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Burwell's Corey Dawe, top, wrestles Amherst's Trace Baasch in their 160-pound Class D first round match during the first day of the state wrestling tournament Thursday.

The Class D team race is a tossup after the first day at state.

Meet favorite and defending champion Burwell (42 points) has a tenuous lead with three others close behind. Mullen is second with 38, followed by Elkhorn Valley (37) and Cambridge (33). All four have three competitors in Friday’s semifinals.

“We wrestled above our heads today,” Mullen coach Russ Monette said. “We beat some guys we might not have beat on other days.”

In a key 132-pound match, Mullen’s Jade Lovitt beat Burwell’s Joel Ostrom 3-2. Lovitt was joined in the semifinals by teammates Teven Marshall (113) and Ty Kvanvig (195). Mullen nearly had a fourth, but Clayton Hassett had a bad final seconds against Pender’s Jesse Thompson. Tied 2-2, Hassett attempted a late takedown, but Thompson countered and pinned Hassett with four seconds left in the third period.

Burwell lost its first four quarterfinals before Bode Jensen (38-0) broke through at 152 pounds. Also into the semis are Ryan Dawe at 182 and heavyweight Thomas Hughes, a state champion last year.

“You never do as well as you want to do,” Burwell co-coach Mike Max said. “I thought we’d get a couple more in the semis but we lost some close matches.”

One of those was at 113 pounds, where Elm Creek’s Koby Smith hung on for a 5-4 win against Tate Phillips. Smith jumped to a 5-0 lead and survived a near-fall attempt in the final 20 seconds.

“Could have gone either way,” Elm Creek coach Robert West said. “It’s unfortunate that match happened in an early round. During the season, one was hurt or the other one was and we didn’t get to meet up until here.”

Another unfortunate early matchup came at 170, where Friend’s Edwen Baptista beat two-time champion Devon Walker of Elm Creek 5-3 in the first round.

Walker fell behind 5-1 and couldn’t get the takedown he needed in the third period.

“He’s tough,” Baptista said. “It’s one of the biggest wins I’ve had.”

Walker was less than 100 percent after injuring a hip flexor during a district semifinal last week. That match was stopped and West chose not to put Walker on the mat for the third-place match. That lowered Walker’s seed and resulted in a matchup with Baptista that probably could have been at least a semifinal.

Walker was unable to work out this week and didn’t have his usual explosiveness.

“He’s a little out of shape from that injury so we tried to push the pace and use that to our advantage,” Friend coach Clayton Moore said.

Baptista advanced to the semis with a technical fall in his second match.

Three-time champion Cameron Riggs (55-0) of Maxwell survived a scare in the quarterfinal at 138. Ryley Spatz of East Butler escaped with 14 seconds to go, cutting his deficit to 5-4. Riggs countered Spatz’s last-ditch takedown attempt, adding two points to the final margin.

Team scoring

Burwell 42, Mullen 38, Elkhorn Valley 37, Cambridge 33, Oakland-Craig 30, Morrill 28.5, Palmer 24, Winside 23.5, Amherst 23, East Butler 23, Elm Creek 23, Bayard 22, Kenesaw 22, Pender 21, Ansley/Litchfield 20, High Plains Community 20, Plainview 18, Maxwell 17, South Loup 17, Fremont Bergan 13, Central Valley 13, Perkins County 13, Shelton 12, St. Mary`s 12, Hemingford 11, Howells-Dodge 11, Overton 11, Southwest 11, Crawford 9, Neligh-Oakdale 9, Pleasanton 9, Thayer Central 9, Twin Loup 9, Twin River 9, Friend 8.5, Randolph 7, Weeping Water 6, West Holt 6, North Central 5, Axtell 4, Creighton 4, Dundy County Stratton 4, Hay Springs 4, Stapleton 4, Tri County 4, Alma 2, Arapahoe 2, Elwood 2, Franklin 2, Hitchcock County 2, Sutherland 2, BRLD 0, Clarkson-Leigh 0, Clearwater-Orchard 0, Elgin Public/Pope John 0, Eustis-Farnam 0, Fullerton 0, Garden County 0, West Point GACC 0, Harvard 0, Hyannis 0, Medicine Valley 0, Meridian 0, Minatare 0, North Platte St. Patrick`s 0, Palmyra 0, Scribner-Snyder 0, Southern 0, Wilcox-Hildreth 0.

Quarterfinals

106 pounds: Jesse Sauceda, Shelton, dec. Brock Kester, Neligh-Oakdale, 5-3. Logan Russell, High Plains, pinned Thomas Klemesrud, North Central, 0:49. Tyler Nagel, Morrill, dec. Colten Dawe, Burwell, 9-4. Eli Lanham, Plainview, dec. Kaiden Mrsny, Pender, 4-0.

