The Fort Hays State University wrestling team sent the three seniors out on a high-note as the Tigers defeated Newman on Wednesday, 39-4. The Tigers improved to 6-5 overall and 2-3 in MIAA duals, while the Jets dipped to 3-5 overall and 1-4 in conference matches.
The Tigers led from the start after a first-period fall from sophomore Conrad Cole over Tyler Lawley in the 125-pound match giving FHSU a quick 6-0 dual lead after one match. Cole increased his pin total to nine on the season, tied for the team lead.
Dy’Juan Carney continued the winning ways with a 7-2 decision over Vincent Eremita in the 133-pound weight class. Carney broke a 1-1 tie in the third period with a takedown and a four-point near fall to pull away from Eremita.
In the 141-pound bout, No. 8 Brandon Ball continued his strong sophomore campaign by pinning Brandon Conrad of Newman in the first period after a takedown and three 4-point near falls in the match. Ball picked up his third fall of the year and team-leading 28th win of the season.
Efe Osaghae joined in on the scoring frenzy with a 16-0 technical fall of his own in the 149-pound match over Mario Rodriguez. Osaghae gave the Tigers the 20-0 dual advantage through four bouts on the evening. The redshirt-freshman continues to stay steady by ranking second on the team in wins (24) and technical falls (five).
Newman’s Tyler Mies picked up a 16-3 major decision over Ryne Cokeley in the 157-pound weight class, putting the Jets on the board in the fifth bout of the night. FHSU led Newman 20-4 halfway through the dual.
After intermission to honor the three seniors on the squad, Marty Verhaeghe squeaked by in a 6-5 decision over Kyle Ryan in the 165-pound bout. With the decision, Verhaeghe was able to get back to .500 (20-20) on the season.
The first senior of the dual was in the 174-pound weight class as Dylan Wiesner controlled Nate Panagakis for the majority of the bout after accumulating over four minutes of ride time and an eventual 12-4 major decision in favor of the Tigers. FHSU led Newman 27-4 with three bouts remaining in the dual.
In the 184-pound match, Micah Felton narrowly escaped Forlanda Parker for a slim 3-1 decision. Senior Rakim Dean came out swinging early in the 197-pound bout after earning a 16-0 technical fall victory over Jacob Stoneberger in the first period. The final senior, Dakota Gulley, wrapped up the dual with a 12-2 major decision over Thor Balavage in the 285-pound weight class. Gulley earned his second major decision of his career in the victory, moving his overall record to 33-33 as a Fort Hays State Tiger.
The Tigers have wrapped up regular season play and gear up for postseason wrestling as they travel to Wichita, Kan. for the MIAA Tournament on Sunday (Feb. 11). The event is set to begin at 10 a.m.