NORTH PLATTE – This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Columbus High wrestling team.
And while the Discoverers lack the top-end firepower of the 2016-17 team, this year’s team managed to outdo that squad in at least one aspect.
Last season, Columbus sent 10 wrestlers to the state tournament. On Saturday in North Platte, the Discoverers, ranked seventh in Class A, qualified 12 of a possible 14 wrestlers to the state tournament, winning the District A-3 title along the way.
Columbus finished with 186 points, racing past No. 5 Omaha Burke, which was second with 171.5 points and No. 3 Millard South, third with 151 points.
For the third straight season, Columbus also qualifies for the state dual tournament the final weekend of February.
Carson Zwingman (44-9) came up with the biggest win of the day for the Discoverers. The junior, ranked fifth at 170 pounds, cemented himself as a threat to at least medal at the state tournament in Omaha by pinning second-ranked Braiden Ruffin in 3 minutes, 14 seconds in the district title match.
Kasten Grape and Carter Kucera also brought home individual titles. Grape (46-6), No. 3 at 182 pounds, only had to win two matches, getting a pin in the semifinal and beating fifth-ranked Trajen Linear from Papillion-La Vista South by fall in overtime.
Kucera (46-3) beat North Platte’s Jayson Scott 6-5 in the 126-pound championship match. The junior, No. 2 in his weight class, also picked up wins by fall and major decision.
Avery McMeekin (152 pounds) and Anthony DeAnda (195 pounds) both finished second in their weight classes.
106-pounder Clay Cerny came up with a win by tiebreaker in the consolation semifinal over Omaha Central’s Ryan Turner to clinch his spot at state. Cerny backed it up with a win in the third-place match.
Cade Fullner (145 pounds), Eddie Loredo (220 pounds) and Tristan Colford (285 pounds) also finished third for Columbus.
Blayze Standley (160 pounds), Thad Baldwin (120 pounds) and Tanner Kobza (113 pounds) finished fourth.
YORK – Lakeview continued its successful wrestling season Saturday with a top-three finish in the B-1 district tournament in York.
The Vikings were third, scoring 143 points. Omaha Skutt ran away with the district title, scoring 209 points and Plattsmouth was second with 164 points.
Boone Central/Newman Grove was seventh with 81 points and Scotus Central Catholic was eighth with 73 points.
Lakeview qualified seven wrestlers to the state tournament, topping last season’s school record of six qualifiers.
Scotus had two state qualfiers and BC/NG had three qualifiers.
The championship matches weren’t friendly to the Vikings. Lakeview sent five wrestlers to the district finals, all five came away with losses.
126-pounder Gage Perry (29-3), 132-pounder Joel Lemburg (32-6), 138-pounder Boston Barcel (27-11), 152-pounder Zeth Gerkensmeyer (30-7) and 160-pounder Jacob Frenzen (35-11) were the runners-up for the Vikings.
Brook Behlen (third at 170 pounds) and Cody Thompson (fourth at 285 pounds) are the other state qualifiers for Lakeview.
Wren Allen came up with a district championship for the Shamrocks. The 195-pound senior, who is 35-9 on the season, won all three of his matches to capture the title.
He’ll be joined by teammate Landon Sokol at the state tournament. Sokol finished second at 285 pounds.
Will Grape (second at 106 pounds), Garrett Cornwell (third at 160 pounds) and Trey Schafer (second at 170 pounds) all qualified for Boone Central/Newman Grove.
BEATRICE – Schuyler finished third and qualified nine wrestlers to the state tournament on Saturday at the B-2 district tournament in Beatrice.
The Warriors scored 147.5 points. Hastings won the district title with 177.5 points.
State qualifiers for Schuyler are:
Denilson Martinez (fourth at 120 pounds), Miguel Roman (fourth at 138 pounds), Caden Yrkoski (third at 152 pounds), Isaac Hernandez (third at 160 pounds), Michael Hernandez (fourth at 170 pounds), Caleb Novak (third at 182 pounds), Rosel Diaz (second at 195 pounds), Jesus Maganda (first at 220 pounds) and Angel Rojo (fourth at 285 pounds).
MALCOM -- David City took the District C-1 team title at Malcolm on Saturday, qualifying eight wrestlers for the state tournament.
It's the Scouts' sixth district title in a row.
David City scored 199 points, outpacing Central City’s 134. South Central was third with 121.
The Scouts had four individual champions, three runners-up and a fourth-place qualifier.
Winning gold for the Scouts were Telegram Super Seniors Seth Styskal, (32-1) at 113 pounds, and Melvin Hernandez, (21-0) at 145 pounds. The two were joined by Justin White (43-2) at 138 pounds and Matthew Eilers (37-5) at 220 pounds.
Placing second were Jacson Valentine (34-11) at 132, Noah Styskal (34-4) at 126 and Clayton Harris (23-11) at 120.
Dylan Vodicka (33-13) qualified by placing fourth at 152 pounds.
Shelby-Rising City finished 15th at the tournament with 30 points. Mason Schleis was the lone state qualifier for the Huskies, finishing third at 138 pounds.
UTICA -- David City Aquinas edged Battle Creek Saturday to win the District C-2 title at Centennial High School in Utica.
The Monarchs, who are sending 11 wrestlers to the state tournament in Omaha, scored 222 points while the Braves scored 215.5. Wilber Clatonia was third at 155.5.
Three Aquinas wrestlers won individual district titles -- Telegram Super Senior Kyle Petree (39-3) at 160 pounds, Joseph Reimers (37-0) at 182 pounds and Zach Zitek (34-5) at 106 pounds. Reimers broke the school’s single season takedown record during the tournament.
Logan Helgoth (second at 138 pounds), Michael Coufal (second at 170 pounds), Anthony Buresh (second at 220 pounds), Noah Scott (third at 113 pounds), Lance Dybdal (fourth at 126 pounds), Creighton Redler (fourth at 132 pounds), Sam Wisnieski (fourth at 195 pounds) and Owen Schramm (fourth at 285 pounds) also qualified for state.
NORTH BEND -- Cross County/Osceola qualified a pair of wrestlers to the state tournament Saturday, finishing 10th in the C-3 district tournament in North Bend.
The Cougars scored 53 points. Arlington won the district title with 166 points, edging Logan View by three points.
Christian Carranza was second at 126 pounds and Bryce Reed finished fourth at 132 pounds for CC/O.
WEEPING WATER -- Twin River qualified two wrestlers for the state tournament Saturday at the D-1 district tournament in Weeping Water.
The Titans were 11th in the team race, finishing with 59.5 points. Burwell ran away with the title with 202 points, 92 points ahead of runner-up Neligh-Oakdale.
Jaxson Jones was third at 120 pounds and Jayden Schroder was second at 160 pounds for Twin River.
OAKLAND -- High Plains finished ninth and Clarkson/Leigh was 12th Saturday at the D-2 district tournament in Oakland.
The Storm had four qualifiers, finishing with 77 points. The Patriots qualified two wrestlers while scoring 47 points.
Elkhorn Valley scored 162 points to win the district title.
Logan Russell (47-0) kept his perfect season alive with an individual title at 106 pounds for High Plains. Clay Church (fourth at 120 pounds), Dylan Soule (second at 152 pounds) and Timothy Markvicka (third at 170 pounds) were the other qualifiers for the Storm.
Derek Gumsey (third at 132 pounds) and Tim Zimmerman (third at 160 pounds) qualified for Clarkson/Leigh.
The state tournament begins Thursday and runs through Saturday at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha.