VHS grapplers bring home two medals from state

Vermillion's wrestling season ended at the state Class "A" tournament in Aberdeen last weekend with medals for one third-place finisher and one man in fourth place.

As a team the Tanagers accumulated 37 points, good for a tie for 16th place.  Pierre won the team championship with 158 points with Huron at 145 and Rapid City Central at 143.  Among area schools Harrisburg was 10th, Dell Rapids 11th, Dakota Valley 15th and Yankton 18th.

Brett Bye, VHS freshman who entered the tournament with a 38-0 record, won his first two matches before sustaining his first – and only – loss of the year in the semifinals.  He finished strong with two additional wins to earn third place and complete the season with a 42-1 record.

Bye pinned Conor Tomac of Sioux Falls O'Gorman in the first round in 4:09, then won a quarterfinal decision by 8-3 over Evan Weiler of Rapid City Central.  In the semifinals it was Pierre's Caleb Stoltenburg, the eventual state 132-pound champion, who gave Bye his loss on a pin at 2:34.  Bye rebounded to pin Yankton's Casey Skillingstad in 2:40 in the fourth-round wrestlebacks, then defeated Weiler again, this time with an 11-3 major decision, in the third-place bout.

The Tanagers' other placer was senior Will Mart at 285 pounds, ending his outstanding career with a fourth-place medal and a senior season record of 36-7.  Mart lost in the first round to Wtertown's Tyler Robel, 5-2, so Mart had to win four straight matches to reach the third-place match, and that's what he did.  Mart pinned Ty Dixon, Pine Ridge, in 4:01; decisioned Matt Stephan, Milbank, 8-2; defeated Dylan Van Steenberg, Harrisburg, 5-2, and reversed the earlier result against Robel, winning 5-2.  In the third-place match Mart was pinned in 1:47 by Jake Weber, Rapid City Central.

Three of Coach Kyle Seibel's Tanagers – Brandon Steenholdt, Carter Kratz and Regan Bye – won a match at state before being eliminated in the second-round wrestlebacks.  The other two state qualifiers, Alex Osborne and Avery Garcia, went 0-2.  Here are the results of those VHS wrestlers' matches:

113, Steenholdt:  Lost 10-9 to Bollock, Mitchell; dec. 14-4 over Dorris, Madison; lost by pin in 0:56 to Glanzer, Huron.  Steenholdt, a senior, finished the year at 19-16.

120, Kratz:  Lost by pin in 1:55 to Ohlsen, Rapid City Stevens; dec. 17-4 over Mikrut, Huron; lost 7-0 to Tirrel, West Central.  Only a seventh grader, Kratz finished at 24-19.

138, Regan Bye:  Lost 3-2 to George, Sisseton; dec. 7-1 over O'Day, Pierre; lost 6-4 to Fichter, O'Gorman.  Freshman Bye ended the year with a 20-13 record.

170, Osborne:  Lost 10-2 to Meyers, Huron; lost 12-3 to Garcia, Roosevelt.  Sophomore Osborne had a 17-20 record for the year.

182, Garcia:  Lost by pin in 0:31 to Thybo, Belle Fourche; lost by pin in 2:48 to Currey, Madison.  A junior, Garcia finished at 2-19.

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