OMAHA — No area wrestlers made the individual finals at the Class B Nebraska State Wrestling Championships at the CHI Health Center here Saturday.
Gering won the team title with 116.5 points, just four points ahead of runner-up Beatrice, with Aurora taking third with 107.
Pierce finished in a tie for 12th at 57 points, Wayne was 18th with 38 and West Point-Beemer was 25th, putting up 20 points.
Although there won’t be any Class B gold hardware heading back to Northeast and North Central Nebraska, some area coaches are pleased with the effort put forth by their teams.
“Our performance down here makes me very excited for the future of wrestling in Wayne,” Blue Devil coach Dave Wragge said. “We brought six wrestlers down here, and we are taking home four medals.
According to longtime wrestling reporter and historian Mike Carnes, it is the most medals earned by Wayne High School since 1995.
Reece Jaqua was the highest finisher for Wayne, taking fourth after being sent to the consolation bracket from the quarterfinals Friday night.
Jaqua won three consecutive matches in the bracket to arrive at the third-place match, where he was defeated by decision 7-3 to AJ Parrish of Bennington.
Garrett Schultz (106), Ashton Munsell (126) and Martin Carillo (220) all brought home sixth-place hardware.
Schultz began the morning Saturday in the semifinals before dropping to sixth. Munsell lost his first match Friday before reeling off three straight wins before his opening-round opponent sent him to the fifth-place match in the consolation semifinals.
Carillo won his first match, lost in the quarterfinals and then went 2-0 to also reach the consolation semis.
Three of the medals were earned by underclassmen.
“We’ve got the right kids to put in the work to get better. This group is showing everyone what it takes to get here and medal,” Wragge said. “It’s another step in the program in the right direction. We need to get them all better to take the next step.”
Pierce was again led by the middle of its lineup on Saturday, bringing home three medals after having a pair of wrestlers in the championship bracket when competition began Friday.
Ashton Schweitzer at 152 finished better than anyone in the area after dropping his semifinal match in a tough bout with Cameron Zink of Ogallala, 10-7.
He recovered to win his consolation semifinal in a tight decision of 3-2 before getting a medical forfeit in the third-place contest over a wrestler injured earlier in the consolation semis.
Mike Kruntorad at 160 was also alive in the championship bracket but fell 6-3 Friday morning.
Misfortune arrived in the consolation semifinals as Kruntorad was cruising along in the match and led 11-8 in the third period.
He was called for an illegal move and his opponent could not continue in the match, forcing Kruntorad to forfeit.
He responded by outlasting Alex Banuelos of Minden 9-8.
Zander Schweitzer at 170 also gathered hardware as he placed fourth after he needed to forfeit the third-place match because of an injury suffered in his consolation semifinal, where he pinned Cameron Aughenbaugh of Plattsmouth with 1:23 left in the period.
West Point-Beemer ended the tourney with a medal of its own as 220-pounder Joe Rodriguez made it through three consolation rounds to land in the third-place match, where he was beaten by Mikah Ruiz of Nebraska City 11-3.
“We brought four guys down here this year, and we are happy with the way we are progressing,” Cadet coach Lee Schroeder said. “We are getting more competitive in matches all the time. We are making progress.”