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WRESTLING

Class A: Patriots in position to repeat; Columbus moves into second

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Wrestling

Millard South’s exclamation point may have punctuated a second straight state title for the Patriots.

Top-ranked 220-pounder Alex Cloyd broke the state’s single-season pin record by downing No. 3 Wyatt Olcott of Columbus in the semifinals Friday night.

It capped a day in which the Patriots put three into Saturday’s finals — Cloyd, 106-pounder Blake Jackson and three-time champion Isaac DeLoa at 138.

Five other Patriots will wrestle for medals in the consolation round before the championships.

“I thought we’d have a good day if we could get eight medals and we did,” Millard South coach Doug Denson said. “I thought it would be a good day if we could get four in the finals and we got three. So, not bad.”

Denson predicted before the tournament that it would be difficult for a Class A team to reach 160 points because of parity.

His top-ranked bunch isn’t far off, finishing Friday with 128.5 points. The only team within 40 of the Patriots is No. 2 Columbus (103).

“All of these guys are beating each other up and points are flying all over the place to all different teams,” Denson said. “We just had to stay a little bit ahead of that.”

Cloyd (52-0) capped the day with his record-breaking 49th pin, but will take a back seat to his teammate, the same guy he replaced atop the season pin chart.

DeLoa — the lone wrestler seeking his fourth title Saturday — set the previous mark of 48 falls a year ago.

“Just to be up there with him is awesome,” Cloyd said.

The other Millard South finalist was a bit of a surprise. Freshman 106-pounder Blake Jackson avenged a loss earlier in the season with a 3-1 win in ultimate tiebreaker over Fremont’s Cody Fielder.

Fourth-ranked Jackson appeared to score a takedown in the closing seconds of overtime. It was originally awarded, then waved off after the officials conferred.

He rode out Fielder in the first overtime and then spun for a reversal in the second extra session to clinch the win.

“Holy cow,” Denson said. “That is the toughest thing when all of that emotion happens. He stuck with it.”

Columbus matched Millard South with three finalists, but will have only two other medalists. Kobe Paczosa-Hall (120), Colton Wolfe (195) and Cy Marshall (285) all won for the Discoverers in Friday’s semifinals.

The team will likely be without Marshall, though, after he need assistance leaving the mat with what appeared to be a head injury that ended his semifinal with Omaha Creighton Prep’s Tristan Wilson. Marshall was awarded the win after it was ruled the slam that injured him was illegal.

Sixth-ranked Omaha Burke qualified three finalists to end the day in fourth place in the team race, a point behind Kearney. The Bearcats will have no wrestlers going for golds.

All three Burke finalists would be considered favorites to win Saturday. Top-ranked 106-pounder Joey Harrison — who is rated nationally — looked the part Friday night and has beaten Jackson of Millard South with first-period pins twice this season.

Teammates James Burks (132) and Connor Fox (152) each have wins over their finals opponents, too.

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