YORK - Gold medals and state-qualifying spots were the rewards for three Beatrice Orangemen wrestlers Saturday at the B-3 District tournament in York.
KC Block at 119 pounds, Justin Kelch at 135 pounds and Jesse Hinz at heavyweight led the Orangemen’s district effort by winning individual championships.
Block defeated Aurora’s Connor Strong, 2-0, in the 119-pound final.
“KC Block wrestled the best match of his career in the championship match,” Beatrice coach Todd Fentress said. “He won a hard-fought decision against an Aurora wrestler.”
Fentress said it was Block’s “most complete match ever.”
“He (Block) used outstanding technique and strategy,” Fentress said.
At 135 pounds, Kelch pinned Grand Island Northwest’s Brandon Pokorney in 2:29 in the championship final.
After “fighting through” some injuries, Fentress said the district tournament was the first time Kelch has been on the mat in several weeks.
“He (Kelch) wrestled extremely well, especially in the championship match,” Fentress said. “He made short work of the competition here, pinning all of his opponents.”
Kelch was the Class B State runner-up at 135 pounds last year.
Fentress said Kelch looks poised to make another run at getting into the state finals.
Hinz, the second-rated Class B heavyweight, took on Northwest’s Jacob Griess, the weight classes’ third ranked wrestler, in championship action and earned a 7-3 decision.
Fentress said Hinz controlled Griess on his feet.
“He (Hinz) struggled a little in one position on the mat, but he was able to get the decision,” Fentress said. “It was good for him to face someone like that who is so highly regarded.”
Hinz finished fourth in the heavyweight weight class last year.
Hinz goes into the state tournament with just one loss this season.
“I know Jesse is eager to get the state tournament and have a chance to wrestle the Omaha Skutt wrestler, his only loss of the year,” Fentress said.
Also qualifying for state for Beatrice were Drae Swarthout, second, 130 pounds; and Spencer Trout, third, 189.
“We’re taking five boys and they’re all kids we think will be able to compete well at the state tournament and score a lot of points,” Fentress said.
Four of the Beatrice wrestlers were at state last year - Block, Kelch, Trout and Hinz.
“They know what to expect,” Fentress said.
Fentress said Swarthout, the only state “rookie,” has had a “remarkable run” at the end of the season.
Trout, Fentress said, wrestles with a lot of “heart and determination.”
Like Beatrice, Fairbury qualified five wrestlers for the Class B State tournament.
The Jeffs were led by 103-pounder Trevor Schroeder, who finished as district runner-up.
Also qualifying for Fairbury were J.D. Moody, fourth, 119 pounds; Scott Moody, third, 125; Thomas Horky, third, 140; and Justin Cook, third, 145.
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“We qualified five and I’m real happy,” Fairbury coach P.J. Smith said. “I thought we wrestled tough yesterday and today. We have a young team and all our kids contributed.”
Smith said Schroeder had an “outstanding” tournament for the Jeffs.
The Jeffs had a lot of fourth and fifth-seeded wrestlers heading into the tournament, Smith said, and added he knew the semifinal round would be tough.
Schroeder was the only Fairbury wrestler to win his semifinal.
“We had to bounce back and we did,” Smith said. “It was gut-check time in the heartbreak round and we did a good job there.”
Aurora won the B-3 District championship with 141 1/2 points, while Hastings Adams Central was second with 139.
Beatrice finished third overall with 120 points and Fairbury, the leader after Friday’s first day, was fifth with 109.
Aurora 141.5-8. Adams Central 139-7. Beatrice 120-5. Crete 114-5. Fairbury 109-5. Northwest 92-6. Kenesaw/Shelton 87-5. Minden 71-4. Hastings 70-3. Milford 50-4. Seward 48-2. York 33-2.
103: 1. Tanner Oborny, Milford, def. Trevor Schroeder, Fairbury, 7-2; 3. AJ Farrand, Aurora, def. Todd Lothrop, Northwest, 10-2.
112: 1. Christian Barry, Adams Central, def. Bryce Rolenc, Seward, 6-2; 3. Cody Rhodes, York, def. Trevor Kemmet, Northwest, 9-0.
119: 1. KC Block, Beatrice, def. Connor Strong, Aurora, 2-0; 3. Charles Knight, Northwest, pinned Joshua Moody, Fairbury, 1:38.
125: 1. Dillon Denny, Aurora, def. Corey Kalkwarf, Crete, 2-0; 3. Scott Moody II, Fairbury, pinned Jordan Rodriguez, Kenesaw/Shelton, 2:02.
130: 1. Adam Joseph, Adams Central, pinned Drae Swarthout, Beatrice, 3:12; 3. Zakary Moore, Hastings, def. Logan Kent, Aurora, 10-8.
135: 1. Justin Kelch, Beatrice, pinned Brandon Pokorney, Northwest, 2:29; 3. Ryan Alexander, Adams Central, def. Mark White, Crete, 11-0.
140: 1. Taylor Phipps, Crete, pinned Matthew Barker, Hastings, 5:18; 3. Thomas Horky, Fairbury, pinned Cody Gilliland, Adams Central, 1:27.
145: 1. Cody Wendelin, Crete, def. Andrew McDonald, Aurora, 2-0; 3. Justin Cook, Fairbury, pinned Thien Truong, Hastings, 4:01.
152: 1. Jake Johnson, Adams Central, def. Jack Raffety, Minden, 9-4; 3. Austin Fehlhafer, Seward, def. Kyle Burkhardt, Milford, 10-0.
160: 1. Bryce Lewis, Minden, def. Ben Vincent, Aurora, 8-1; 3. Isaac Olson, Adams Central, def. Traven Claflin, Kenesaw/Shelton, 8-1.
171: 1. Tanner Hawks, Kenesaw/Shelton, def. Brady Miller, York, 1-0; 3. Justin Roehrich, Northwest, def. Ken Burkhardt Jr, Milford, 11-5.
189: 1. Daniel Sanford, Minden, def. Kevin Ousey, Aurora, 3-1; 3. Spencer Trout, Beatrice, def. Collin Donahoo, Kenesaw/Shelton, 1-0.
215: 1. Brock Sherman, Crete, pinned Jacob Meyer, Adams Central, 4:38; 3. Joshua Powell, Kenesaw/Shelton, def. Brandon Lewis, Minden, 10-4.
HWT: 1. Jesse Hinz, Beatrice, def. Jacob Griess, Northwest, 7-3; 3. Garret Johns, Aurora, pinned Logan Geiler, Milford, 1:56.