Boys wrestled qualify nine to State

Kris Long, Print Editor-in-Chief

The Manhattan High boys Varsity wrestling team qualified nine of their fourteen wrestlers for State on Saturday and placed fourth in the tournament after a grueling western Regional. 

They finished with 193 team points, only twelve behind winners Washburn Rural and only three behind third place Derby. 

“Our Regional is tough,” head coach Shawn Bammes said. “Your top three, four out of the top six finishes at State are always in our region. You can look at it two ways, whether it’s fair or not, but we tell them, ‘if you can make it in our region, you have a good chance of placing at State so we really try to focus on that.”

Seniors #138 Easton Taylor, #145 Blaisen Bammes, #220 Talique Houston, #152 Tucker Brunner and #113 Janzten Borge; junior #195 Jaxon Vikander; sophomores #160 Isaac Sinks and #126 Jameal Agnew; and freshman #120 Logan Logerman all qualified for the tournament. The number of qualifications is an improvement on last year’s five State participants and 2020’s eight, and puts them in the running for a medal at State next week. 

“We’re usually in that nine to 12 range,” coach Bammes said. “So we’re a little bit lower than where I was hoping we would be, but I think the nine we got in, they all got a chance to get a medal at the State tournament.”

The team had three Regional champions: Taylor, Brunner and Houston. Brunner, unranked until this weekend, injured his opponents – ranked fifth and third in the State – in both the semi-final and final to win the tournament.

Other medalists include Blaisen, who took second after losing in the finals to Derby’s Knowlyn Egan, dropping him to second in the rankings. Vikander and Agnew placed third, Borge and Logerman placed fourth and Sinks – who has been injured for the past month – came back to take fifth.

The girls team qualified only freshman #155 Sage Rosario for State, who will compete at State on Feb. 24 and 25. The boys tournament is on the 25 and 26 also in Wichita. 

“We’re ready to roll,” coach Bammes said. “We got brackets we’ve been looking at. There’s a couple of tough roads, but you know, once you’re there, it’s anybody’s tournament. We’ve seen all types of things happen. So we’ve got to keep the spirits up and be positive and go out there and lay it on the line and get after it.”