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Wrestlers ready for Vegas

LARA MULLIN, Sierra Sun

This weekend’s Northern AAA Dual Team tournament will be the deciding meet to determine which wrestlers will travel to Las Vegas for state competition in one week.

Coach Mike Halket is expecting many members to qualify for the toughest tournament in Nevada.

Coming off a first place finish in last week’s tournament at Fernley, Jessie Helsdon is a strong contender for the Vegas tournament. Helsdon had three solid pins in last weekend’s competition and is “looking very strong” according to Halket, despite suffering a broken hand at the beginning of the season.

Senior James Curtis, who placed third in state last year, was out last weekend due to a shoulder injury but promises to make a fierce appearance in divisional competition this weekend. Wrestlers must place in the top five spots in their weight class among the northern schools to qualify for states.

Junior Ian Wrenn, wrestling at 145 pounds, placed in state last year and has been a force on the mat for the Wolverines all season.

“Ian is one of our best wrestlers, but his weight class is also the most competitive in the league, he will have to wrestle tough this weekend to make it to states,” said Halket. Wrenn finished third in last weekend’s tournament, losing to a solid Yerington wrestler that will surely reappear at the dual tourney at Spring Creek.

Senior Brian Kendrick has been gaining momentum in the last few weeks, capturing a first place at the Tonopah tournament and second at Fernley in the 140-pound weight class. After placing in state last year, he will be looking to repeat his past performance in his last year at Truckee.

In the last few tournaments junior Brad Sauser has racked up points with takedowns and has been wrestling strongly throughout the duration of each match. At the Tonopah tournament, Sauser lost his first match and then proceeded to win his next six to finish in third place for the weekend – this is the determination that will take him to Las Vegas.

Sophomore Mike Acuff suffered from a broken finger this season, but has continued to improve as he spends more time on the mat and in tournaments. At 135 pounds, he will have to be ruthless this weekend to qualify for states. Freshman Marcus Waters is another wrestler that is moving in the right direction, showing moments of strength and experience on the mat as the season progresses.

Coach Halket noted that he is “very capable and determined,” which will be an asset to the team next year when Waters has a year under his belt.

Freshman Rick Sauser is another new wrestler who has continued to improve this season and will add to next year’s team with the experience and knowledge he has gained in his first year out.

Wrestling at a mere 103 pounds, Junior Dennis Graham is currently second in the division behind Tiger MacKintyre of Fernley. In only his second season wrestling, Graham has proved he is a force to be reckoned with and will face a tough match this weekend.

The Dual Tournament kicks off on Feb. 2 and will conclude on Saturday as five northern wrestlers and three southern competitors from each weight category will move on to the State Tournament on Feb. 9 and 10.


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