Healthy again, Buehler sets sights on defending title
Topeka About 10 minutes after wrapping up the 140-pound championship Saturday at the Class 5A Regional Tournament, Lansing High senior Kyle Buehler still was busy catching his breath.
He only needed 49 seconds to pin Marley Adamson of Topeka Seaman in the finals, but that was more exertion than Buehler's body wanted to give.
He'd already wrestled two earlier matches -both pins that required just 1:17 and 1:46 to accomplish - and Buehler's weary legs were ready to rest.
It'd been a long few weeks for Buehler, a defending state champion and now four-time state qualifier. He came down with mononucleosis a few weeks ago, and the illness required him to miss the Kaw Valley League Tournament before being cleared to wrestle again.
The time off sapped his body of strength, and he spent the week prior to regionals trying to regain his endurance. By qualifying for state, he'll have a few more days to make that happen.
"I've still got another week to rest and hopefully get all of my strength back before state," Buehler said.
Now that he's back on the mat, his focus is on defending his state title. He said he's not nervous about it.
"I'm not going to let myself worry about it. It's not worth losing sleep over," he said. "The best way to approach it is like I did last year : just be calm, get to bed every night and just be ready when we get there."
Buehler, ranked No. 2 in his weight class with a 35-2 record this year, will open the state tournament with a first-round match against Hutchinson sophomore Sammy Sanders (13-15). Wichita Bishop Carroll junior Mitch Arnold, ranked No. 1 with a 34-2 record, is on the other side of the bracket.
Buehler said he doesn't have any intention of overlooking any opponents that stand between him and a possible showdown with Arnold.
"You can't just look ahead to finals," he said. "You have to take it one match at a time. You don't get to the finals unless you win your first three matches."