Six of their nine men brought home place medals, including two championships, as Vermillion's wrestlers competed Saturday at West Central's invitational in Hartford.
Coach Hazen Bye's Tanagers have a rare free Saturday this weekend but will be back on the mats with a vengeance next week. On Monday VHS will join Dakota Valley for a triangular at Beresford. VHS will be home for a dual with Crofton Thursday, then goes to the Big 8 Conference meet at Hartford next Saturday, Feb. 2.
For the second straight Saturday Regan Bye and Brett Bye won back-to-back championships at 145 and 152 pounds, respectively. Carter Kratz placed fourth at 138, Alex Osborne fifth at 170, Seth Heine fifth at 182 and Kyle Seibel sixth at 106.
Regan won three distinctively different matches to get his title. He pinned Roosevelt's Jared Neuheisel in 3:20 in the quarterfinals, won by technical fall 16-0 over Hunter Kjose of Lennox in the semifinals and took out the tournament's No. 2 seed, Zach Russman of Aberdeen Central, 5-4, in the championship match.
Brett had a similar path to his gold medal. He pinned Milbank's Chris Loutsch in 2:40 in the quarters, dominated Wade Secrest of Roosevelt 21-6 in the semis and likewise beat a No. 2 seed, Aberdeen's John Frisco, by a 14-7 count in the finals.
Kratz rolled into the semifinals in his weight class with an 8-2 decision over Nick Christensen, Huron, and a 9-7 win over Mitchell's Ethan Parr. In the semis, however, Kratz ran into Aberdeen's Griff Hieb, who would go on win his title as well as the tourney's most outstanding wrestler designation. Kratz was pinned by Hieb in 3:26 but came back in the next round to pin face Christensen again and pin him this time in 2:43. That set up the third-place match where Kratz lost 14-5 to West Central's Cole Tirrel.
Osborne also reached the semifinals, decisioning Huron's Connor Gose 2-0 in the first round and pinning Milbank's Jeremy Schuelke in 3:14 in the quarters. Osborne lost there to top-seed Francis Boehmer of Roosevelt 17-0, lost in a rematch against Gose 15-4, then won his fifth-place match over Mike Hauke, Chamberlain, 10-3.
Heine began his day by losing by pin in 3:59 to Derick Neuman, Roosevelt, but rebounded with a 7-0 shutout of Mitchell's Preston Skinner. Heine then lost 6-0 to Dan Marlette of Washington but won his fifth-place match by pinning Zach Ford, Lennox, in 41 seconds.
Seibel, wrestling his first varsity matches of the season, won his first two – 6-5 over Trent Francom, Huron, and by pin in 4:30 over Nick Wright, Milbank. Seibel then lost by pin in 54 seconds to Carter Lohr, Roosevelt, and by 6-2 decision to Francom. In the fifth-place match Seibel was pinned in 0:53 by Austin Ideker, West Central.
The Tanagers had three other men on the mats at West Central. At 160 pounds Brandon Hertz pinned Thomas Swanson, Chamberlain, in 2:20 in the quarters, lost 3-0 to Aberdeen's Zach Melcher in the semis and lost to Roosevelt's Dorian Simpson 3-1. Noah Westergaard lost twice at 195 pounds – son a 1:54 pin to top-seed Dustin French, Huron, and on a 5:01 pin to Chase Morin, Roosevelt. Jayson Dugan at 220 pounds was pinned twice—by Alex Capell, Roosevelt, in 1:42 and in 0:25 by Huron's Jeremiah Johnson.
Vermillion lost a 64-9 dual at Canton earlier last week. The nine Tanager points came on three decision wins – 5-2 by Carter Kratz over Derek Dilts at 138, 5-2 by Brett Bye over Alex Davies at 152, and 2-1 by Alex Osborne over Jayden Broughton at 170.