Wrestling Team Competes at State

Danielle Pancoast, Print Editor

On Feb. 22-23, the wrestling team traveled to Wichita to compete at the State tournament. The team qualified 13 wrestlers, and were led by seniors Dalton Sparling, Jake Brunton, Preston Williams, and Caden Cress, who all competed in their last ever wrestling meets.

Following last year’s runner-up finish, the team had higher expectations for themselves, but after a multitude of problems, they finished in fourth place behind Derby, Manhattan, and Garden City High Schools. Even with the fourth place finish, the team had six placers with one Champion.

Ending the first day of matches, the team still had 12 wrestlers in the brackets, which is a new school record. Saturday started off rough as six of the 12 wrestlers were knocked out of the brackets.

Beginning the finals matches, senior Dalton Sparling and junior Cole Wells both lost their 5th place matches, placing 6th. Junior David Huckstep finished in 5th with an injury default from his opponent. Sophomore Bishop Murray placed 3rd by pinning his opponent in the first period, ending his season with a 31-1 record.

Two Washburn wrestlers made it to the championship matches. Junior Gavin Collins, two-time state placer and one-time state champion lost to Derby’s Triston Wills with a decision of 9-3.

Senior Preston Williams was the lone state champion. He pinned three of his four opponents, one of those during his last ever wrestling match. Williams wrestled Haysville Campus’ Brycen Schroeder, pinning him in the third period after being up 3-0.

Overall, while the team did not do as well as the 2018 season, they still made history as this was the first time they had qualified 13 wrestlers and had a top five finish two years in a row.