By Parker Knox
Vermillion wrestlers won two individual championships and had four runners-up spots in the Big 8 Conference tournament at Hartford Saturday.
Along with one third-place man and another in fourth, the Tanagers accumulated 132.5 points to place third in the five-team tournament. West Central won it all with 210 points, Madison had 162, Harrisburg 128.5 and Lennox 90.
Vermillion closes the regular season tonight (Friday) at home in a dual against Elk Point-Jefferson. That sets the stage for the Region 2A Tournament hosted by Sioux Falls Lincoln next Thursday and Friday, Feb. 14-15. There a wrestler has to place at least fourth in his weight class to advance to the state tournament in Watertown on Feb. 22-23.
At the Big 8 meet Regan Bye improved his record to 31-4 with a championship at 145 pounds. After a first-round bye, he won by technical fall, 23-8 at the 3:53 mark, over Jake Anderson, West Central, in the semifinals, then pinned Madison’s Wyatt Fender in 5:53 in the finals.
Moments later Brett Bye captured the 152-pound title with a 1:12 pin over Madison’s Tyler Guthmiller. Earlier in the day, Bye, who is now 32-1, had pinned Brendon Van Rosendale, Lennox, in 2:48, in the quarterfinals and did the same to West Central’s Christian Witt in 2:57 in the semis.
Kyle Seibel at 106 pounds with a pair of decisions reached the championship match before losing to top-seeded Austin Ideker, West Central, on a pin in 2:50. Seibel earlier had beaten West Central’s Devon Garry, 6-2, and Harrisburg’s Nick Schirado, 8-4.
Jacob Husby at 113 was also a runner-up. He had a first-round bye, won 7-5 in the semis over Wesley Weischedel, Lennox, and lost in the finals to Tayt Boeckholdt, West Central, on a 1:24 pin.
Carter Kratz had an impressive day at 138 pounds where he started with a pair of pins—in 1:11 over Micash Hierholzer, Harrisburg, and in 5:48 over Brendon Waldron, Madison, in the semis. Waldron had come into the tourney with a 19-4 record. In the finals Kratz took top-seeded Cole Tirrel, West Central, the distance in an 11-5 loss. Tirrel is now 26-4.
In the 182-pound division Seth Heine started fast, taking 44 seconds to pin Madison’s Luke Palmquist. A win by forfeit advanced Heine to the finals where he lost to Madison’s Tyler Currey (31-5) in 3:16 to finish second.
Vermillion’s third-place wrestler was Brandon Hertz at 160. He pinned Alex Klein, West Central, in 1:15; lost by pin in 5:30 to Michael McComish, Madison; won 13-5 over Jackson Jones, Madison, then won the third-place match over Klein, 9-1.
Alex Osborne earned fourth-place honors at 170. After a first-round bye and a 5-3 loss to Madison’s Tyler Heeren in the semifinals, Osborne pinned Trevor Hoadley, Madison, in 4:05, and lost a tough 12-11 match to Nate Guthmiller, Madison, in the third-place contest.
Other VHS wrestlers:
- 106, Brett Culver: Lost by pin, 3:23 to champion Austin Ideker, West Central; won by pin, 4:46, over Jerred Hodges, Madison; lost 12-4 to Nick Schirado, Harrisburg.
- 120, Mason Pickett: Lost by pin, 1:58, to Peyton Webster, West Central; decisioned Caleb Deist, Harrisburg, 5-2; lost by pin, 3:38, to Lane Schruers, Harrisburg.
- 126, Noah Waldner: First-round bye; lost by pin, 1:51, to champion Jonah Rechtenbaugh, West Central; lost by pin, 3:48, to Riley Hollander, West Central.
- 195, Noah Westergaard: Lost by pin, 2:36, to Chris Stokke, Lennox; lost by pin, 1:33, to Dexter Nowstrup, Madison.
- 220, Zach Westergaard: Lost by pin, 1:57, to Sam Metivier, Lennox; won 4-2 over Braxton Steffen, Madison; lost by pin, 1:39, to John Blue, West Central.
Last week in a triangular the Tanagers lost to Beresford, 48-36; lost to Sioux Falls Lincoln, 60-18, and defeated Dakota Valley, 54-30.