WICHITA, Kan. – The No. 16 ranked Fort Hays State wrestling team captured a runner-up finish as a team after recording 43 team points in the Reece Wright-Conklin Jet Invitational on Sunday (Dec. 9). The Tigers left the tournament with six placers and three individual champions. Sophomore Marty Verhaeghe (174 pounds), Micquille Robinson (184 pounds) and A.J. Cooper (285 pounds) all claimed individual titles. Junior Wyatt Alvis (149 pounds) earned a runner-up finish, while freshman Broderick Green (125 pounds) and redshirt-freshman Conrad Vajnar (157 pounds) captured third-place finishes.
Marty Verhaeghe wrestled in the 174-pound weight class in the round-robin format. Verhaeghe defeated Trenton Clines (Drury) due to injury default. He then defeated Nate Panagakis (Newman) by 3-0 decision.
Micquille Robinson wrestled in the 184-pound weight class. Robinson began his day by pinning Brayden Collins (Neosho County CC) in 2:58. In the semifinals, Robinson defeated Dylan Ballew (Drury) with a 14-2 major decision. The Wichita, Kan. native recorded another major decision (14-1) to defeat Ivan Balavage (Newman) in the title bout.
A.J. Cooper wrestled in the 285-pound weight class. Cooper received a bye in the first round. He then defeated Cody Cornutt (Drury) with a 5-2 decision, using a nifty back flip move to stay ahead in the match and advance to the title bout. The Cimarron, Kan. native used a 4-1 decision to defeat Thor Balavage (Newman) for his first individual title of the season.
Wyatt Alvis wrestled in the 149-pound weight class. He only had one match on the day and fell to Seth Otis (Drury) by decision (7-2).
Broderick Green wrestled in the 125-pound weight class. Green also wrestled in a round-robin format. In his first match of the day, Green fell to Blayne Harris of Cloud County CC by decision (9-8). Green then faced off with Bryan Balderrama (Pratt CC) in his second match of the day and fell to him by a 15-13 sudden victory.
Conrad Vajnar wrestled in the 157-pound weight class. In the first round, Vajnar defeated Isaiah Frederick (Kansas Wesleyan) with a commanding 17-0 technical fall. Vajnar fell to Quentin Jiner (Cloud County CC) by decision (8-7). In the consolation semifinals, Vajnar defeated Colin Harper (Drury) with a 10-1 major decision. The Hays, Kan. native then captured a third-place finish with a 13-6 decision over Luke Culbertson (Pratt CC).
The Tigers will have some time off for the holidays before getting back into the swing of things with the National Duals (Jan. 4-5) in Louisville, Ky. The duals are set to begin at 10 a.m. each day.