113: Teven Marshall, Mullen, pinned Adam Miller, Elkhorn Valley, 4:49. Koby Ellis, Winside, tech. fall Sam Tourney, Shelton, 15-0. Zach Hamilton, Fremont Bergan, 30-4 dec. Cameron Wilkinson, Neligh-Oakdale, 7-0. Koby Smith, Elm Creek, dec. Tate Phillipps, Burwell, 5-4.

120: Isaiah Shields, Amherst, dec. Tyler Kapperman, Arapahoe, 8-2. Nate Christensen, Plainview, dec. Ruger Reimers, Palmer, 4-2 SV-1. Dillon Stewart, Elkhorn Valley, pinned Carter Jensen, Winside, 3:48. Tayten Eggleston, South Loup, pinned Jaxson Jones, Twin River, 4:45.

126: Keegan Casey, Thayer Central, dec. Joshua Ibach, Central Valley, 2-1. Trevor Nelson, Crawford, dec. Kaden Guerrero, Southwest, 13-12. Tyler Pawloski, Pleasanton, dec. Brady Gracey, Mullen, 3-0. Alexander Araujo, Bayard, dec. Coy Gideon, Burwell, 4-1.

132: Jade Lovitt, Mullen, dec. Joel Ostrom, Burwell, 3-2. Dylan Swenson, Oakland-Craig, major dec. Ian Smith, Maxwell, 14-5. Mitchell Mckibbin, Bayard, dec. Trent Steinkraus, Plainview, 3-0. Enrique Martinez, Central Valley, dec. Andrew Herley, Neligh-Oakdale, 2-1.

138: Cameron Riggs, Maxwell, dec. Ryley Spatz, East Butler, 7-4. Jefferson Mcneill, Oakland-Craig, dec. Michael Stackpole, Weeping Water, 7-5. Darren Stewart, Elkhorn Valley, pinned Zachary Sweet, Mullen, 4:28. Blake Racicky, Ansley/Litchfield, dec. Seth Simants, Stapleton, 11-8.

145: Brandon Bloomquist, Randolph, dec. James Polen, North Central, 9-5. Joshua Mcfarland, Elkhorn Valley, dec. William White, Sutherland, 8-2. Colby Coons, dec. Brett Riggs, Maxwell, 6-5. Dalton Bohac, East Butler, dec. Samuel Florell, Amherst, 6-3.

152: Connor Donscheski, Palmer, pinned Austin Smith, West Holt, 4:39. Austin Garcia, Morrill, pinned Luke Mckeon, Elm Creek, 0:57. Dylan Soule, High Plains Community, dec. Conner Schutz, Elwood, 12-6. Bode Jensen, Burwell, dec. Wyatt Standiford, Hitchcock County, 6-3.

160: Miles Kulhanek, Howells-Dodge, pinned Brady Oliver, Pender, 5:28. Spencer Wichmann, Palmer, pinned Gavin Robertson, South Loup, 0:32. Trace Baasch, Amherst, dec. Karsen Hunter, Bayard, 9-4. Jayden Schroder, Twin River, dec. Colten Ratkovec, East Butler, 7-2.

170: Jared Atkeson, O’Neill St. Mary’s, dec. Brock Schaecher, Elkhorn Valley, 6-4. Will Howell, Morrill, dec. Tyson Mccurdy, Alma, 6-5. Stephen Duffy, Kenesaw, pinned Ethan Villwok, Fremont Bergan, 3:04. Edwen Baptista, Friend, tech. fall Jack Kennicutt, Perkins County, 17-0.

182: Ryan Dawe, Burwell, dec. Layne Heese, Pender, 3-2 TB-1. Matthew Pearson, Cambridge, pinned Bryce Running Hawk, Hay Springs, 1:34. Beau Wood, Perkins County, pinned Shawn Klientobe, Elkhorn Valley, 5:09. Daniel Duffy, Kenesaw, pinned Chase Haussermann, Franklin, 3:36.

195: Brandon Rezac, East Butler, dec. Cooper Smith, Tri County, 10-5. Ty Kvanvig, Mullen, dec. Cody Downey, Southwest, 3-2. Preston Walker, Elm Creek, pinned Levi Stacken, Creighton, 5:40. Seth Racicky, Ansley/Litchfield, pinned Drew Bogard, Amherst, 0:48.

220: Jesse Thompson, Pender, pinned Clayton Hassett, Mullen, 5:56. Schuyler Brown, Overton, pinned Marshall Still, South Loup, 3:38. Seth Andrews, Cambridge, pinned Anthony Starr, Southwest, 5:54. Jonathan Escalante, Winside, pinned Cole Rosenkrans, St. Mary`s, 5:42.

285: Tyler Schultz, Cambridge, pinned Marcus Cave, Weeping Water, 1:13. Cade Payne, Hemingford, pinned Jade Buss, West Holt, 3:09. Justyn Hale, Oakland-Craig, pinned A.j. Skaggs, Axtell, 5:10. Thomas Hughes, Burwell, pinned, Dakota Ehart, Dundy County Stratton, 1:38.

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