Despite winning only one weight class at the Johnson County Classic wrestling meet this weekend, Blue Valley Southwest won the team title with 489 points — 23.5 points better than defending champion Olathe North.
Cordel Duhart, who is 18-0 on the year, won the title at 220 pounds over Blue Valley Northwest’s Josh Cruz.
1. BV Southwest 489.0
2. Olathe North 465.5
3. Olathe Northwest 337.0
4. BV Northwest 328.0
5. Gardner Edgerton 322.0
5. Olathe South 322.0
9. SM East 252.0
16. Bishop Miege 139.0
20. SM North 82.0
The Timberwolves had eight wrestlers place in the top three or better and an additional three place fourth or fifth: Brandon Madden took third at 106 pounds, Justin Williams third at 113, Joseph Dennison second at 120, Riley McCall second at 132, Jake Christie third at 170, Johnnie Kramer second at 182 and Justin Hill third at 195.
Blue Valley Northwest finished fourth as a team with 328 points, Shawnee Mission East was ninth with 252. Blue Valley West and St. Thomas Aquinas finished 11th and 12th, respectively, with 218 and 202.5 points. Blue Valley North, Blue Valley and Bishop Miege finished 14 through 16 with 158.5, 145.5 and 139 points, respectively. Shawnee Mission North finished 20th with 82 points.
Most of the winners came from Olathe schools, but St. Thomas Aquinas’ Bret Minor won the 120 pound division while Anthony Gaona won 195, and BV Northwest’s Garret Tierney won 182 pounds.
Minor handed Shawnee Mission Northwest’s Charles Brockmann his first loss of the season.
The meet was unconventional in the sense it wasn’t straight bracket play. On Friday, there were up to five pool play rounds, which seed the wrestlers for Saturday’s brackets.
Shawnee Mission East’s Austin Wilson, 138 pounds, and BV Northwest’s Garret Parks, 170, both liked the style because it allowed them to get in more matches.
“I like to see where I am and how I compare against other people in my weight class,” Parks said. “It’s good to know where you’re starting going into the tournament.”
Parks, a junior, who finished fourth in his weight class, is wrestling varsity for the whole season for the first time in his career and he said the intensity is different than junior varsity.
He said at the junior varsity level, it’s much more relaxed and go into the matches. Now, he has to mentally prepare for what’s ahead. He said he’ll get in the zone by listening to music and figuring out how he’ll approach each of his opponent.
In a tournament like this, he approached the pool play the same way as the bracket play.
“If I don’t place top two in my pool, I get to wrestle for ninth, which I don’t want to do,” Parks said. “I like it because it brings the intensity to day one, not just the second day.”
The tournament is one of the largest in the area outside of regionals with 20 teams. Some wrestlers had nine matches over the two-day tournament.
Wilson, who finished eighth at 138 pounds, wrestled seven matches and had a bye during bracket play. While the tournament moved along swiftly, Wilson found himself in a stalemate in his first match against Blue Valley’s Coby Blasen. Wilson would win 1-0 because of an escape in the third period, but Blasen ended up having a bloody nose and would need to be cleaned up three times during the match.
“When blood time is going and we’re getting all cleaned up, it’s really good chance to see what you’re doing, see what you need to do and it’s good for my coach to give me some pointers and help me out,” Wilson said. “It is good in that regard so you know what you’re doing wrong in a match while it’s still going on.”