For Dillon Dunn, this weekend’s Bob Kuhn Prairie Classic was a chance to cross an item off his high school wrestling bucket list and earn some redemption in the process.
In the same tournament last year, the WaKeeney-Trego 220-pounder entered as the No. 1 seed but settled for third place after losing in the semifinals.
“It just kind of ate at me all year,” Dunn said. “Coming back this year, I just wanted to get into the finals under the lights and everything and just win it.”
The senior wasn’t going to be denied in his last chance to win the tournament, claiming the 220 title by defeating McPherson’s Mason Thrash in Saturday's final at Hays High.
“I know my teammates have pushed me hard and my coaches have pushed my hard. It’s a big win for me, honestly," Dunn said.
“It definitely crossed one off the bucket list."
Dunn, who improved to 30-1 on the season, controlled the match against Thrash, earning a 6-2 decision.
“Just staying true to my stuff,” Dunn said of the key to the win. “Not forcing anything."
On Friday, Dunn picked up a pin over Pratt’s Mason Meicher, a 9-1 decision over Spring Hill’s Logan Greenhaigh and a 17-0 technical fall over Ellsworth’s Brendan Tripp to punch his ticket to the final.
Dunn said he enjoys seeing some of the top wrestlers from around the state in the Bob Kuhn Prairie Classic, which featured 27 schools this year.
“I had a couple buddies from camp that I got to see this week," Dunn said. “It just makes it more fun seeing the bigger schools because you don’t get to see those very often out here in Western Kansas.”
Dunn said the tournament title will be a confidence booster for the rest of the season.
“Plenty of confidence, 100 percent,” Dunn said. “Just ready to go to the regional and state tournament, honestly.”
Dunn was of one of three area wrestlers to make Saturday’s final.
Phillipsburg’s Jacob Sisson (126) and Aaron Lenker (132) both took runner-up in their respective divisions.
Sisson (30-4) dropped a 5-0 decision to Great Bend’s Drew Liles, while Lenker (29-4) took a 4-1 loss to Great Bend’s Carsyn Schooler.
Great Bend was the team champion with 187.5 points, followed by Wichita Kapaun (146.5) and McPherson (146).
Hays High’s Nutting, Robinson earn third
Gavin Nutting and DaVontai Robinson highlighted the Hays High Indians’ showing in their home tournament, taking third in their respective divisions.
Nutting (220 pounds) went 4-0 on Saturday, earning three straight pins before beating Wyatt Glassman in a 10-4 decision in the third-place match.
Robinson (182) won two matches on Saturday, including a 6-0 decision over Dexter Duatel in the third-place match.
Brayden Hines placed sixth for Hays at 120 pounds.
Hays finished 11th in the team standings.