No. 5 CHS wins High Plains Invite
Columbus High wrestling raised another team trophy on Saturday at the 50th annual High Plains Invite.
This one though didn’t have quite the same feeling as a week earlier in a Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference championship or earlier in the year, in the same gym no less, during a 10-0 run through the Nebraska Duals.
The Discoverers were the runaway winner after the two-day event featuring 10 ranked teams from all four levels of Nebraska wrestling.
Finishing 1-4 in finals matches though, meant that perhaps more CHS wrestlers walked away frustrated than satisfied.
In the long run, coach Adam Keiswetter said, that could be a good thing.
“Sometimes losing is the best thing for you because it motivates you to train harder and fix some technical errors. When you’re winning all the time you don’t notice the errors because they get covered up,” Keiswetter said.
“It’s much easier to focus when you lose a match.”
In total, 13 Columbus wrestlers won a medal at the event held at Central Community College-Columbus. Six appeared in title matches while seven others fought their way to the podium where the top six were awarded hardware.
Columbus took first place as a team beating out second place Valentine by 37 points.
No. 1 (Class A) Carson Zwingman won the lone gold medal at 182 pounds. On Friday, he pinned all five of his opponents, including No. 6 (Class A) Xavier Vaugh
Zwingman continued the hot streak Saturday, winning by pinfall in all three matches. In the championship, he pinned No. 4 (Class B) Kole Bordovsky of Wahoo in the first period.
Zwingman was perfect on the season until Thursday night when he lost to No. 2 Isaac Trumble of Millard South. With no time to sulk, Zwingman returned to action Friday and began a weekend that earned him the Alan Hoefer Memorial Most Falls Award.
“I just had to overcome that loss. It was a big loss. It hit me hard,” Zwingman said. “I’m going to have to learn from it, grow and keep working hard.”
″(Getting back on the mat) is what I think helped me the most. I tried to have the perfect season. Now, I can just go out there, wrestle, let it fly. Who cares? I can’t be undefeated anymore, so let it fly.”
Zwingman was the only Discoverer to capitalize on his opportunity in one of six championship matches.
No. 4 Tanner Kobza won silver at 120, going 5-1 during the tournament. He pinned his first five opponents but lost in the championship match to No. 1 (Class C) Caydon McCracken of Battle Creek.
No. 5 Carter Kucera also took home silver at 132. He went 6-1 in the tournament, defeating his first five opponents by pinfall, including a win over No. 2 (Class C) Owen Lade of Battle Creek in the first period.
In the championship, No. 1 (Class C) Gage Krolikowski pinned Kucera in the first period.
Blayze Standley placed second at 170. He went 5-1 during the tournament with wins over No. 4 (Class B) Michael Hernandez of Schuyler 3-2 and No. 3 (Class C) Lane McGinley of Valentine 7-6.
Standley was pinned by Zach Borer of North Bend Central in the championship.
No. 2 Anthony DeAnda was runner-up at 195, going 4-1. DeAnda defeated No. 3 (Class C) Matthew Feldner of Kearney Catholic 12-4 in the semifinals before losing to No. 1 (Class B) of Wahoo by pinfall.
No. 2 Kasten Grape won silver at 220. He went 5-1 Friday and Saturday with wins over No. 5 (Class C-195) Austin Marx of Battle Creek, No. 3 (Class C) Kalten Bauers of Centennial and No. 1 (Class C) Jon Merten of Boone Central.
He then lost his first match of the year to No. 1 (Class B) Jesus Maganda of Schuyler, 4-3. Maganda led 4-1 in the third before Grape earned an escape and a stalling point.
But the Warrior senior held him off in the final seconds.
“Kasten just pounces on people. What the Schuyler guy did is, he controlled the pace of the match,” Keiswetter said. “That guy is built weird, he’s short and shifty, and he has a unique style.
“He’s shorter, he’s thicker, and trying to get to the legs of that guy, you have to get really low. It’s a learning experience for Kasten. Sometimes it can be good to get that loss and forget about protecting that undefeated record.
No. 6 Clay Cerny placed third at 113, going 4-1, while No. 6 Eddie Loredo also won bronze at 285 finishing with a record of 4-1.
Caine Stenger (106), Andon Stenger (113), Alex Korte (138) and No. 5 Avery McMeekin (160) all placed fifth.
Blake Cerny (106) placed sixth.
“This is probably our toughest tournament of the year because of how many state medalists are here. If you’re going to win the tournament, you’re probably going to have to beat a state champion, for a lot of these guys,” Keiswetter said.
“In a year, there are a lot of guys here who will be state champs. It’s full of quality opponents, and that’s what we want these guys to face - find the toughest guys we can, test ourselves and see where we’re at.”
Peter Huguenin and Nate Tenopir are the sports reporter and editor for The Columbus Telegram, respectively. Reach them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.