Yoder, Jared King claim first, Bina fourth, Trojans eighth at Marion regional
Trojan senior wrestler Jared King is all too familiar with Marion’s 152-pound Tylor Neil.
King had gotten the best of Neil early in the year, but his Warrior adversary had taken a 2-1 lead in matches with two consecutive wins.
In the title match of the Marion wrestling regional Saturday, King had already assured himself a ticket to this weekend’s Class 3-2-1A state meet at Hays just by making the title match.
Despite wrestling for tournament titles several times throughout the year, something had been missing for King — a first-place finish, and Neil was the only person left standing in his way.
King saved his best for last, outlasting Neil, 12-10, to win his first tournament title.
King, along with fellow senior Matt Yoder (135), and junior Aaron Bina (160) will be representing Hillsboro at Hays.
Yoder joined King as the Trojans’ only regional champions. Bina finished fourth as Hillsboro finished eighth out of 22 teams.
The hosting Warriors cleaned house, outdistancing themselves from runner-up Douglass, 143-130.5.
The Trojans finished with 81 points.
“Although for completely different reasons, this was a very special evening for me seeing these two seniors win regional titles,” Trojan coach Scott O’Hare said. “I have coached Jared for many years, ever since he started wrestling in the kids club.
“Jared has had some success over the years, but nothing to this magnitude. I am very proud of him, and it is exciting to see his hard work pay off after so many years in the sport. This was Jared’s first ever varsity tournament championship, what a time to get it!”
King opened the tournament dispatching Fredonia’s Josh Figgins with a pin in 3:49.
Caney Valley’s Derek Bayless gave King a fight in the semifinals, but King was able to outlast him for a 9-4 win, to set up another meeting with Neil.
The 29-6 King will meet Smith Center’s Zach Eaton in the first round of the state meet Friday.
Fifth-ranked Yoder is no stranger to the state meet, or to winning tournaments this year.
Yoder secured his ticket to Hays for the second year, topping Fredonia’s Zach Wiedemeyer in the semifinals, 9-7.
Yoder’s action began with a 1:28 pin on Sedgwick’s freshman Lane Foster.
Burlington freshman Codi Archie didn’t even last a minute with Yoder, getting pinned in 54 seconds as Yoder moved on to the semifinals.
Eureka’s Chase Mayfield and Yoder met in the squared circle earlier in the year with Yoder prevailing.
Yoder improved his record to 2-0 on the year against Mayfield, hanging on for a 6-4 decision.
“As for Matt, what an exciting feeling having the opportunity to coach my stepson in two regional finals matches, and to witness him win the regional title in only his second year of wrestling,” O’Hare said. “That was a very exciting evening for our family.”
Yoder lifts his mark to 30-5 on the year and will face Council Grove’s Nathan Ellerman in the first round.
Bina also will be making his second trip to Hays after qualifying last year at 140 pounds.
Bina shut out Ben Green of Chase County, 6-0, in his first match.
Halstead’s eventual champion, Nick Thibault, left little doubt why he’s the top-ranked wrestler in the division, sending Bina to the consolation bracket with a pin in 11 seconds.
Bina rebounded to knock off Bluestem’s Dakota Barnhart, 10-8, to get his shot at Nick Trapp of Herington for third place.
Despite a valiant effort, Trapp was able to top Bina, 3-2.
Bina will meet Holcomb’s Levi Koehn in the first round.
As successful as the regional was, it was also marred by heartbreaking losses of Bret and Darren Mueller and Justin King, who each fell one win short of qualifying for state.
Darren Mueller and King each finished the day at 3-2 while Bret Mueller finished 2-2.
Others competing were Lucas Sinclair (1-2), Dimitri McClelland (0-2), Dylan Delk (0-2), and Evan Just (1-2).
McClelland and Just wrestled their finals matches.
“Overall, I am pleased with the performance of the team this weekend,” O’Hare said. “Although there were a few individual performances that we are disappointed about, overall the guys competed and wrestled hard.”
Action is set to begin at 10 a.m. Friday at Fort Hays State’s Gross Memorial Coliseum.