Kernels send 5 to semifinalsABERDEEN – Mitchell advanced five wrestlers to today’s semifinals during opening-day action at the state Class A wrestling tournament Friday in Aberdeen.
By: Sports staff , The Daily Republic
ABERDEEN – Mitchell advanced five wrestlers to today’s semifinals during opening-day action at the state Class A wrestling tournament Friday in Aberdeen.
Mitchell’s Alex Herrick (120), Lakin Neugebauer (126), Nick Kummer (152), Jason Greenway (160) and Brent Havlik (170) each won two matches Friday and will be wrestling for a spot in the state championship match.
“I’m not disappointed with the day we had,” Mitchell coach Travis Carpenter said. “Five in the semifinals is great. We had six in the semis last year, and we need to try and get them into the finals. That will give our team the best chance to be on the podium.”
The semifinals start at 10 a.m. today at the Barnett Center, located on the Northern State University campus in Aberdeen.
The Kernels have 56 points after the first day of wrestling. They are in fifth place, tied with Rapid City Stevens.
Chamberlain is in 25th place with 12 team points.
Pierre leads the Day 1 standings with 84 points, followed by Huron (72), Sturgis (68.5) and Rapid City Central (65).
“With the team we had coming back, we thought we could make a run at the state title,” Carpenter said. “But with the injuries we’ve had, we want to get in that top-five spot. We have six seniors on the team, and five who qualified for state, and I want to send them all out on a positive note.”
Jason Greenway will be going after his second straight state title today. Last year, he beat Jarrett Jensen in the finals to win his first state championship as a junior.
Friday, Greenway pinned his first opponent and picked up a 7-3 decision in the quarterfinals. Greenway will wrestle Sturgis’ Clay Kopplin in the semifinals today.
Havlik will be going for his third straight state title. Havlik pinned his first opponent in 42 seconds Friday and won his quarterfinals match with an 11-3 major decision.
Havlik will be wrestling a familiar opponent today in Rapid City Central’s Aero Amo. Havlik’s lone loss this year was to Amo, but the Mitchell 170-pounder has won three of four head-to-head matches against Amo.
“It’s going to be fun. It’s always fun when those two wrestle,” Carpenter said. “Brent is going to be focused and he’s extremely prepared.”
Lakin Neugbauer lost in the state championship last year to Pierre’s Tanner Monfore. On Friday, Neugebauer pinned his first opponent and won 10-0 in the second round.
Neugebauer is wrestling Brookings’ Josh Puppe in the semifinals today. Monfore is wrestling Sturgis’ Morgan Engebrecht in the other semifinal at 126.
Kummer won two decision matches Friday to advance to today’s semifinal, where he’ll face Harrisburg’s Mitchell Schenk for a spot in the state title match. Kummer beat Yankton’s Levi Davis 5-2 in the first round, and he beat Milbank’s Spencer Folk 7-3 in the quarterfinals.
“We’ve got bigger aspirations than sixth place for Nick, which is guaranteed at this point,” Carpenter said. “He’s been wrestling a lot better as of late. I look for him to have a good day (today).”
Herrick opened his day with a 5-3 decision over Sioux Falls Roosevelt’s Kyle Yasgar. Herrick pinned Lincoln’s Skyler Castillega in the quarterfinals and will wrestle Sturgis’ Tanner Bothwell in the semifinals.
Bothwell has one loss on the year.
“I know Alex is a gamer, and he’ll be prepared when he goes out on the mat,” Carpenter said.
Mitchell has three other wrestlers who won matches on Friday.
Landon Neugebauer (138) also made it through to the second day. He lost his first-round match, but won his next two to stay alive. He took seventh place last season.
Tanner Henkel (145) and Dylon Bollock (113) also won one match apiece, but they were both beaten out in the wrestlebacks.
The Kernels’ Robert McCardle (285) and Logan Parr (182) both were knocked out of the tournament with back-to-back losses in the first two rounds.