The Hillsboro wrestling team, with seven top-four finishes, placed third among 17 teams at the Hesston Invitational Saturday.
Hillsboro accumulated 106 points to finish behind Smoky Valley at 181.5 and Marion at 132.5.
Matt Yoder and Dylan Delk led the Trojans with second-place medals at 135 pounds and 171 pounds, respectively.
Bret Mueller (119) and Jared King (152) placed third and Lucas Sinclair (125), Justin King (145) and Aaron Bina (160) placed fourth.
?I can?t say that I am satisfied with finishing third place in the team race; however, I am pleased with the performance overall in such an early-season tournament,? coach Scott O?Hare said.
?One aspect that was particularly promising was the improvements shown since our first competition a week ago,? he added. ?Also, a number of these guys were competing in their first-ever varsity tournament. I felt they handled the increase in the level of competition very well.?
Yoder, a senior, picked up where he left off a year ago. In only his second season of wrestling, he advanced to the championship finals for the fourth consecutive time, before losing a hard-fought, 5-2 match against Zach Cook of Smoky Valley. Cook was a 2008 4A state medalist.
?Matt?s technique is so much farther advanced already at this point in the season,? O?Hare said. ?As it continues to improve, he should continue to have a very successful senior season.?
Delk?s march to the championship match was his first, as was the varsity medal the junior earned.
?Dylan has contributed as a varsity wrestler in each of the past two seasons, but we are hoping and expecting this to be a big confidence boost for him toward a breakout season.?
O?Hare said the most pleasant surprises of the weekend came from junior Justin King and freshman Lucas Sinclair, both of whom were competing in their first varsity tournament.
?They contributed valuable team points by combining for five victories, four of them by fall, and each earning placement points for the team,? O?Hare said. ?These two guys work so hard and continue to improve every day. I am very happy with their progress and performance.?
The Hesston tournament concludes the varsity?s pre-holiday schedule.
?It gives us a good feel for where we are at,? O?Hare said. ?We will use the next couple of weeks to continue to improve on our technique and look forward to seeing what we can accomplish the remainder of the season.?