Archive for Sunday, February 12, 2006

Hardy slams door on opponent’s perfect season

Free State senior one of six city wrestlers to win Sunflower League titles

February 12, 2006


— It should go down in Free State wrestling lore as simply "The Throw."

Jesse Hardy didn't just take down Olathe East's Jacob Metzger, ranked No. 1 in the state with an unblemished 31-0 record.

Hardy took him down so hard at Saturday's Sunflower League meet that it brought the entire team to its feet, so hard that he was asked for autographs from children afterward.

And so hard he not only made Metzger's nose bleed - he made his own bleed, as well.

"He had all his momentum going on one side," Hardy said, "so it kind of makes the throw happen a little harder and a little better."

A few seconds after the most violent toss of the day, it was over. Hardy pinned a stunned Metzger 15 seconds into the second round, taking the 189-pound championship.

"He was number one in the state, and everybody was kind of doubting me," Hardy said. "Since he was undefeated, everyone was expecting that he was going to kill me. That pumped me up a little more."

Metzger's fall was one of very few things to go wrong for East on Saturday, as the team placed 12 of its 14 wrestlers to take the team title with 196 points.

Lawrence High finished second in the 12-team field with 160 points, while Free State came in fifth with 131.5.

The Lions had nine top-six wrestlers, led by two league champions.

Nolan Kellerman kept his undefeated season intact, posting three victories to take the 171 title.

"I really wasn't wrestling that great today," Kellerman said. "I had a couple of close matches - closer than they should have been - and luckily I pulled my head out before the championship match."

The senior, who weighed in eight pounds under weight because of a battle with strep throat, dominated Shawnee Mission North's Artie Squire in the final, 10-1, after slipping by him in an earlier tournament by a single point.

Brandon Goodwin took the other individual crown for the Lions, overcoming a knee injury suffered in his 103-pound final match to pin Olathe South's Chaz Lawrence in the third round. The junior avenged a previous loss to Lawrence, winning his first-ever high school tournament.

Though they finished second, the Lions' 160 points were higher than their league-winning score of 157 last year.

"In spots we wrestled well," LHS coach Mark Dulgarian said, "but in spots we got beat in matches that we quite possibly should have won."

Free State came away with the most individual championships of any team, as all four grapplers in the finals won their championship bouts.

K.J. Siebert overcame his LHS jinx at 152, registering a late takedown to secure an 8-4 victory over the Lions' Brendan Halpin. Siebert finished second to Kellerman last year.

Marc Somers put himself in an early 5-0 hole, but quickly recovered, pinning Olathe South's Seth Sweet in the final round to win at 130 and improve his record to 27-2.

Also, Alex Hardman picked up his first tournament victory, taking an 11-4 decision in the 119 final.

Both teams will participate in the Class 6A regional Saturday at Olathe East.


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