Following the Class B-4 District Wrestling Meet this past weekend, four Chadron Cardinal wrestlers are headed to the State Tournament.
Clark Riesen at 182-pounds, Jake Lemmon at 160-pounds, Lance Cattin at 195-pounds and Isaiah Beye at 285 pounds all qualified for State during Districts in Ogallala. All four were State qualifiers last year.
Chadron’s top three seniors, Lemmon, Riesen and Cattin all took second place at Districts, while Beye fought his way back to third place through the consolation.
Following a loss by pin to Cozad’s Josh Stallbaumer in the semifinal, Beye pinned Sidney’s Lane Hughes in the consolation round, earning him a spot in the third-place match where he pinned McCook’s Hunter Cunningham to earn his way to the State Tournament.
Lemmon, currently ranked Class B’s fifth-best wrestler at 160 pounds had one of the steeper hills to climb in Ogallala, facing the third-and-fourth-ranked Class B wrestlers. Lemmon began his day with pins in his first two bouts then won by 8-4 decision over fourth-ranked wrestler Cash Arensdorf of North Platte. In the first place match, Lemmon lost to third-ranked wrestler Riley Kopf of Lexington by 8-5 decision.
Lemmon, now 35-6 will face Fairbury’s Brandon Hinrichs, 29-16, to begin State. Chadron Head Coach Jamie Slingsby says Lemmon’s familiarity with the state tournament should work to his advantage.
After something of an up and down season, Slingsby says Cattin’s earning his way to State again is a big step for him. Now 30-9 Cattin pinned Lexington’s Cody Wolf and Alliance’s Jayden Bauer in his quarterfinal and semifinal bouts, respectively, before losing by decision 14-8 to Holdrege’s Imanol Munoz.
Cattin is scheduled to begin the state tournament paired against Norris’ Dylan Meyer, the third-ranked wrestler at 195 pounds. NEwrestle, a premier website for wrestling in Nebraska, lists the match as a must watch in the first round.
Fellow senior Clark Riesen, ranked fifth at 182 pounds, improved to 32-4 in Ogallala winning by decision 7-4 against Gothenburg’s Brennan Seitsinger in the quarterfinal and by tech fall against Alliance’s Matthew Escamilla in the semifinal. Riesen took second place after falling by decision 6-0 to McCook’s Alec Langan who is ranked sixth in the class.
While Slingsby is happy for his wrestlers, he says he would have liked to have had a few more wrestlers make the state meet. A handful of Chadron wrestlers had the opportunity to fight back through the consolation rounds following losses, but fell just short.
Among them was Paige Denke, at 106 pounds, who earned a major decision win in round one, but lost in extra time against McCook’s Jullian Stiver in the consolation semifinal. Slingsby says it’s the second year in a row Denke has fell just short of State, but he expects the sophomore to improve in her junior year. Denke was 21-14 this season.
Chadron’s Tallon Craig, at 126 pounds, lost his first match of the day, but pinned two opponents in the consolation rounds before himself being pinned in the consolation semifinal. He finishes his season with a 24-15 record.
Cardinal Sawyer Hagg, at 152 pounds, fell to Sidney’s K.C. Higer in his first match of the day and earned his way to the consolation semifinal with a pin of Gothenburg’s Brendan Libich. But Haag then suffered a narrow 2-1 decision loss to Gering’s Jacob Awiszus.