Yoder and King claim titles in their respective classes

The Hillsboro wrestling team won two weight classes and qualified three athletes for state at the Class 3-2-1A regional tournament Friday and Saturday in Marion.

Matt Yoder, wrestling at 135 pounds, and Jared King, wrestling at 152, won their respective classes. Aaron Bina, wrestling at 160, qualified by finishing fourth.

Also competing for HHS were: Bret Mueller, 2-2 at 119; Lucas Sinclair, 1-2 at 125; Darren Mueller, 3-2 at 130; Dimitri McClelland, 0-2 at 140, Justin King, 3-2 at 145; Dylan Delk, 0-2 at 171; Evan Just, 1-2 at 189.

Bret Mueller, Darren Mueller and King were each one win from qualifying for state.

As a team, the Trojans placed eighth among 22 schools with 81 points.

?Overall, I am pleased with the performance of the team this weekend,? coach Scott O?Hare said. ?Although there were a few individual performances that we are disappointed about, overall, the guys compete and wrestled hard.?

The Trojans started Friday afternoon with a strong first round. But after several tough matchups in the ensuing quarterfinals round, Yoder, Jared King and Bina were the only three able to advance to the championship semifinals.

Yoder and King capped the evening by winning their semifinal matches and clinching a berth at state.

O?Hare called Saturday ?a physically and emotionally draining day,? as the remaining seven Trojans found themselves in a position of needing to win three straight matches to earn a trip to Hays and being only one loss from elimination.

Three of those seven lost close matches in Saturday?s first round, while Bret Mueller, Darren Mueller and Justin King joined Bina in the consolation semifinals with victories.

Bret Mueller gave up a two-point reversal with about 15 seconds left in the match to lose by one point; Darren Mueller and Justin King were later eliminated before Bina secured a hard fought 10-8 win to earn his second trip to Hays.

Bina lost 3-2 in the consolation finals to Nick Trapp of Herington to finish fourth.

Later that evening, Yoder won his regional championship?and third straight tournament title?with a 6-4 decision over Chase Mayfield of Eureka. Jared King edged Marion?s Tylor Neil by a score of 12-10 after losing two of three previous encounters between the two this season.

?This was a very special evening for me seeing these two seniors win regional titles,? O?Hare said. ?I have coached Jared?ever since he started wrestling in the kids club. This was Jared?s first-ever varsity tournament championship. What a time to get it.?

Yoder?s victory was special for a different reason.

?What an exciting feeling having the opportunity to coach my step-son in two regional finals matches, and to witness him win the regional title in only his second year of wrestling,? he said. ?That was a very exciting evening for our family.?

Coming?First-round pairings were announced Sunday for the Class 3-2-1A state tournament in Hays Friday morning.

Matt Yoder (30-5), ranked fifth in the state and making his second state appearance, will face Nathan Ellerman (24-11) of Council Grove; Jared King (29-6), in his first trip to state, will take on Zach Eaton (11-6) of Smith Center; and Aaron Bina (23-12), in his second state tournament, will match up with Levi Koehn (23-5) of Holcomb.

Wrestling begins at 10 a.m. Friday at Gross Memorial Coliseum in Hays.

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