RAPID CITY-Mitchell High School had established goals for the team and individuals entering the state wrestling tournament.
The Kernels wanted to place in the top six of the Class A team standings, while Carter Max and Beau Foote reached Saturday's state finals at 220 and 285 pounds, respectively.
A disappointing performance in the quarterfinals and first batch of consolation matches cost Mitchell valuable points as a team, while Max and Foote came up empty in pursuit of state titles. In the end, four Kernels reached the podium and they placed ninth as a team with 79 points in a class where No. 5 Sioux Falls Roosevelt and No. 10 Chamberlain were separated by 18 points.
"If we had a couple more placewinners, we would have been in fifth place," MHS head coach Travis Carpenter said. "It was right there for us, but Friday night was kind of tough on us. We lost a couple we thought we were going in. If we pull a couple of those off, I believe we finish in fifth."
Max (39-4) was the top seed in his class and held a 2-1 advantage over opponent Gus Miller, of Brookings, during the course of the season. All three prior matches, however, were decided by two points and two came in overtime.
For the duration of regulation, the pair battled for position and had a counter for each take down attempt. At the end of 6 minutes, they managed one point apiece-both on escapes-and it would be decided in sudden victory overtime.
As time ticked away, Miller was able to get ahold of one Max's legs and he was not able to break free, resulting in a takedown and a win with seconds left in the period.
"It just happened so fast," Max said. "I don't know if I lost my feet-I honestly don't know what happened. I'll have to go back and watch it. It just happened that way. That's how life is, I guess."
While Max expected to be in position for a state championship, Foote was the sixth seed and toppled the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds on his path to the finals.
The freshman did not have an answer for the No. 1 seed, however. Chamberlain's Nash Hutmacher 32 of his previous were pinned opponents and Foote (35-10) was no different, as the three-time undefeated state champion scored a 9-second pin in the Class A spotlight match.
"We went into a double (underhook) situation and (Hutmacher) is just too strong there," Carpenter said.
Freshman Brock Sparks placed fifth at 106 in his first state tournament, while senior Max Schoenfelder was eighth at 182 pounds.
Chamberlain's Collin Powell took second at 126, while defending state champion Max Donovan was third at 113 and Gabe Skustad was fifth at 132.