Cambridge’s Clay Sayer puts Alma’s Marc Ramirez in a lock during Friday’s RPAC wrestling meet at Southern Valley High School. Sayer was part of a Trojan squad that finished third. Maxwell won the team title, while Southwest was second and had the most individual champions.
Gabe Gauthier/McCook Gazette
OXFORD, Neb. -- On Friday, cats were better than dogs.
And Trojans, and Roughriders, and Falcons, and Cardinals, and a number of other mascots.
With three champions and nine more medalists, Maxwell won the 2018 Republican Plains Activity Conference wrestling meet Friday at Southern Valley High School.
The Wildcats scored 197.5 points to edge out defending conference champion Southwest, which had 184 points.
Maxwell’s three champions -- Ian Smith at 132, Cameron Riggs at 138 and Brett Riggs at 145 -- breezed through their competition. Those three combined for 12 pin fall victories out of 13 matches on Friday.
The Riggs boys stayed unbeaten with Friday’s matches. Brett is now 34-0, while Cameron is 37-0 and extended his all-class state record of consecutive matches won to 183.
Despite having fewer individual champions than Southwest -- 3 for Maxwell, 4 for Southwest -- the Wildcats won the team title thanks to its deep lineup.
Connor McKeeman (113), Jacob Gholson (126) and Caden Messersmith (152) all won silver in their respective weight classes, while Ashton Smith (fourth, 182), Matt Walker (fourth, 195) and Drey Smith (third, 220) all wrestled in top consolation matches.
William McGehee (sixth, 106), Klayton Pagel (fifth, 120), and Luke Howitt (sixth, 170) also won points for Maxwell.
Southwest was led by Kaden Guerrero (126), Cody Downey (195), Anthony Starr (220) and Logan Kircher (285), who won their respective weight classes.
Matthew Van Pelt (138) and Wyatt McConville (170) finished second for the Roughriders, while Cole Downey (145) and Harley Remington (182) were fifth.
Cambridge finished third with 162 team points.
The Trojans were led by Matthew Pearson’s championship at 182. After defeating Southern Valley’s James Hargett in his third match, Pearson defeated Hargett again for the weight class title.
Seth Andrews (220) was the only Trojan to finish runner-up. After winning his first four matches, Andrews was pinned by Southwest’s Starr in the first place match.
Shane Horwart (third, 106), John TenBensel (fourth, 120), Josh Paisley (fourth, 138), Kaden Benson (third, 152), Bobby Evans (fourth, 160), Keegan Benson (fourth, 170) and Tyler Schultz (third, 285) also put in notable performances.
Hitchcock County rounded out the top five with 110 points.
Zach Janousek and Wyatt Standiford led the Falcons with first-place finishes at 120 and 152, respectively.
Other top performers for the Falcons were Noah Standiford finishing third at 138 and Remington Hodges finishing fourth at 220.
Arapahoe and Southern Valley tied for sixth with each scoring 107 team points.
The Warriors were led by runner-up performances from Isaac Goshert at 106 and Tyler Kapperman at 120. Shane Sieja (113) and Detric Kasson (160) finished third.
The home crowd saw one Eagle crowned champion. Chase Becker won all five of his matches to win 160 and improve to 33-3 this season.
Hargett lost twice to Cambridge’s Pearson to finish second at 182, while Jared Bennet (120) and Shawn Anderson (145) were third for the Eagles.
Medicine Valley finished ninth and was led by Austin Wolfe’s runner-up performance at 195.
Wolfe won four of five matches, which included a pair of wins over 25+ match winners Matt Walker of Maxwell and Hector Lugo of Alma.
Jaden Henderson (126) and Justin Pendleton (170) finished third in their respective weight classes.
Dundy County-Stratton had one champion in Brenden Warman (113).
Dakota Ehart (285) was runner-up at 285 with three wins before he had a medical forfeit to Southwest’s Kircher.
Wauneta-Palisade finished with eight points. Evan Nordhausen (106) and Willis Chritner (160) finished fifth.