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Five Washington County high school wrestlers advanced to the NSAA State Championship semifinals Thursday, guaranteeing themselves of a state medal.
Arlington Eagles Hunter Gilmore, Josh Miller and Remington Gay were 2-0 at the CHI Health Center in Omaha, as were Blair's Tyler Curtis and Fort Calhoun's Ely Olberding.
“It went pretty much went to plan except, obviously, the 182-pound match,” AHS coach Brandon Mues said.
The Eagles' six state qualifiers helped their team to a fifth-place standing through the first day of the state tournament. Arlington has 35 points in Class B, while 13th-place Blair has 20. Hastings leads the pack with 64.
Fort Calhoun, meanwhile, is 19th in Class C. David City is the class leader in the team standings.
Class B and C consolation rounds begin 9:30 a.m. Friday. The semifinals of all classes begin at 5 p.m.
Curtis leads BHS in Omaha
Curtis, a 126-pound senior, led Blair's seven state qualifiers with two wins Thursday.
The Bear bested 33-4 Wayne wrestler Reece Jaqua by 13-10 decision in the first round before he then topped Tyler Nagel of Gering 6-5 in the quarterfinals. The two wins pushed Curtis' season record to 24-10.
Blair's Brody Karls, Hank Frost, Braden Hanson and Dex Larsen also earned first-round wins before dropping quarterfinals matches. Karls won a sudden victory at 132 pounds, but fell by pin later Thursday to drop into the consolation bracket.
Frost claimed a second-period pin at 138 pounds before a sudden victory loss in the quarters. He'd led unbeaten Trevor Kluck of Aurora for much of the overtime loss.
Hanson, a 182-pounder, topped Lexington's Efrin Aguirre by pin before he was pinned by Bennington's Luke MacDonald. Larsen, meanwhile, won a 21-9 major decision over Aurora's Kole Fiala before he was pinned in the 195-pound quarterfinals.
The Bears' Dylan Berg and Treyton Jones lost their first round matches.
3 Eagles advance to semis
Gilmore, Miller and Gay have won state medals before and will again come Saturday.
Gilmore pinned his way through the first two 132-pound rounds, stopping Bennington's Matthew Coe and Blair's Karls in the second period.
Miller, meanwhile, won 10-2 and 9-1 major decisions against Beatrice's Torrance Keehn and McCook's Alex Anthony, respectively. The 160-pounder is 48-1 this season.
Gay won both his 285-pound matches by pin, but was tested by Omaha Concordia's Neil Hartman in the quarterfinals.
“We knew that was going to be a tough match, probably one of his tougher ones,” coach Mues said.
A blood stoppage helped Gay out of a precarious situation before he pinned Hartman in 3:09.
“He stayed tough through the whole thing,” Mues said. “He's mentally tough.”
The Eagles' Kobe Wilkins won his first 182-pound match before dropping his second in overtime. He pinned Beatrice's Dakota Adams in 1:06 first, before falling to Schuyler's William Marxsen.
Trevor Cooley and Alex Luttig, meanwhile, lost their first round matches and will represent Arlington on Friday morning during the first round of consolation bouts.
FCHS wrestlers go 3-1
Fort Calhoun's Ely Olberding was 2-0 Thursday, while Lance Olberding went 1-1.
Ely advanced to the 106-pound semifinals of Class C with two matches he ended early. He pinned his first foe in 5:14 before earning a 15-0 technical fall against Logan View's Jacob McGee.
Lance, meanwhile, won his first match by 52-second pin. He then dropped his 113-pound quarterfinal to Boone Central's Gavin Dozler, 5-0.