Weigel to wrestle for third title
By AUSTIN COLBERT
PARK CITY — Preston Weigel failed in his pursuit of perfection — sort of.
The Hays High School senior wrestler, ranked No. 1 at 195 pounds in Class 5A, let Emporia’s Sage Eckman, No. 2 at 195 pounds, take him to the second period in the Class 5A state championship semifinals at Hartman Arena on Friday.
Weigel’s goal had been to tech fall all of his opponents in the first, but Eckman held on to force a second round trailing 14-0, only to fall 16-0 at the 2:20 mark.
“We went 20 seconds over into the second period on that,” Hays High coach John Hafliger said. “Pretty typical. Pretty dominant … very solid. I think the finals match is going to be tough.”
Other than having to wrestle into a second period, Weigel’s day went as flawlessly as possible. He opened the tournament with a 15-0 technical fall win (1:36) over Topeka West’s Dominic Boatwright, followed with a 16-0 technical fall win (1:18) over Andover’s Mike Lopez, before stopping Eckman to advance to Saturday’s championship match.
Weigel will face Blue Valley Southwest’s Austin McBee (25-7) in his final Kansas high school match, with a third straight state title on the line, and a second at 195 pounds. McBee is No. 3 at 195 pounds in 5A.
Weigel will be the only Hays High wrestler competing for a state title after his two teammates fell short of that goal.
Senior heavyweight Vincent Scott made a respectable run to the tournament semifinals, but was pinned by Shawnee Height’s Tyson Toelkes, the undefeated and top-ranked heavyweight in 5A, in 2:44. Scott’s best tournament moment came in a quarterfinal win over Liberal’s Sergio Borjas via a fall in 3:16.
“We lost to the Liberal kid earlier in the year. We lost 5-2 out at the Colby dual. So we wanted that rematch with him. I felt all along that we were better than Sergio and we came out and proved it,” Hafliger said. “I’m real excited for Vincent. He’s disappointed. He waned to be in the finals, but he wrestled the No. 1 kid in the state in all classes and wrestled a great first period. We just got dominated in the second.”
Junior 182-pounder Ethan Deterding pinned his first opponent, Leavenworth’s Austin Tresner, in 38 seconds to advance to the tournament quarterfinals. There he ran into St. James Academy’s Trent Salsbury, No. 1 at 182 pounds in 5A with only one loss this season, and lost via a fall in 1:40.
“It’s the luck of the draw and we didn’t get a good draw there. I like where he is at on the backside of the bracket, so I think he has a great shot of coming through the backside,” Hafliger said. “Our goal for Ethan and for Vincent both is third place. That’s where we want to be, in third place. Yeah, (Deterding) had a tough second match. But he was dominant in his first match. So we are OK with where he is at.”
Deterding will face Lansing’s Alex Diaz (17-10) in his first consolation match on Saturday morning. Scott’s opponent is yet to be determined.
The championship matches, including Weigel’s, will begin at 2:15 p.m., moved up in the day due to expected bad weather throughout the state. The consolation rounds begin at 9 a.m.