OMAHA — The Class B state wrestling tournament's heartbreak round was early Saturday morning. But wrestling fans' hearts were broken Saturday night watching Hastings High's Landon Weidner and Adams Central's Braiden Kort fall just short of capturing gold medals.
Kort was up against Omaha Skutt's Zachary Ourada and got on top of the Skyhawks' 120-pounder in the second period with an escape. But Ourada took control of the match just 40 seconds later with a takedown to put him up 2-1.
Ourada took bottom position in the third period, and Kort could not find a way to gain any ground on top. He finally let Ourada up with an escape, but he couldn't get the takedown to tie the match.
"Throughout the match, I couldn't really get in on his legs, he was so squared up," Kort said. "He wrestled a good match. I thought I wrestled an alright match; I could have done better. But it is what it is, and I'll just be back stronger next year."
AC head coach Dan Lonowski knows Kort is disappointed with the loss, but the coach saw growth in the young sophomore.
"Being in the spot he is, he's actually helped the wrestlers slightly heavier and slightly lighter, and he's made those kids better and brought them to a new level," Lonowski said. "That's exciting when you have a kid like that in your workroom."
Weidner was also the first to score in his match, getting on top of Aurora's Trevor Kluck with a takedown. He then took a 3-0 lead at the start of the second when Kluck let him up with an escape before the period began.
The HHS sophomore led 4-2 before Kluck tied the match with just 10 seconds remaining in the second, and another takedown in the final minute gave Kluck a 6-4 lead. Weidner tried to work from the bottom but he was unable to shake off Kluck or reverse position.
"Landon has a lot of heart. His preparation was good, we just didn't get it done," said HHS head coach Nolan Laux. "Kluck's a great competitor; we knew that coming in. He's a really good wrestler and we had to wrestle our best match. We wrestled well in the first period, we just kind of let it get away from us. Landon will be back though; he's hard nosed and works his butt off. He'll be fine moving forward."
The Tiger standout placed third last season and showed dominance throughout the year. He believes Saturday's loss will motivate him to get that gold medal he so desires.
"I'll be on top of the podium next year, I promise you that," he said.
Consolation round 3
106 — Cameron Brumbaugh (Hastings) 33-8 won by major decision over Tyler Japp (Elkhorn North) 28-20 (MD 14-4)
126 — Ashton Munsell (Wayne) 27-14 won by decision over Elijah Johnson (Hastings) 26-19 (Dec 8-6)
132 — Reece Jaqua (Wayne) 32-6 won by decision over Devon Ackles (Adams Central) 31-16 (Dec 9-8)
138 — Cameron Schrad (Seward) 28-9 won by fall over Blake Kile (Hastings) 26-19 (Fall 4:38)
138 — Bryar Nadrchal (Platteview) 37-4 won by decision over Hunter Heath (Minden) 45-7 (Dec 3-1)
160 — Alex Banuelos (Minden) 46-6 won by decision over Philip Halstead (Alliance) 47-6 (Dec 5-3)
170 — Jackson Phelps (Hastings) 29-12 won by decision over Sawyer Haag (Chadron) 33-11 (Dec 7-4)
120 — Braiden Kort (Adams Central) 44-3 won in sudden victory - 1 over Quinton Chavez (Gering) 46-2 (SV-1 6-1)
145 — Landon Weidner (Hastings) 39-3 won by decision over Gage Stokey (Ogallala) 47-6 (Dec 9-4)
152 — Noah Talmadge (Ralston) 26-1 won by decision over Jett Samuelson (Hastings) 32-8 (Dec 6-5)
220 — Dylan Meyer (Norris) 50-1 won by decision over Blake Davis (Hastings) 32-8 (Dec 10-3)
106 — Cameron Brumbaugh (Hastings) 34-9 won by decision over Jesse Loges (Blair) 45-8 (Dec 6-4)
152 — Jett Samuelson (Hastings) 32-7 won by decision over Daniel Wellnitz (Chadron) 34-12 (Dec 6-4)
160 — Caleb Kriens (South Sioux City) 32-8 won in sudden victory - 1 over Alex Banuelos (Minden) 46-6 (SV-1 3-1)
170 — Jacob Awiszus (Gering) 41-5 won by major decision over Jackson Phelps (Hastings) 29-12 (MD 8-0)
220 — Joe Rodriquez (West Point-Beemer) 46-7 won by decision over Blake Davis (Hastings) 31-8 (Dec 9-7)
106 — Chance Houser (Sidney) 44-3 won by decision over Cameron Brumbaugh (Hastings) 34-9 (Dec 5-4)
152 — Ashton Schweitzer (Pierce) 38-10 won by medical forfeit over Jett Samuelson (Hastings) 32-8 (M. For.)
160 — Michael Kruntorad (Pierce) 39-9 won by decision over Alex Banuelos (Minden) 46-6 (Dec 9-8)
170 — Jackson Phelps (Hastings) 30-12 won by tech fall over Cameron Aughenbaugh (Plattsmouth) 24-14 (TF-1.5 4:59 (18-2))
220 — Blake Davis (Hastings) 32-8 won by fall over Martin Carrillo (Wayne) 28-10 (Fall 4:51)
120 — Zachary Ourada (Omaha Skutt) 35-1 won by decision over Braiden Kort (Adams Central) 44-4 (Dec 3-1)
145 — Trevor Kluck (Aurora) 44-1 won by decision over Landon Weidner (Hastings) 39-4 (Dec 6-4)