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MHS wrestling wins J.R. Durham Invitational

By Maria McIlwain

Manhattan High wrestling started 2017 off strong, winning the J.R. Durham Invitational on Saturday in Norton. The Indians edged out second-place Garden City by 3.5 points with 204 points to Garden City’s 200.5.

Mason Wallace (145) was the only Manhattan wrestler to win his weight class. He pinned Cimarron’s Garret Walker in 49 seconds in the first round, McCook’s Landon Towne in one minute, 22 seconds in the quarterfinal, beat Beloit’s Zane Colson with a technical fall in the semifinal and won the championship with a major decision (9-1) over Smith Center’s Colton Hutchinson.

Joe Braun (120), Devin Norris (138), Zephry Killham (160) and Eldon Picou (285) each placed second in their respective weight classes.

Braun received a first-round bye and won both the quarterfinals and semifinals by major decision. He beat Hays’ Creighton Newell, 9-1, in the quarterfinal and Cozad’s Jace Russman, 9-1, in the semifinal before losing a 7-1 decision to Ryan Johnson of Norton.

Norris also received a first-round bye and pinned Hoxie’s Wylie Weems in 3 minutes, 24 seconds and won a 4-2 decision over Bryce Shults of Marion, but lost to Smith Center’s undefeated David Hileman, 3-2, in the first-place match.

Killham pinned his opponent, Kolton Brewer of Marion, in just under 90 seconds and beat cam Griffis (Cozad) by major decision, 10-2, in the quarterfinal and Duncan Rogers (McCook), 10-5, in the semifinal before losing by major decision to Scott City’s Wyatt Hayes, 10-2.

Picou only needed 15 seconds to pin his first-round opponent, Luke Wright of Scott City. He took one minute and 28 seconds to pin Connor Staab (Hays) in the quarterfinals and won his semifinal matchup with Hoxie’s Taye Washington, 4-0. He lost his first-place match with Garden City’s Benny Hernandez, 7-5.

Abraham Sanchez (126), Bubba Wilson (132) and Jalin Harper (152) placed third for the Indians, and Tate Sauder (106) and Hunter Christiansen (220) took fourth place.

Up next, Manhattan heads to the Newton Tournament of Champions on Jan. 14.

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