All the playful jab about his still-maturing mustache did Wednesday for Ruger Reimers was make his smile grow wider.
Minutes earlier at CHI Health Center, Reimers posted career victory No. 205. That made the senior from Palmer the new Class D record holder for most wins, passing Cameron Riggs of North Platte St. Patrick’s and Maxwell (2015-18).
Reimers pinned Beau Lake of Bayard at 3:44 of their 145-pound quarterfinal to advance to a Thursday semifinal against second-ranked Gabe Escalante of Winside.
The top-ranked Reimers is 50-2 this season. Escalante improved to 43-5.
After again leaving the mat victorious, Reimers headed to the seats just behind Mat 4 to sit and chat with his older brother, Hunter. That’s when some fans from High Plains drifted into the brothers’ conversation with a comment about the wisps of hair between his nose and upper lip.
Both Ruger and Hunter got a good chuckle out of the comments. Once Ruger returned to the arena level for an impromptu press conference, he was grateful not only for the record but getting the opportunity to pursue that goal.
“I’m just grateful for getting this opportunity to wrestle this year,” Reimers said. “It feels like a little is off the platter, but I still have two more.”
Reimers won his first state championship last season after finishing third as a freshman and sophomore. He defeated Jeremy Larson of Brady for the 132-pound crown to finish last season 51-3.
To jump two weight classes for his senior season was a challenge Reimers was more than willing to take on as he trusted the leverage he gets from his taller frame.
“The kids are a lot tougher, a lot stronger than they are down at 32,” Reimers said. “But I was in the weight room, and my technique has got me where I am today.”
Using his length advantage helped Reimers earn that pin over Lake in the quarterfinals after earning an 8-3 decision over Axtell freshman Taaron Lavicky in the first round.
“He’s a lot more jacked than I was,” Reimers said. “I think length goes further than strength in this sport.”
While getting the Class D victories record was an admitted goal that didn’t sink in until his quarterfinal match was over, Reimers said the primary prize — a second state championship — still has his attention.
“I didn’t overthink it,” Reimers said. “I didn’t really think about it until the match was over. Getting my name in the record book is obviously a big goal, but not the ultimate goal. I have to wrestle like I haven’t wrestled in my entire life.