Vermillion took only eight wrestlers to the Harrisburg Invitational last Saturday, but six of those eight came home with places in the tournament as the Tanagers placed ninth in the team standings.
Host Harrisburg emerged as the team champion with 223 points. The Tanagers accumulated 88 points with two runner-up finishes, one third, one fourth, one fifth and one sixth.
Lance Burkhart at 140 pounds was one of the VHS men who reached a championship match. Burkhart started with a 9-2 decision over Roosevelt's Francis Boehmer, then scored an 8-0 semifinal decision over Harrisburg's Brady Marsh. In the finals Burkhart would have faced Ben Loosbrock of Fulda/Murray County Central but had to forfeit the match for medical reasons.
Will Mart at heavyweight also reached his championship match. The Tanager junior stormed his way through his first two matches, pinning Matt Stephan of Milbank in 3:48 in his opener, then doing the same to Washington's Dillin Wiand in the semifinals in 3:53. In the championship match Mart had to face the state's top-ranked heavyweight, Harrisburg's Taylor Harris, and lost to him by pin in 1:59.
Eighth-grader Brett Bye placed third in the 112-pound category. Bye began with a 1:27 pin over Sisseton's Colton Richards, then lost in the semifinals by an 8-1 decision to eventual champion Jordon Redmond of Milbank. Bye rallied with a 3:02 pin over Tea Area's Trayce Ruotsalainen, earning a shot at third place. He got it with a 6-3 decision over Harrisburg's Trenton Schmit.
Regan Bye at 140 finished in fourth place. He won his opening match, 8-7, over Washington's Zach DeVries, but lost in the semifinals, 9-4, to eventual champion Brendan Swartz of Roosevelt. Bye came back in the wrestleback round with a 9-2 decision over Nick Targy of Gross Catholic before losing 7-3 in the third-place go to Sisseton's Jackson Metz.
Capturing a fifth spot for Vermillion was 160-pounder Dexter Mehlhaf. The senior lost by pin in his first match to Mitch Fuerst of Scotland but came back in the wrestlebacks with a 7-3 win over Tyler Johnson of Beresford. Mehlhaf then lost by pin in 4:42 to Austin Heffern, Madison. In the fifth-place match, Mehlhaf would have faced Fuerst again, but the Scotland wrestler had been injured in an earlier match.
Josh Callahan gave VHS a sixth at 125 pounds. He lost by pin in his opener in 2:10 to Colby Schoellerman, Beresford, then won by pin himself in 4:22 over Tea Area's Michael Peterson. Callahan was pinned in 48 seconds by Milbank's Jon Waba to drop to the sixth-place match where he lost by pin in 1:25 to Gross Catholic's Brent Ludwig.
Joey Mueller wrestled for VHS at 119 pounds. He lost twice by pin, to Sisseton's Darin Peterson in 1:28 and to Milbank's Ryan Wright in 2:22. The same can be said for Alex Osborne at 145. He lost in 1:23 to eventual champ Matt Goth of Madison and in 4:52 to Shane Granum of Fulda/Murray County Central.
Coach Joe Delvaux and his wrestlers have a rare Saturday off this week but will be preparing for a pair of duals in Ponca, NE, on Tuesday night. Vermillion will wrestle Ponca and Randolph there. The following Saturday the Tanagers go to Woodbury Central's invitational at Moville, IA.