Basehor’s Sullivan corrals Bobcat Classic medal
After last weekend's Bobcat Classic, many of the region's top wrestling stars went home with medals. One of them was Basehor-Linwood High School's own Dustin Sullivan.
Sullivan went 3-2 in the tournament that brings in some of the best teams in Kansas, Missouri and Iowa. He took fourth place out of the 16 wrestlers in his 140-pound weight class and earned 17 of BLHS' 28 total points.
The 28 points were good for 19th place in the 25-team field, putting the Bobcats ahead of Eudora, Spring Hill, Atchison County, Bonner Springs, Shawnee Heights and Shawnee Mission East.
The Bobcats would have finished much closer to the bottom if it weren't for the great weekend from Sullivan. The senior was wrestling for the first time since before winter break, after coach Scott Neil held him out of a few competitions because he missed practice during the break. Still, he looked more fresh than rusty in the Classic.
Sullivan shook off the cobwebs in his first match, an 11-2 victory over Blue Valley's Kyle Combs. Combs, who came into the weekend with a 9-7 record, shouldn't have presented much of a challenge, but it took Sullivan a little while to warm up.
"The toughest win would have probably been my first match," Sullivan said. "Not getting the mat time lately, mat time gives more conditioning than practice, and I was tired after that match."
Sullivan didn't stay on the mat long enough to get tired in his next match. He dispatched Eudora's Miles Cleveland early, pinning him after just 1:21. Cleveland had a 14-5 record and is regarded as a quality wrestler, but Sullivan beat him for the second time this year, and made it look easy.
Sullivan was rolling and he had his eye on a first place finish, but top-seeded Loranzo Mundy of Santa Fe Trail stood in his way.
"I was hoping that I could come away with a win and as I kept winning, I grew more and more confident," Sullivan said. "I knew Loranzo from Santa Fe would be a tough match, though."
Indeed, Mundy would finish the Classic in first place, extending his record to 20-1 on the season. But Sullivan poured his whole heart into the match against him. He was aggressive even to the point of being reckless, and that aggressiveness made for an incredibly high-scoring match which Mundy won 28-11.
"I kept doing stupid things and he kept scoring off of them," Sullivan said. "I didn't want to lose and I wouldn't let my heart give out on me, so I was pushing it like it was the first period every period."
The loss to Mundy sent Sullivan to the consolation bracket, but he refused to let that discourage him. Instead he took out his frustrations on his next opponent, Olathe North's Cullen Jordan.
Sullivan nearly finished Jordan in the first period, drilling him to the mat, but Jordan was able to slide out of the circle. The Basehor-Linwood senior had to settle for a 2-0 lead after the first period. But just 19 seconds later the match was over, as Sullivan flipped Jordan over with sheer arm strength and pinned him.
Sullivan's outstanding victory over the 16-9 Jordan put him in the third place bout against St. Thomas Aquinas' Scott Markey. The 12-2 Aquinas junior proved a little too much for Sullivan, who lost a heated bout 7-4.
"I came up against a tough, strong 140-pounder from Aquinas, wrestled it to the end and he came out on top," Sullivan said.
Sullivan definitely wasn't the only wrestler to lose to someone from Aquinas. The Saints took first place overall with 185.5 points and placed nine wrestlers. Andale; Glenwood, Iowa; Paola and Garden City rounded out the top five.
Zach Davis, Dustin Weimer, Will Peterson and Ethan Douglas rounded out the point scoring for Basehor-Linwood. Each finished the tournament 1-2.
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