Hillsboro wrestlers take third with 97 points.

Preston Nelson wrestles Justin Stevens of Bluestem at the Hesston Invitational Saturday. Nelson won by technical fall and went on to win the 160-pound weight class with a 3-0 record.Led by five top-four weight-class finishes, the Hillsboro wrestling team opened its tournament season Saturday with a third-place finish among the 16 schools at the Hesston Invi?ta?tional.

The Trojans registered 97 points to finish behind Wichita West (194) and Marion (151).

?I was pleased with the third-place team finish and proud of how the guys competed on Saturday,? coach Scott O?Hare said. ?I felt everyone improved from their performances in our opening duals.?

Preston Nelson led the effort with a first-place finish at 160 pounds with a 3-0 record. The senior defeated Justin Stevens of Bluestem by technical fall, pinned Luke Steele of Marion and then won the first-place match by pinning Marcus Foos of Stafford.

The other top-four finishers were: Jon Carey, who placed third at 126 pounds with a 3-1 record; Cody Delk, who finished third at 152 pounds with a 5-1 record; Jesse Meier, who placed fourth at 170 with a 3-2 record; and Levi Mendoza, who finished second at 182 with a 2-1 record.

In other classes, Tristan Donaldson went 1-2 at 106, Travis King finished 3-2 at 120, Nathan Simhiser went 1-2 at 195 and Franklin Jost finished 1-2 at 220.

O?Hare said his wrestlers improved in both technique and grit.

?That?s not to say we wrestled mistake-free by any stretch,? he said. ?We still have an awful lot to work on, but we made some nice strides. I saw many of them respond very well to adversity that they faced.?

O?Hare also praised his team?s work ethic.

?Our goal remains that we want them to continue to improve every day,? he said. We also have to make sure that they are not complacent. All of them have so much more to accomplish.

?This was just a nice early season performance that we want to continue to build on.?

Coming?The Trojans are scheduled to conclude their pre-holiday schedule Friday by co-hosting the Marion County Winter Duals with Marion.

Joining the two schools are Smoky Valley, Bluestem, Clay Center Community, Riley County, Douglass, Min?neapolis, Republic County, Rock Creek, Well?ington, Clearwater, Alma-Wabaun?see, Chaparral, Chanute and Fredonia.

Matches will begin at both locations at 3 p.m.

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