Five wrestlers headed to state
The district wrestling meet is the time to make all the right moves.
A little mistake here or there can make the difference between competing in the state meet or sitting in the stands and watching the action.
Five Gothenburg wrestlers achieved the ultimate Saturday by qualifying for state at the District B4 meet at Scottsbluff.
“By and large, we wrestled very well,” Swede coach Eric Manstedt said. “Eight was the number we were shooting for; we walked away with five qualifiers.”
Along the way, enough points were earned to give the Swedes third place in the meet.
“It was our highest district finish in years,” Manstedt said. “We were shooting for top three and we accomplished it. We were kind of hoping for a little higher.
“All in all it was a good tournament.”
Junior Mitch Spiegel dominated the 103-pounders while winning the gold medal. He won his first three matches via pins with none lasting longer than 68 seconds. He took the gold medal with a 15-0 technical fall over Devin Ushio of Alliance in the second period.
“Mitch had a great weekend,” the coach said. “Right now he’s sitting at 44-6. He’ll have the junior season school record. He’s got the season fall record.”
He’s close to the state record for falls, also, and could make a run at it in Omaha.
“He’s wrestling very tough,” Manstedt said. “A returning medalist, he’s making his third trip down there. We’re looking for good things from him.”
Tanner Schwanz, a senior, came away with a silver medal to earn his fourth straight trip at state, which is a first among Swede wrestlers, the Swede coach said.
Following a couple of easy wins, Schwanz battled Danny Ibarra of Lexington in the semifinals. “It was a tough, tight match,” Manstedt said. “The Ibarra kid wrestled him very tough the last time he wrestled him.”
Schwanz held on for a 4-2 win. He ran out of time in his finals match against Brandon Dehling of Chadron, who beat Schwanz last year at state in the fifth and sixth place match.
Leading 7-5, Dehling played keep away in the last 30 seconds of the match without incurring a penalty to take the win.
Kyle Demoret used an exceptional semifinal match to propel him to state. Taking on what Manstedt called “a dangerous wrestler” in Andrew Garza of Alliance, Demoret prevailed 14-4.
The senior “wrestled a very smart match against him,” the coach said. Garza uses a very aggressive style and tried to throw Demoret at least three times.
Tyson Lanka of Ogallala provided the only blemish on Demoret’s day, pinning the Swede in 56 seconds in the championship match.
“In the finals, Kyle got caught in a headlock and put to his back,” Manstedt said. He was fighting it off when the pin was called.
Demoret will be making his second trip to state.
Dane Ehlers, a junior, came away with a third place medal.
“Dane looked real solid all the way up to the semifinals,” Manstedt said. “He had to wrestle (Brian) Springer of Ogallala, who he had beaten at conference.”
The match couldn’t have been much closer. A stalling penalty against Springer at the end of regulation forced an overtime period. No points were scored in the first overtime. Both wrestlers scored an escape in the second and third overtimes.
It came down to the ultimate tie-breaker where, depending on the starting position, one wrestler needs to ride out the other for 30 seconds or escape from his opponent in that time. Springer got the escape with about 10 seconds to go.
Overall, Dane wrestled pretty tough, the coach said.
Tre Ostergard, competing as a senior in his first district meet, earned a state berth at 215 pounds. He came out on the short end of a couple of matches against wrestlers who he had split with during the season.
The important win, though, in the heartbreak round came against Trevor Gleason of McCook. A pin in 1:38 ensured Ostergard of his ticket to state.
Gothenburg’s first round action will begin Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at the Qwest Center in Omaha. Quarterfinals follow. First and second round consolation matches begin Friday at 12:30 p.m.
Find the complete story and individual results in our print edition. Receive the entire issue of the Gothenburg Times on-line in PDF format each Wednesday for only $25 per year. Call 308-537-3636 to subscribe.