Last season, Colby took seventh in Class 3-2-1A with 58.5 points, three ahead of Eureka. The Eagles’ top-two wrestlers were Rathe Aschenbrenner, the third-place finisher at 106 pounds, and Sean Rall, who took third at 152. Together, they combined for 36.5 points.
Rall graduated, and Aschenbrenner was ranked third at 113 most of the year. However, he has not wrestled since the Garden City tournament in late January and did not compete at regionals.
Still, Colby, led by its coaching, camaraderie and improvement, won the challenging WaKeeney-Trego Community regional last weekend. Colby had 168 points, 46 more than runner-up Plainville for 13th-year coach Matt Sims.
The Eagles led with 18 pins, two more than anyone else in the field.
The Eagles have been ranked No. 1 in 3-2-1A most of the season and are the prohibitive favorite entering Friday and Saturday’s state competition at Fort Hays State University. The classification has a distinct difference between teams with elite wrestlers and little depth, and squads with more depth but fewer state favorites.
Colby could have the best blend with eight qualifiers, the most in the field. Freshman Tyler Voss is ranked No. 1 at 106 pounds, and sophomore Hagan Booi is ranked second at 195. Booi, a longtime wrestler at the younger ranks, is the only sophomore ranked at 195 in any class in Kansas. He went 1-2 at state last year.
Senior Kurt Schroeder, wrestling with a broken hand, had not competed since Garden City. He also went 1-2 at state a year ago and is now ranked fourth at 138.
Senior 182-pounder Kory Finley was fourth at 170 last year. He is ranked fourth at 182 this year. As well, senior Tucker Branum is ranked fourth at 220. He was 1-2 at state last year.
In 2017-18, Branum was 16-10, Booi stood 27-17, Finley 33-11 and Schroeder 30-20.
This year, Branum is 21-4, Booi is 36-6, Finley stands 35-11 and Schroeder is 31-7. Voss is 36-7. Freshman Aiden Cook (28-14) qualified at 120, junior Cade Lanning (21-18) reached at 152, and sophomore Declan Ryan (30-13) earned a spot at 285.
The top-four in each weight class made the state tournament.
Lanning was seeded sixth and took third at regional. His plus-three seed-place difference was the third-largest in the regional field. Ryan was also seeded fifth and finished third.
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