Wrestler finally medals at state
After a record-breaking season and two years of heartbreaking losses at state, Hillsboro wrestler Tristan Rathbone finally medaled last week, placing fifth place in the Class 3-2-1A state wrestling championships.
Rathbone, who entered the tournament with a 39-3 record, suffered two defeats by falls while winning three matches — two by decisions, one by a fall.
Competing in the 170-pound class, Rathbone defeated Smith Center’s Jason Desbien (19-19) by a fall at 3:02 into his first match then followed up with a 7-4 decision over St. Mary’s Abe Huaracha (14-7) in the second round.
He then lost by falls to top-ranked Sam Watkins (40-4) of Hoxie at 1:45 into a semifinal match and to previously top-ranked Daigan Kruger (32-4) of Silver Lake at 0:56 in the consolation semifinals.
He won his fifth-place match with a 12-5 decision over Andrews Flores (31-11) of Jayhawk Linn.
Only one of three other Hillsboro wrestlers won a match at state.
In the 152-pound class, Garrett Helmer (39-10) won a 12-2 major decision over Kaid Schwant (22-6) of Onaga in a consolation bracket match after losing to top-ranked Drew Bretz (42-3) in the first round.
Eli Dalke (12-13 in the 160-pound class) and Lane Rogers (30-11 in the 182-pound class) each were eliminated by two successive falls.
Dalke’s losses were to eventual third- and fourth-place finishers, and one of Rogers’s losses was to an eventual third-place finisher.
Rogers, a junior, is expected to return to the team next season.