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Indians take first at Husky Invite

By Joel Jellison

Robert Gonzales saw something for the first time in his 35-year coaching career this weekend.

The Manhattan High wrestling coach saw his team qualify 11 athletes into the semi-finals at this weekend’s Husky Invitational at Blue Valley Northwest.

Manhattan scored 266.5 points, while Lawrence was second at 192 and Newton took third at 187.

“We wrestled at a high level,” Gonzales said. “We won 52 matches and lost 18. We had 127 pin falls, and in a tournament that’s two bonus points, so that’s almost 60 bonus points. I felt we wrestled really well coming off Newton.”

Jase Stone took one of the first-place finishes at 106 pounds, bringing his season record to 31-4. The Indians’ other first-place finisher was Michael Forshee at 160 pounds, his first career tournament win.

Dallas Vesta was second at 120, and Josh Mullin took second at 132, wrestling in an unattached spot and upsetting the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds in his bracket. Ty Suggs took second at 195 pounds and Brian Wood was second at 170, losing to rival Nick Pursel of Lawrence, whom he has lost to three times this season.

Third-place finishers included Drew Unruh at 126, who pushed his record to 30-7, Tre Davis at 132, Davis Matthews at 145, Michael Leeper at 152 and Trey Campbell at 182.

Deion Parker was fourth at 220, while Kian Clemens was fifth at 113 and Taylor Hilgers was fifth at 138 with CJ Moorman-Meador in fifth at 285.

Gonzales said it was a strong tournament for his team.

“There were four good teams and some of the rest might not be as strong, but what I liked was there were 11 Class 6A schools in this tournament and we never get to see those 6A schools,” he said. “Coming out of Newton, where it’s killer, this was more realistic for us.”

The Indians will host a senior night dual on Wednesday against Olathe Northwest.

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