GCHS mat squads dominate Hays
It was the final tune-up of the regular season for the Garden City Buffaloes’ wrestling teams when they traveled to Hays for the last of the four Western Athletic Conference dual matches.
Thursday’s finale for the Buffs saw their lineup missing several front-line performers as coach Carlos Prieto opted to rest some of them as well as giving a couple of his regulars more time to recover from injuries.
Considering the Buffs were missing starters at 120, 138, 160, 182 and 195, the boys’ squad easily handled the Hays Indians by a 49-24 margin while the Lady Buffs squad captured a 24-6 dual match win over their counterparts.
“Despite being without those starters, I thought our kids wrestled extremely well for the most part,” Prieto said. “I saw a lot of technical things that we have been focusing on in practice being hit during an actual match.”
Between the boys and girls squads, the Buffs won 19 of 23 matches.
“On the negative side, some of our kids are still wrestling not to win which we have to correct or some won’t advance past next weekend (regionals),” Prieto said. “In order for us to do well at state we have to get that cleaned up. We clean those little things up and we will do fine.”
Securing wins for the boys were Julius Medina at 106 pounds (tech fall), Jose Contreras at 113 pounds (fall), Ryan Heiman at 126 pounds (Sudden victory, 6-4), Chris Brahmbhatt at 132 pounds (Dec.), Sebastian Rodriguez at 138 pounds (Dec.), Steven Sellers at 145 pounds (Fall), Colin Kleysteuber at 152 pounds (Fall), Alonso Marquez at 160 pounds (Fall), Ben Dunlap at 170 pounds (Tech Fall) and Sebastian Lopez at 285 pounds (Fall).
Winners on the girls side wee Sara Chapa at 106 pounds, Anjelina Serrano at 130 pounds, Bethanie Cruz at 145 pounds and Alondra Guzman at 152 pounds.
The girls will compete in a combined Class 5-6A division this year after having just one division of classifications a year ago. They will compete in regionals on Feb. 13 at Dodge City and then in sub-state on Feb. 19 at Wichita Heights. Their state tournament is at Hartman Arena on Feb. 25.
They will have a week to prepare for the new postseason format when they travel to Dodge City for the Class 6A regional tournament. This year’s format calls for a two-stage qualifier to advance wrestlers to the state tournament, scheduled for Feb. 27 at Hartman Arena in Park City, just north of Wichita.
The regional, set for Feb. 12 in Dodge City, is comprised of nine teams – host Dodge City, Garden City, Haysville-Campus, Hutchinson, Liberal, Wichita-North, Wichita-Northwest, Wichita-South, Wichita-West. Only the top four wrestlers will advance from that site to a Sub-State on Feb. 20 at Wichita Heights.
The teams from the Dodge City regional will join the teams from the Wichita Southeast regional on Feb. 20, comprised of Derby, Junction City, Lawrence-Free State, Manhattan, Topeka-Washburn Rural, Wichita-East, Wichita-Heights, and Wichita-Southeast. Those eight qualifiers will battle for the top four spots to then advance to the state.
With COVID-19 restrictions in place this year, each state tournament site will be a one-day event with only 8 wrestlers competing in each of the 14 weight divisions.