LINCOLN — The 33rd annual Cornhusker State Games gave seven Columbus-area wrestlers a chance to test their skills in six different styles.
The group combined to win 11 gold medals at the event, held July 22-23 at the Ice Box in Lincoln.
Columbus Wrestling Organization head coach and Columbus High assistant coach Brian Brownlow said the State Games give youths additional mat time at a fun tournament while exposing them to new wrestling styles.
“I guess I’ve have always believed every time you step on a mat, it’ll be a benefit to your wrestling development,” Brownlow said. “It’s a lot of fun. That is the kind of a place for them to go down there and try different styles in a relaxed environment.”
Three of the seven wrestlers earned Ironman awards at the event, based on a point system that factors in each style. To qualify, a wrestler must compete in at least four of the six styles. The award adds incentive for wrestlers to compete in multiple styles.
“It’s a lot of fun how they break apart the styles. The more events you compete in, the more mat time you get," Brownlow said. "So it's a great setup they have with the Ironman award.”
Columbus High junior Carter Kucera, a two-time state medalist in Class A, and youth wrestlers Adrian Bice and Owen Jasper each earned an Ironman award.
Bice, who competed against 11- to 15-year-old kids weighing between 79 and 89 pounds, was the top performer of the area group with three gold medals and three silvers.
Columbus High head wrestling coach Adam Keiswetter said the seventh-grader is one of the many talented kids coming up through the youth program.
“He could be a superstar in the next couple of years,” Keiswetter said. “Our youth program has some kids that are really dedicated and it shows by how many go around to tournaments and camps in the summer.”
Bice took first in takedown, beach and Greco-Roman wrestling at the State Games.
Jasper competed against 6- to 10-year-olds and came away with three golds and one silver in the 48- to 53-pound weight class. He came away with titles in takedown, freestyle and beach.
Kucera earned the Ironman honor by competing in all six styles. His brother Cadyn also competed in every style.
Carter Kucera took home four golds (freestyle, advantage, scholastic and beach) in weight divisions ranging from 124 to 136 pounds.
Anthony DeAnda, a state qualifier at 160 pounds as a freshman, competed in two events, taking first in freestyle in the 14- to 16-year-old division at 173 to 194 pounds and second in the scholastic style.
Eddie Laredo rounded out the trio of Columbus High wrestlers who competed in Lincoln. Laredo, who has been behind former CHS wrestlers Wyatt Olcott and Cyrus Marshall for a varsity spot, showed he’ll be ready for a shot at the lineup this year by earning two silver medals (freestyle and Greco-Roman) and a bronze (scholastic) in the 194- to 217-pound weight division.
Brownlow’s son Kaden captured two silver medals and a fourth- and fifth-place finish while competing in five events in the 9- to 13-year-old age division at 79 to 85 pounds. He was runner-up in the beach and takedown styles.
Cadyn Kucera finished with a silver in scholastic style, three bronzes and two fourth-place finishes in the 11- and 12-year-old division at 79 to 85 pounds.