Lakeview in the running after consolations
At the very least, Lakeview wrestling will leave the state tournament secure in the knowledge that all eight qualifiers won at least one match.
At the most , depending on results Friday night, the Vikings may be bringing a state trophy back to Columbus.
At the close of the first consolation session Friday afternoon around 2:45, five Lakeview wrestlers remained alive for a medal. Four went 2-0 on Thursday and were awaiting the semifinals just hours later. One battled back from a loss Thursday with two wins Friday and sits in position for a medal with one more victory.
Three others went 1-1 and saw the close of their season.
“We started the day great, all four of our guys getting a win in the first round. I’m really proud of those guys coming out ready to go,” coach Jeff Bargen said. “Everyone won a match, so they all know they belong.”
Day 1 losers fighting to stay alive on Day 2 included Boston Barcel competing at 145 pounds, Brook Behlen at 170, Austen Smith at 195 and Cody Thompson at heavyweight.
Each of the four were in contention for a medal thanks to a consolation first round that featured just about everything.
Barcel’s win was the least eventful. He scored a first-period takedown, another in the second with nearfall points then piled on more in the third for a 13-0 major decision over Jackson Tejeda of Central City.
Behlen went to a tiebreaker even at 1-1 and came out the winner thanks to penalty point on Kody Hahn of McCook for an illegal hold.
Smith started with a takedown and a 2-0 first-period lead, went into the third tied after giving up an reversal then won it on a reversal of his own midway through the third.
Thompson led 5-1 in the first before putting Hunter Cunningham of McCook on his back with 21 seconds left in the second.
Four wins in four matches surged Lakeview up the team leaderboard to second place.
The Vikings stayed their despite going 1-3 in secodn round consolations and saying goodbye to Behlen, Smith and Thompson.
“We definitely thought if we wrestled well we could maybe be (near the top),” Bargen said. “It’s nice to be there. Hopefully we can capitalize on that, shoot some guys on through to the finals and have everyone wrestle to as high as they can get on the medal stand and see where we stand when the dust settles.”
Hastings led Class B before the semifinal round with 52 points. Lakeview had 44, Wahoo 42, Omaha Skut 41, York 40, Blair 39.5, Grand Island Northwest 39, Sidney 38.5, Lexington 36 and North Platte 34.
Barcel can still add to that total thanks to another dominant 13-0 major decision in the second round of consolations over Owen Friesen of Northwest.
He led just 2-0 after the first two minutes then 9-0 after two periods.
Behlen suffered a 5- loss to Jayden Wooten of Plattsmouth, Smith was pinned with 34 seconds left in the first period and Thompson went down to a pin midway through the first period.
Behlen and Thompson, two seniors, closed their careers with a second straight state qualification.
“It’s always tough to say goodbye to those seniors,” Baren said. “They put in a ton of hard work, both of them had outstanding careers getting down here twice and you just hope that the life lessons they learned from the sport will continue on into the rest of life.”
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org