Competition tough for Wolverine wrestlers
The first step was consistently a doozy for the Tahoe-Truckee Wolverines’ wrestling team at the 3A State Championships held at Pershing County High School in Lovelock, Feb. 10-13.
Eight of Truckee’s nine wrestlers competing in the NIAA State Championship were defeated by individuals who ranked in the top three spots at championship’s end. The four highest ranking wrestlers for Truckee, Brian Kendrick, Ian Wrenn, James Curtis and Jesse Helsdon, finished no higher than third place as the Wolverines finished the tournament ranked 14th.
Curtis and Helsdon were the top ranked finishers for the Wolverines, ranked third in their respective weight classes at tournament’s end.
Curtis barreled through the first two matches of the tournament in the 160-pound weight class before meeting two-time (and defending state champion) Chad Conley of Spring Creek High School. Curtis was defeated by Conley who went on to win the state competition with a 3-0 decision over Battle Mountain’s Jeff Waite. Curtis won in a close decision over Virgin Valley’s Mo Woods in the consolation bracket, 1-0.
Helsdon, like Curtis, started strong at the tournament, easily winning his first two matches against White Pine’s Joseph Reed and Moapa Valley’s Mike Uri. Helsdon was moved to the consolation bracket after being defeated by Battle Mountain’s Chad Taylor who finished second in the tournament. Helsdon defeated Yerrington’s Ricky Gutierrez for the third-place ranking.
In the 130-pound weight class, Kendrick was also the victim of an early loss to the eventual champion. Kendrick, who finished the tournament ranked fourth, defeated wrestlers from ROP and Moapa Valley before being defeated by Virgin Valley’s ?????? Closson, who went on to become state champion with a pin in the finals. Kendrick recovered for a win against Incline’s Jesse Malsan, but was pinned by Thomas Romero 4:55 into the consolation finals.
Truckee’s Ian Wrenn finished the tournament ranked sixth in the state. After a first-round victory over Incline’s Jacob Menath, Wrenn was dealt a loss by two-time and defending state champion Scott Woods of Virgin Valley. Wrenn could not recover and lost in the consolation bracket.
A majority of Truckee’s wrestlers were the victim of circumstance. Dennis Graham, wrestling at 103 pounds, lost in the first round to Jake Johnson, who finished second in the tournament. Mike Acuff lost in the first round to Michael Heinzig, who wrestled his way to third in the competition.
Todd Seaborg was defeated in the first round by Anthony Olivero, who finished as the state’s third-ranked wrestler in the 119 division. Richard Grossman also was defeated by the state’s third best when he lost to Battle Mountain’s Adam Hopkins in the 189 weight class. Brad Sausser claimed one win before suffering consecutive losses and elimination from the tourney.
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