Wrestler-of-year Rathbone, 3 other Trojans head to state
Four Hillsboro wrestlers will advance to state championships Friday and Saturday in Hays after top-four finishes in their weight classes at a Class 3-2-1A regional last week in Hillsboro.
In team standings, Hillsboro finished seventh and Marion 18th in the 22-team regional.
Senior Tristan Rathbone was voted Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association regional wrestler of the year — the first time a Hillsboro wrestler has received such an honor, according to coach Scott O’Hare.
Rathbone will lead Hillsboro’s contingent after winning the regional championship in the 170-pound class with a major decision over top-seeded Tate Kadel of Beloit in the rubber game of their three matches this season.
Rathbone won his quarterfinal match with a fall and his semifinal match with a sudden victory.
Joining him will be a trio of fourth-place finishers: seniors Garrett Helmer and Eli Dalke and junior Lane Rogers.
With victories Saturday, both Helmer and Rathbone broke the school record for the most victories in a single season, O’Hare said.
The record of 37 wins had been held by Nicholas Mueller. By the end of the tournament, Helmer had earned his 38th, and Rathbone had improved his season total to 39.
“Helmer was in a very deep weight class with five wrestlers that are either in the current state rankings or have been at some point in the season,” O’Hare said, noting that he advanced in an early round with a 13-2 major decision over a previously state-ranked wrester.
O’Hare said Rathbone was in one of the toughest classes in the regional, having to defeat both the third and fourth ranked wrestlers in the state to win.
Here’s how all Hillsboro and Marion wrestlers finished by weight class:
CLASS 3-2-1A WRESTLING REGIONAL
Team standings — 7. Hillsboro. 18. Marion.
106 pounds — 7. Emery Dalke, Hillsboro freshman (4-26 for the season)
113 — 6. Kellen Waner, Marion freshman (8-20). 8. Aidan Simmons, Hillsboro freshman (4-17).
120 — 6. Anthony Fickes, Hillsboro sophomore (12-12).
132 — 7. Chance Shults, Marion junior (18-14).
145 — 15. Lyle Fickes, Hillsboro junior (9-18).
152 — 4. Garrett Helmer, Hillsboro senior (38-8).
160 — 4. Eli Dalke, Hillsboro senior (12-11).
170 — 1. Tristan Rathbone, Hillsboro senior (39-4).
182 — 4. Lane Rogers, Hillsboro junior (30-9). 15. Brian Nguyen, Marion freshman (7-22).
195 — 8. Filow Cruz, Hillsboro senior (3-6).
285 — 14. Jackson Bitonti, Marion freshman (2-27).