Slammers win 8 titles at state tourney
Fourteen Lansing Slammers participated in the USA Wrestling Kansas State Tournament on June 3 in Junction City. Eight of them brought home state championships.
The tournament featured two Olympic wrestling styles: Freestyle and Greco-Roman. While Freestyle is similar to American Folkstyle/collegiate wrestling, Greco-Roman is not. In Greco-Roman, wrestlers are not allowed to attack legs or use their legs to defend.
The Slammers set the tone early. The tournament began with Greco-Roman, and the Slammers quickly collected four state titles. Eight more Slammers placed second or third. Leavenworth County's Brock Budke won the bantam division 50-pound state title by fall. Leavenworth's Bo Pursel captured the schoolboy division 80-pound title. For Pursel, who won all of his matches by technical fall, the title was his third in Greco-Roman. Tyler Baughman of Pleasant Ridge edged teammate Cullen Demarest in the schoolboy 130-pound championship match. For Baughman, it was his second Greco-Roman title.
Sean Flynn, a 2006 Lansing High senior, captured the 160-pound championship in the junior division. Flynn won all of his matches by fall or technical fall. The title was his fourth in Greco-Roman.
In addition to Demarest, three other Slammers - Daniel Butler, Nathan Butler and Jared Johnson- all placed second in their respective divisions.
In the Cadet Division, Lansing High junior-to-be Nick Flynn placed third at 135 pounds. Leavenworth High's Brett Johnston placed second at 215 pounds and Lansing High sophomore-to-be Tyler Strouhal placed third at 215. Leavenworth High's Phil Witt placed second in the junior division. All three qualified for the Cadet National Tournament.
The second half of the state tournament was the freestyle competition. The Slammers won four more state titles and posted eight additional top-three finishes. Sean Flynn, Baughman, Pursel and Budke all won state titles. Aaron Ely, Strouhal, Johnson and the Butler brothers all earned second-place finishes. Demarest and Nick Flynn each placed third in their respective classes.
The Slammers will continue to practice through July. Many of the wrestlers will attend different Team Kansas camps and national tournaments. Pursel will wrestle for Team Kansas in the Kids National Championships in Green Bay, Wis. Baughman will compete at the National Schoolboy Duals in Indianapolis. Nick Flynn will wrestle for Team Kansas in the Cadet Duals in Kansas City. Sean Flynn and Ely will wrestle on the Junior Dual Team in Oklahoma City. Strouhal, Johnston, Ely and Witt will finish off the season at the Cadet/Junior National Tournament July 23-30 in Fargo, N.D.