OMAHA – Palmer brought only four wrestlers to the Class D state tournament this weekend but made the most of it on the first day.
The No. 8 Tigers advanced only two into the semifinals, but all four of their qualifiers won their first-round matches. That has the Tigers in seventh place with 25.5 points in the team race after Thursday’s action at the CenturyLink Center Omaha.
Top-ranked and three-time defending champion Amherst leads the way with 81 points, while No. 2 Pender is in second with 59 points.
Kordell Glause, No. 1 at 152 pound and Brett Santin, No. 3 at 182, advanced to the semifinals for Palmer. Trev Sharman and Chase Doncheske both went 1-1 in their matches Thursday.
“It was not a bad day to say the least when you have all your qualifiers win their first-round matches,” Tigers coach Nathan Glause said.
Santin was excited that he and Kordell Glause each reached the semifinals.
“We’re workout partners and we push each other every single day,” Santin said.
Kordell Glause, Nathan’s son, showed no signs of being a first-time state qualifier. The junior dominated both his matches, including an 11-2 major decision over Bayard’s Trenton Applegate in the quarters. Kordell’s poise didn’t surprise his father.
“He’s been around this since he was a little kid,” Nathan said. “He’s been watching the state tournament and has been a workout partner for guys that have made it down here the last couple of years.”
Santin, meanwhile, earned a berth into the semifinals after pinning Osmond’s Randy Kruse in 4 minutes, 57 seconds.
Coach Glause said Santin nearly got in trouble a few times but was able to counter.
“He did a nice job getting himself out of some bad situations and making it work for him to get the pin,” he said.
In Friday’s semifinals, Kordell Glause (49-1) will battle No. 3 Calvin Frerichs of Sumner-Eddyville-Miller while Santin (43-3) takes on Amherst’s Kris Rasmussen.
“The offseason’s made a big difference for both of them and it’s paying off,” coach Glause said. “That’s great to see.”
For Palmer’s other qualifiers, Sharman posted a 16-4 major decision before falling to South Loup’s Garret Dockweiler 7-6. Doncheske earned an 8-7 decision over SMC’s Clay Siefer before dropping a 3-1 decision to Maxwell’s Dylan Gage.
“Those two kids really battled,” coach Glause said. “Trev is hurting right now and he lost to a quality wrestler. We didn’t expect Chase to win his first match so that was great to see. Hopefully they can battle back and get a medal.”
A number of area wrestlers also advanced to the semifinals.
Cedar Valley’s Trey Nekoliczak and Arcadia-Loup City’s Wyatt Lane will meet in the 106-pound semifinal Friday. Nekoliczak, No. 3, posted a 3-0 win over Morrill’s CJ Sidrow while Lane, No. 5, earned an 11-4 victory over Alma’s Kevin Lienemann.
High Plains’ Brandon Burress earned a berth in the semis after pinning Hays Springs’ Chris Ray in 2:24 at 120. Burress, No. 2, will take on top-ranked Mark Dunn of Pender.