Colton Ives, Harvard, pinned Clay Seifer, Stapleton-McPherson County; 0:33
220 — Dallas Doupnik Jr., Harvard, pinned Jacob Martenson, Amherst; 1:06