Hillsboro qualified four wrestlers for the Class 3-2-1A State Championships this weekend in Hays.
Darren Mueller, Justin King, Aaron Bina and Dylan Delk?all seniors?made it to the next level by finishing among the top four in their respective weight classes at the regional tournament Friday and Saturday in Beloit.
King led the way by winning the 145-pound class with a 4-0 record. The regional title was his first varsity tournament championship.
Aaron Bina placed third at 4-1, losing 4-2 in the championship semifinal match, then winning his final two matches in the consolation round.
Two Trojans placed fourth: Darren Mueller, who was 4-2 at 125, and Dylan Delk, who was 3-2 at 171 and had to win three matches in the consolation bracket to reach the third-place match.
?For the four guys that qualified for state, I believe this tournament was a good test,? coach Scott O?Hare said. ?They all stepped up to challenges and performed very well. It should serve as good preparation for this next weekend.
?Darren, Aaron and Dylan have all been in the program for a number of years through the kids club, middle school, and high school,? he added. ?They are now able to reap the benefits of so much blood, sweat and hard work put into this sport.
?Justin only started wrestling as a freshman in high school, but he is a great example of what hard work, determination, coachability and commitment can do.?
Competing unsuccessfully for a berth at state were Bret Mueller, who went 1-2 at 130, Tanner Jones, who went 3-2 at 152 and fell one match short of qualifying, and Matt Wiebe, who went 0-2 at 189.
As a team, Hillsboro finished eighth among 23 schools with 73 points. Phillipsburg claimed the team title with 152.
?I was very pleased with how the guys competed and performed this weekend,? O?Hare said. ?We lost a couple very tough, key matches on Friday evening that we knew would make the road very difficult for a few guys going into Saturday.
?But the guys responded very well and came back in the Saturday consolation and medal rounds and battled very tough.?
As a team the Trojans went 12-6 on Saturday. One loss occurred in overtime, one by a 6-4 score and one by a 3-1 score.
?Through those rounds we also won a number of very tough, hard-fought matches to stay alive in the tournament,? O?Hare said.
?This was a very deep and balanced regional,? he added. ?Throughout the tournament at every weight, numerous matches were coming down to the wire. It was a real grind, and I felt our wrestlers responded well and stepped up their level of intensity. This was one of the first times I felt like we did that.?
Coming?Darren Mueller, Justin King and Dylan Delk will be making their first state appearance on Friday while Aaron Bina will be competing for his third consecutive year.
In the opening round, Mueller (30-18) will face Calvin Ochs (33-4) of Hoxie, King (31-13) will meet Cody Schwant (29-7) of Onaga, Bina (35-9) will battle Nathan Hanna (21-5) of Hill City and Dylan Delk (28-11) will square off with Riley Denney (39-3) of Caney Valley.
?I?m looking forward to seeing what these guys can accomplish next weekend,? coach Scott O?Hare said.
The first round begins at 10 a.m. at Gross Memorial Colise?um, Fort Hays State University.