Two crowned SWC champs
COZAD—The Gothenburg wrestlers knew going into the Southwest Conference meet on Friday that it was going to take big wins to bring home the team trophy.
With two weight classes open, the Swedes give up a large number of points to opponents who fill weights.
“We knew it would take a lot,” said Gothenburg coach Eric Manstedt.
The Swedes did manage 11 medals in the 12 classes wrestled including two division champions but it wasn’t enough to overcome full slates by Valentine and Cozad.
The Badgers won the meet with 177.5 team points while Cozad was second at 175 and Gothenburg took third with 142.5.
“We wrestled very well overall,” Manstedt said. “We just needed some bigger points. Sure we would have liked to have been team champs but when you medal 11 of the 12 wrestlers, you really can’t ask for much more than that.”
Senior Tanner Schwanz took first in the 130-pound class by pinning Nick Cullers of Cozad and Eric Arnold of Valentine.
“Pinning Arnold of Valentine was huge for Tanner,” Manstedt said.
Fellow senior Tre Ostergard finished first at 215 pounds with a 19-2 technical fall over James Brown of Cozad and a pin in the third period over Michael Gill of Ogallala.
“We wrestled very aggressive in every match,” Manstedt said. “That’s what I want to see this time of year.”
Gothenburg also earned second-place finishes in two classes.
Mitch Spiegel fell to Valentine’s Bart Miller in the championship round at 103 pounds by an 11-5 decision and Bryce Egglston was pinned in the second period by Matt Denson of Broken Bow in the 135-pound round.
Trent Good and Dane Ehlers were third-place finishers.
Good lost a 9-6 decision to Tanner Clark of Ainsworth in the opening round at 145 pounds, then worked his way back through the consolation bracket.
At heavyweight, Ehlers was pinned by state-rated Pedro Garcia of Cozad in the semi-finals before defeating Kyle Bachelor of Valentine for third.
Manstedt said the highlight of the day may have been sophomore Dalton Goodwin’s fourth-place medal at 171 pounds.
“Dalton has wrestled junior varsity for us all year and came in at conference to medal in fourth,” the coach said. “His hard work is paying off.”
Dillon Larson, Justin Larson, Kyle Demoret and Cameron Frazho also finished fourth.
The Swedes now point their attention to the B-4 district at Scottsbluff Friday and Saturday.
“The kids have their eyes on their long-term goals,” Manstedt said. “This is what we’ve worked hard for this whole journey.”
The Swedes will need their A game, the coach said, as they face a host of talented wrestlers.
Ten B-4 opponents are among those rated in the top six by the Omaha World-Herald this week and the host Bearcats are the No. 5 team in the class.
“Expectations have changed,” Manstedt said. “It’s not just will we qualify for state it’s we’re going to qualify and we’re going to come home with some hardware.”
District wrestling begins at 4 p.m. on Friday and 8:30 a.m. on Saturday.
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