Five Slammers earn All-American honors at nationals
Thirteen wrestlers from the Slammer Wrestling Club attended the Brute-Adidas High School National Tournament March 31-April 2 at Sapp Fieldhouse at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Five returned home as All-Americans.
Lansing High wrestlers Ryan Civils, Kyle Grape and Tyler Strouhal and Leavenworth High wrestlers Aaron Ely and David Wilk all garnered All-American honors for placing in the top eight in their divisions.
Other Slammers who competed were Dennis Kessler and Nick Flynn of Lansing and Josh Meyers, Jesse Woodruff, Phil Witt, Jordon Johnston, Brett Johnston and Dexter Chase of Leavenworth.
The Brute-Adidas tournament matches freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors against their own class to stake their claim as the best in the country in folkstyle wrestling. The top eight wrestlers in each weight class from each grade medaled and earned All-American status.
Thirteen states were represented at Brute-Adidas and 140 wrestlers from Kansas competed. As a team, Kansas placed first in the all-division standings.
"Remarkable performance by Kansas wrestlers and great Kansas fan support in Omaha," Slammers coach Mike Flynn said. "We learned a lot this weekend and were glad to do our part for Team Kansas."
Civils, a 2006 Kansas state qualifier and 2005 state medalist at 189 pounds, competed in the senior division at 215 pounds at nationals. After winning his first-round match, Civils lost to eventual champion Jarrett Edison in the second round. Civils pinned his next opponent and then defeated Nebraska's Cody Lane in overtime 7-6, to place third.
Ely, a junior, cruised through his first four matches to advance to the finals. In the finals against Dalton Jenson of Nebraska, Ely took control early and was working a tilt, but he lost his edge and was beaten on a rare defensive pin. A defensive pin is when the defensive wrestler, not having established control, presses the offensive wrestler's shoulders on the mat for two seconds.
Grape, a 2005 state champ and 2006 state runner-up, also competed in the junior division. He went 4-2 at nationals and placed fourth.
Wilk was the lone sophomore Slammer to earn All-American status. He won three of six matches and placed eighth. Strouhal, the final Slammer All-American, placed seventh in the 215-pound weight class.
FLYNN HEADS TO VEGAS
Lansing High senior Sean Flynn will head to Las Vegas this weekend to compete at the Western Regional.
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