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Weigel repeats in 5A for Indians

By BRETT MARSHALL

Special to The Hays Daily News

PARK CITY -- There's nothing Hays High School junior Preston Weigel enjoys more on the wrestling mat than a match where he gets an early lead and then meticulously takes apart his opponent.

For much of his Saturday's Class 5A 195-pound championship match, Weigel did just that against his most challenging opponent -- Newton's Dillon Archer.

But Weigel, despite battling a cold and bad cough all week, did just enough to earn a 3-2 victory against the Railroader wrestler, thus wrapping up his first undefeated prep season.

"This feels great because it shows a lot of hard work and dedication that went into this," an exhausted, yet content Weigel said after he watched a 3-0 lead disappear when Archer managed a takedown with 30 seconds left. "Got a little careless there at the end. I was running out of gas. It's been a tough week trying to get myself well."

It didn't take Weigel long to take control of Archer again.

In two previous wins, Weigel had beaten Archer, last year's 195-pound state champ, by scores of 2-0 and 5-0. Those matches had been at the Rocky Welton Invitational in Garden City and last week's 5A regional tournament.

"I was feeling much stronger then," Weigel said.

But he was good enough to complete a 42-0 record after finishing the 2012 campaign with one loss and the 170-pound title. He was runner-up at 145 pounds his freshman season.

"I've just continued to get bigger, work hard and wrestle at the weight where I'm at," Weigel said.

He said Archer is a big 195-pounder, saying he thought Archer likely cut weight to get to 195 while he was right at the weight.

"He's just big from top to bottom," Weigel said. "He's hard to get anything going. I just tried to get him stood up right away and then got the takedown. From there, it was just trying to keep some pressure on, not make any mistakes."

That takedown took place just 15 seconds into the match and the 2-0 lead held up through the second period when the two wrestlers started from the neutral position. With Weigel in the down position for the third period, the HHS junior got a 1-point escape just three seconds into the final 2-minute period.

Weigel said being undefeated carried some additional pressure heading into the state tournament and the championship match.

"I try not to think about it, but sometimes it's difficult," Weigel admitted. "But I'll enjoy this one and then look ahead. It's been a rewarding season."

The Indians scored 35 points to place 19th in the team standings and Weigel was the lone medalist.

On Saturday, Jake Sedbrook reached the third round of consolation at 145 pounds before being eliminated. Leroy Franco at 152 pounds and Kyler Myers also went 2-2 in the tournament, also exiting in the consolation bracket's third round.