By BLAKE SPURNEY
Hesston Record Staff
Hesston won five consecutive wrestling duals last week, accomplishing a feat that hasn’t been done in at least eight years.
The Swathers defeated Halstead, Cheney and Herington on Tuesday, Jan. 26. Two days later, they defeated Southeast of Saline and Remington.
Head coach Doug Broadfoot said Hesston hadn’t won five straight since 2007 or 2008. The team finished with a 7-3 dual record on the season.
Hesston’s closest match during the streak was its 39-33 victory Jan. 28 against Southeast of Saline. Juan Guzman lost 10-5 against Abel Alvarez, the second-ranked wrestler in Class 3A among 220-pounders. The final score was Alvarez’s closest match of the season. Patrick Deegan clinched the victory with a forfeit win.
Hesston’s four biggest wrestlers all won their matches against Remington. Broadfoot said he was impressed with Guzman and Deegan.
Broadfoot said he rested some of his older wrestlers on Jan. 26 to give younger ones some varsity time. David Merchant won his two matches against touch competition, and Deegan looked as physical as Broadfoot had ever seen him against Herington’s Nate Bachus.
On Friday, Hesston placed 10th out of 14 teams in a loaded Garden Plain Invitational.
“I was expecting more, but in retrospect, I think we finished about where we should have,” Broadfoot said. “Everybody there was good.”
According to him, the competition was the touchest Hesston will see this season. Bishop Carroll, Wichita East and Dodge City were among the teams at the tournament.
Jake Wingfield went 2-2 and placed third in the 182-pound bracket. Merchant, Guzman and Tyler Bachman each finished fourth. Merchant bit through his lip during his final match against Lakin’s Luis McPerson. Merchant had pinned McPerson in the opening round, but he lost a 12-5 decision in the rematch.
Tanner Bachman, Matt Whitsitt and Deegan placed sixth. Deegan had to withdraw from his final match due to a back injury.
The Swathers have one more tournament this Friday and Saturday at Circle High School in Towanda before they get ready to play host for the Central Kansas League tournament. After the league meet, they head to regionals Feb. 19-20 at Marion.