Hillsboro qualifies four wrestlers for state

These four wrestlers will represent Hillsboro High School at the Class 3-2-1A state tournament in Hays Friday and Saturday. Qualifying last week at the Russell regional tournament were: (from left) Jon Carey, Travis King, Nathan Simhiser and Jesse Meier. Don Ratzlaff / Free Press

Four Hillsboro wrestlers qualified for the Class 3-2-1A state tournament this weekend by finishing among the top four in their respective weight classes at the regional tournament in Russell.

Senior Jon Carey led the way, earning a regional championship at 132 pounds.

The three other Trojan qualifiers finished fourth in their respective weight classes: sophomore Travis King at 126 pounds, senior Jesse Meier at 170 pounds and sophomore Nathan Sim?hiser at 195 pounds.

Entering the tournament with a 28-3 season record, Carey received a first-round bye, then defeated Paden Griffiths of Herington by fall, Spencer Heise of Osborne by a 6-5 decision and claimed the title by defeating David Koralek of Ellsworth, 8-3.

King, coming in with a 20-19 season record, received a couple of byes, but posted a 2-2 record on the mat, including an 11-4 loss to Lance Hall of Osborne in the third-place match.

Meier, 28-13 coming in, went 3-2 for the weekend, including a 9-5 loss to Derek Naegele of Osborne in the third-place match.

Simhiser, with a 19-18 season record, went 2-2 for the day, including a loss by fall in the third place match to Tanner Schneider of Hering?ton.

?This will be Jon?s third trip to the state tournament and Jesse will be making his first appearance after missing most of last season with an injury,? coach Scott O?Hare said. ?I believe they could both be in medal contention if we can help them get physically and mentally ready this week.?

O?Hare saluted the achievement of his two underclass qualifiers.

?I?m so happy for sophomores Travis King and Nathan Simhiser,? he said. ?They have been a part of our program for a number of years, and they both really stepped it up this weekend to earn a trip to Hays.

?I?m excited to see them compete at state. This experience will be a great stepping stone for them as well.?

Five Trojans came up short of qualifying: Tristan Donaldson went 0-2 on the mat at 120 pounds, Jaden Priest went 0-2 at 138, Tyson Reimer went 0-2 at 145, Levi Men?doza went 1-2 at 182 and Franklin Jost went 1-2 at 220.

Ian Alumbaugh, competing for his home school, Canton-Galva, in the post-season, went 0-2 at 138 pounds.

?I am proud of the hard work, sacrifices and commitment from all of these young men that competed for us this season,? O?Hare said. ?They have been a part of something over the past few months that many others will never experience, and I believe they are better and stronger because of it.?

As a team, Hillsboro accumulated 60 points, which placed the Trojans seventh among the 23 competing schools.

Coming?The first round of state tournament matches is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Friday in the Fort Hays State University arena.

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