The varsity wrestling team from Kearney High School traveled to Kansas to take on some of the top teams in the state. The Bearcats finished as the tournament runner-up amongst the talented tournament pool of 8 teams. Kearney High scored 157.5 points to finish behind the tournament champions from Dodge City, Kansas with 185.5 points.
The Bearcats crowned three individual champions. Archer Heelan won the 113-pound weight division, picking up three falls. Heelan has been in the championship finals of the Rocky Welton Invitational for all three years of his high school career. Beau Hostler went 3-0 and won the 145-pound bracket. Hostler defeated a state-rated opponent from Dodge City, Kansas in the championship final. Lastly, Dario Rodriguez pinned all three of his opponents to claim the 220-pound championship and seal the runner-up team finish for the Bearcats.
“We really challenged our team to pick up the intensity and competitiveness in their matches this weekend,” said head wrestling coach Ty Swarm. “I think they responded well to this. You can see this team growing together in the right direction”.
Ethan Lawrence put together a great tournament at 120 pounds. Lawrence picked up 2 wins to reach the championship finals, only to fall short by a 1-0 decision to an opponent from Newton, Kansas.
Other placers for the Bearcats were: Perry Swarm (5th place at 126 pounds), Ethan Kowalek (5th place at 138 pounds), Gage Ferguson (3rd at 152 pounds), Jakob Ransdell (7th at 160 pounds), Tate Kuchera (3rd at 170 pounds), Riley Johnson (6th at 182 pounds), and Caden Johnson (6th at Heavyweight).
The Bearcats wrap out their regular season competition with a road dual competition against Grand Island senior high school on Thursday. Kearney will compete in the A4 district hosted at Omaha Central on February 13th.