Hillsboro trio advances to state wrestling meet
Bachman, Rathbone, Flaming punch tickets to Hays
One opponent that’s unbeatable is Mother Nature.
She threw the Trojan wrestling team a curveball this weekend for the Fredonia regional that left them stranded far from home.
With inclement weather in the forecast for Friday’s opening day, the Trojans went south the night before to ensure they’d be there.
By the time O’Hare caught word Friday’s action had been postponed to Saturday, it was too late to head back.
“We were forced to spend the day at a motel all day Friday,” coach Scott O’Hare said. “With some wrestlers having to be concerned with making weight Saturday at noon, we had to make arrangements for the team to get workouts in, monitor weight, and still keep them all fed and hydrated adequately in preparation for competition.
“All things considered, this was by no means ideal circumstances to prepare for a big tournament.”
Nonetheless, it turned out all right, considering the headaches.
The trio of Jordan Bachman, Tristan Rathbone, and Lane Flaming all secured tickets to this weekend’s Class 3-2-1A state tournament at Fort Hays State’s Gross Coliseum.
The three qualifiers marks the most Hillsboro has had in four years.
Of the 22 schools, Hillsboro finished ninth, scoring 66 points.
Eureka was the regional champion, beating out runner-up Douglass easily, 170½-123½.
“In the end, they all performed admirably under the circumstance,” O’Hare said. “We are obviously pleased and excited for Jordan, Tristan, and Lane for qualifying for the state tournament.”
The sophomore Bachman will make his second appearance at Hays after being the Trojans’ lone qualifier a year ago.
Bachman finished at 3-1, tumbling in the finals to Eureka’s third-ranked Brennan Lowe by pinfall.
Bachman’s first-round draw at Hays will be Wellsville freshman Wyatt Bird.
Regardless Rathbone’s outcome, the 145-pound freshman should only improve after qualifying in his first attempt with a fourth-place 3-2 finish.
Rathbone will face familiar Lincoln-adversary Chance Vath, a sixth-ranked junior in Friday’s opening match.
For the senior Flaming, the chance to extend his season was good enough.
Flaming went 3-1, avenging a first-round loss to Garden Plain’s Matthew Quintero with a 19-2 technical fall for third-place.
Oskaloosa sophomore Eli King will be Flaming’s opening-round draw.
With all the coaches voting to wrap the tournament up Saturday, it marked a sad ending for two other seniors with Kyle Horton and Connor Morey closing out their careers.
Horton fell one match short of qualifying, dropping a heartbreaking semifinal loss in overtime to finish 3-2 while Morey went 2-2.
Juniors Andre Patton, of Canton-Galva, and Hillsboro’s Raymond Johnston, also fell one match short of qualifying with each going 3-2.
Other Trojans competing were Paul Glanzer (2-2), Charlie Major (1-2), Taryn Norstrom (1-2), Garrett Helmer (1-2), and Jared Janzen (2-2).
“I’m very proud of their attitudes and efforts when faced with adversity,” O’Hare said. “All of them are stronger and better people because of it.
“I’m disappointed Kyle and Connor were not able to advance to the state tournament. Along with Lane, they will be missed next season.”
Friday’s action is set to begin at 10 a.m. with Saturday’s starting an hour earlier at FHSU’s Gross-Memorial Coliseum.