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Kottwitz earns sixth at state wrestling meet

Larson wins opening match while Miller’s experience cut short

Three of Gothenburg’s wrestlers spent half of last week in Omaha at the state wrestling tournament Feb. 20-22.

Skyler Kottwitz, Bryce Larson and Jayden Miller represented the Swedes. Head coach Tom Scott said he thought each of his wrestlers had shots at a medal.

However, none of them medaled as Kottwitz was Gothenburg’s highest finisher in sixth place.

Larson won his opening match but lost the next two in sudden victory while Miller had to forfeit due to an eye infection.

“Each of them gave all-out effort in each of their matches,” Scott said. “I can walk away from this season happy.”

Skyler Kottwitz, 170 pounds

As a senior, Kottwitz was the lone returning state qualifier for the Swedes

He finished the season 41-8 and eclipsed the 100-win mark for his career in the district finals Feb. 15.

In his opening round of state, Kottwitz pinned Craig Hudiburgh of Aurora. He broke out of a cradle attempt, reversed his positioning and cradled Hudiburgh for the win at 1:20.

“He overpowered him and was better on the mat,” Scott said.

Kottwitz again used his physical strength as a positive in his next match.

Thaddeus Eason of Norris and Kottwitz went back and forth in much of the first period. In the second frame Kottwitz got reversed before flipping position again on Eason and earning a pin at 2:25.

In the semifinals, Kottwitz matched up against Keith Wolverton of Seward.

The two wrestlers met in the first meet of the season and Wolverton won by a 16-2 major decision.

Kottwitz took down the Seward wrestler in the first period and tried working for a pin, Scott said.

He was reversed before the first frame ended and the wrestlers went back and forth for the remaining two stanzas.

Wolverton won the match 8-5.

“It’s been a long time since I have seen two wrestlers go so hard,” Scott said. “They both gassed themselves trying to reach the finals.”

In his first wrestleback Saturday Kottwitz lost a 4-3 decision to Colton Spangler of Wahoo-Cedar Bluffs.

Scott said he suffered an early takedown that was the difference in the outcome.

In his final match he lost 5-4 to Brandon Schuler. The Plattsmouth grappler recorded two takedowns in the match.

Bryce Larson, 106 pounds

Freshman Bryce Larson trailed Platteview’s Grant Long 2-0 after a first period takedown.

Larson tied that match 2-2 with an escape at the end of the second frame.

In between periods, Long walked off the mat without referee permission and surrended one point to Larson, who now led 3-2.

In the final stanza, the Swede grappler broke from his down position and turned Long to earn a 6-2 win.

Facing Josh Pokorny in the second round Larson was defeated 11-7 in sudden victory.

In the final four seconds of the third stanza Larson lost an escape that tied the match.

“That was his best match of the year,” Scott said. “Bryce wrestled so hard and was four seconds away from medaling.”

Daniel Goings and Larson faced off in a consolation match.

After regulation the match was scoreless. Goings earned a takedown and won 2-0 in sudden victory.

Jayden Miller, 145 pounds

Sophomore Jayden Miller battled more than a physical opponent while at the state meet.

In his only match, Miller was taken down by Cory Washburn of Ashland-Greenwood before he lost a 10-1 major decision.

“That’s when his eye really affected him,” Scott said.

Miller caught an infection that caused his eye to swell nearly completely shut. He was taken to a hospital and the doctors couldn’t accurately assess what was wrong, Scott said.

He added that even though Miller lost his opening match he remained in a good spot to medal.

“It would’ve been fun for him to be in the mix,” Scott said.

INDIVIDUAL SWEDE RESULTS

106—Bryce Larson won a 6-2 decision over Grant Long (Platteview); lost 11-7 decision in sudden victory to Josh Pokorny (Bennington); lost 2-0 decision in sudden victory to Daniel Goings (Chadron).

145—Jayden Miller lost 10-1 major decision to Cory Washburn (Ashland-Greenwood); surrendered a medical forfeit to Tanner Wonch (Aurora).

170—Skyler Kottwitz pinned Craig Hudiburgh (Aurora), 1:20; Pinned Thaddeus Eason (Norris), 2:25; lost 8-5 decision to Keith Wolverton (Seward); lost 4-3 decision to Colton Spangler (Wahoo-Cedar Bluffs); lost 5-4 decision to Brandon Schuler (Plattsmouth).

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