COLUMBUS — In a loaded district at Central Community College in Columbus, the High Plains Storm finished second to D-1 District champion East Butler.
The D-1 District field included five of the Top 10 rated teams in Class D, East Butler (No. 4), High Plains (No. 5), Friend (No. 6), Palmer (No. 8) and Freeman (No. 10).
High Plains will be sending six wrestlers on to the state tournament which gets underway on Thursday at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha and runs through Saturday when all the state champions will be crowned.
For the McCool Junction Mustangs it was the end of the road as they were not able to get anyone to the state tournament.
The East Butler Tigers finished the day with 151 points. High Plains had 130, third went to Franklin with 114, fourth place was Thayer Central with 97 and fifth went to Freeman with 95.
The Mustangs were 17th in an 18-team field with 12 points.
The Storm and head coach Norm Manstedt crowned two district champions. Cale Bolton went 4-0 as he defeated Clayton Hintz of Thayer Central, the No. 5 rated wrestler in D, 8-6, to win the 138 pound title. In his run, Bolton also defeated Vince Vollmer of Ravenna (3:42), Dylan Smith of Weeping Water (5:12) to make the finals. Bolton, a junior, will take a 30-5 record and Class D No. 4 rating in his weight class to state.
At 285, Kyle Beck, the No. 6 rated wrestler and 25-10 on the year, was best in his bracket at the district. Beck, a senior, defeated Aaron Gerdes of Southern in 49 seconds, was an 11-5 winner over Michael Williams of Weeping Water in the semifinals and pinned Robby Kelly of Sutton in 27 seconds in the championship match.
Falling short of a district title, but still among the state qualifiers for the Storm was Brandon Burruss (34-9) the No. 2 rated wrestler in the state at 120 pounds. Burruss met up with No. 3 Mack James of Franklin and James won by pin in 1:39.
Picking up third was Tanner Fate (30-14) at 160 as he defeated Ethan Haussermann of Franklin in the third place match. Fate is the No. 6 rated wrestler at 160 pounds.
The rest of the High Plains state tournament field will include Lance Church (26-17) at 132 and Trey Engel (7-4) at 145.
McCool Junction’s Kirby Hobbs at 285 was one match away as he lost his bid to make the third place match. He was pinned by Eliseco of Dorchester in the consolation semifinal. Both Jake Birt at 182 and Kolby Cheek at 220 made it to the third round of consolations before they were eliminated.
The state tournament gets underway on Thursday morning with the first session featuring Class A and D, while the evening session will be Classes B and C.
Team Scoring - East Butler 151, High plains 130, Franklin 114, Thayer Central 97, Freeman 95, Sutton 93, Weeping Water 90.5, Palmer 88.5, Friend 86.5, Meridian 72, Arcadia-Loup City 59, Ravenna 58, Superior 43, Harvard 29, Southern 27, Dorchester 16, McCool Junction 12, Palmyra 8.