Led by three second-place performances, the Hillsboro wrestling team claimed third place in a slightly depleted field at the Herington Invita?tional Saturday.
Abilene claimed the title in the nine-team field; Chapman, Hillsboro and Bluestem rounded out the top four.
?The Herington Invitation is traditionally one of the tougher tournaments on our schedule each season,? coach Scott O?Hare said. ?Although the overall depth of talent was down this year due to three teams not being able to attend, there was still some very good competition at each weight class.?
Pacing the Trojans as runners-up in their respective weight classes were Justin King (2-1) at 145 pounds, Jared King (1-1) at 152 and Dylan Delk (2-1 at 171.
?After winning his first varsity medal ever at Hesston before Christmas, this was the first time Justin King ever made a tournament final,? O?Hare said. ?He is improving so much.?
Darren Mueller (3-1) and Matt Yoder (3-1) each placed third at 130 and 135, respectively, while Brett Mueller (2-2) was fourth at 119.
?I was very pleased to have three wrestlers advance to the championship match and was proud of the three that advanced into the consolation finals after suffering earlier losses in the semifinals,? O?Hare said.
Lucas Sinclair (0-2, 125), Dimitri McClelland (0-2, 140), Aaron Bina (1-2, 160) and Evan Just (1-2, 189) did not place.
?Overall, I was pleased with how we wrestled,? O?Hare said. ?The guys competed hard and showed improvement over previous matches. That is what we are really wanting to see. ?
Halstead?Hillsboro returned to competition after the holiday break by splitting a pair of duals at Halstead Thurs?day. The Trojans outmanned Hesston, 51-21, then lost to the host team, 45-18.
Against Hesston, Hillsboro started with 24 points on four forfeit wins before Matt Yoder pinned Hesston?s first competitor at 135 pounds. Justin King (145) also won by fall while Dylan Delk (171) picked up Hillsboro?s other win on the mat.
Against Halstead, Dimitri McClelland claimed Hillsboro?s only win by fall. Yoder, Jared King and Evan Just each won by decision. Halstead claimed six victories on the mat, three of them by fall; two wins by decision went to overtime.
?As expected, we will struggle from a team standpoint against teams that fill all or most of the weights,? coach Scott O?Hare said. ?We gave 18 points to Halstead in forfeits alone.
?Coupled with losing a couple hard-fought matches in overtime made the team score look much more lopsided than the dual actually was.?
Coming?Hillsboro will return to Halstead Friday and Saturday for one of the largest tournaments of the season, the 22-team Halstead Invitational. Matches begin at 4 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday.