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Bob Kuhn Classic: Meyers one of two champs for HHS

By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

Hays High School senior Kyler Meyers flexed his arms in excitement and the crowd erupted in cheers and applause once the final buzzer sounded.

Meyers (26-4), ranked No. 4 in Class 5A, won the 170-pound championship at the Bob Kuhn Prairie Senior Classic on Saturday, defeating Oakley senior Jason Berkgren by a 7-5 decision.

He said his reaction was instinctive after his first Prairie Classic title.

"I just did it," Meyers said. "I don't know. I couldn't control it. I was that excited, I guess."

It was the first time Meyers had defeated Berkgren, 27-2 and ranked No. 5 in Class 3-2-1A, in the past year, falling to him three times before Saturday -- twice in off-season wrestling and once at the Colby Duals.

"It played out almost exactly how I thought it would," Meyers said. "I've lost to that kid three times earlier in the season. I had him pretty much figured out by now."

Meyers was one of Hays High's two individual champions at the Indians' home tournament.

Indian junior 195-pounder Preston Weigel cruised to the tournament championship, pinning his first two opponents and tech falling Goodland junior Tyler Gastineau in the second period.

It was the second time Weigel has tech falled Gastineau, 20-6 ranked No. 1 in Class 4A, this season.

Weigel, a state champion in 2012, improved to 29-0 and 109-4 in his career. After winning the tournament title, Weigel credited his coaches for his success.

"It feels great," Weigel said regarding his title. "There was a lot of hard work (getting to this point)."

Hays High junior Vincent Scott (25-5) also reached the finals at 285 pounds, but he lost by an 8-5 decision.

Hays High finished eighth in the team standings with 117.5 points. St. Thomas Aquinas, ranked No. 3 in Class 5A, ran away with the team title, scoring 187.5.

Phillipsburg was second with 146.5.

Younger's winning streak ends

Ellis senior Gage Younger saw his 21-match winning streak end Saturday.

Younger, 20-1 and ranked No. 3 in Class 3-2-1A, fell in the finals to Buhler senior Jake Gehring.

Gehring, 28-0 ranked No. 2 in Class 4A, got a lead early and didn't relinquish it, as Younger fell by a 7-5 decision.

"He wrestled real smart," Younger said. "He wrestled real low to the ground, so it was hard for me to do anything. Once he got that lead, he knew what to do to hold me off so I couldn't score a bunch of points."

Younger said he didn't worry too much about his winning streak heading into the match.

"I try not to worry about being undefeated, because then I'd have a lot of pressure on my back every match," Younger said. "I was just going to give it my all."

Gehring didn't place at state as a junior, but he's a favorite to place this year.

"He must have gotten a little better," Younger said.

Monarchs where they "need to be"

Senior 132-pounder Lucas Walker was the highlight of Thomas More Prep-Marian's tournament.

Walker took fifth with a pin in the closing seconds of an active match against Riley County freshman Tommy Truesdale. He led 11-7 before sticking the pin.

"It comes down to heart, and he has a big heart," said TMP head coach Josh Peterson. "He wants to do well. He wants to qualify for state. His ultimate goal is to be a state placer. ... He is wrestling like he wants it."

Walker was TMP's lone placer, and 160-pound senior Austin Werth and 285-pound junior Mason Lagree each fell a round short of placing.

Werth's losses were particularly close. He battled back from being down 12-6 in the first round and nearly won with a pin, but instead he lost 12-11 to Hoisington's Austin McHenry. In the consolation quarterfinals, he lost 4-3 in overtime to Oakley's Cody Faulkender.

"We are right where we need to be," Peterson said. "We have a little bit finetuning to do, but as a team, we are right where we need to be."

Other area finalists

Goodland 113-pound sophomore Aaron Avelar, 23-8 and ranked No. 5 in Class 4A, lost by a 7-2 decision to Masen McCracken of Wichita-Campus.

Phillipsburg senior Caleb Studley, 24-5 and ranked No. 3 in Class 3-2-1A, fell by a 3-0 decision at 132 pounds to St. Thomas Aquinas junior Tyler Dickman, 12-0 and ranked No. 1 in Class 5A.