Chase County's May wins Class C state title at 160 pounds
MVM Rattlers take 4th place
LINCOLN -- Yet again, Chase County has brought home a state champion.
For the last two years, it had been Jay Wood.
This year, it was Taylor May's turn as he dominated the Nebraska Class C 160-pound weight class.
Two other area wrestlers were in the finals for Class C.
Adam Hazen (112) and Earl Mortensen (119) of Medicine Valley-Maywood each had the chance to close out their careers with state titles. Each fell one win short.
Kearney's Andrew Baumgartner (Class A 145) fell one with shy of finishing his season with an undefeated sate title.
Baumgartner grew up in McCook, where his grandmother still lives, before moving to Kearney with his parents.
Medicine Valley-Maywood took fourth with three other place winners.
McCook's Richard Smock added a sixth-place finish at 215.
McCook wrestling coach Dean Reicks said. "I'm shaking. That was a big win."
May, a junior at Chase County, will have the chance to follow in Wood's footsteps next year. He finished his season at 35-3, and is the only semifinalist that will return next season.
May racked up team points for the Longhorns in each round.
His first match was a pin in three minutes, 48 seconds. He followed that up with a 15-0 technical fall and a semifinal pin in 1:39.
The semifinal win over Harvard-Clay Center's Shane Dowse was like a cat playing with a mouse, before putting it out of its misery.
His championship bout was just as impressive. May took an early lead, one that he would not come close to giving up.
That gave him his fourth win over a 29-plus match winner. With it, came the state title.
MVM's Earl Mortensen (119) had been fighting demons since last year's loss in the Class D state championship match.
"It hurt a lot," Mortensen said. "But every time I thought about quitting or doing something else in the summer, I remembered how it felt to stand behind that bracket instead of in front of it. That was my motivation."
The motivation worked all season long. Mortensen had a 33-1 record on the year before the match with Theyer Central's Brandon Gaines.
Both his quarterfinal andsemifinal matches were won by two points, so the fact that the final was decided by a point surprised no one.
Mortensen was down one point in the third period, but could not escape from the bottom position.
Adam Hazen had a more difficult task at 112 pounds.
After pinning his first two opponents, Hazen won a 6-5 decision over Oakland-Craig's Dustin Franklin to get to the finals.
Ord's Dru Kastler was 37-0 going into the final. The junior won a major decision over Hazen, 9-1 giving him the title over the MVM senior.
While, Hazen and Mortensen lost tough matches to swallow, the Class A 145-pound match was just as tough for Baumgartner.
The senior won the 125-pound title as a sophomore. He sat out last year with an injury.
He scored a 3:51 pin in his first match and a 7-5 decision in the quarterfinal Thursday evening.
Baumgartner's pass to the finals came when he earned a major decision 14-1 against Jacob Reinert of Grand Island.
Unfortunately the matchup with Travis Liechti (35-5) handed the Bearcat, his first loss of the year, 6-4.
MVM added four more place-winners, earning them fourth place. The consolidated team finished behind David
City Aquinas, David City and only 6 1/2 points behind North Bend Central.
Justin Wilkinson came back from a semifinal loss to take third in a double overtime thriller.
He rode out Ryan Schledewitz, Hemingford, for the 30-second period to earn the win, his second consecutive overtime win.
Quenton Mortensen (Earl's cousin) took fourth at 275 pounds, Jeffrey Myers (5th-130) and Alex Hasenauer (6th-215).
For head coach Derek Hammerlun, it was a great run.
"Sometimes we don't get everything we want," Hammerlun said. "They'll (Hazen and Mortensen) are going to cherish these moments, the Parade of Champions and representing their team.
"We knew the David City school and North Bend would be tough, but we're happy with the results."