Dukart, Kluver and Hall also win medals
Two points. That’s what kept Killdeer’s Dillan Jepson from state championship glory at the 2017 North Dakota State High School Championships in Fargo on Feb. 18.
DUNN COUNTY HERALD
Top-seeded Soren McDaniel of Lisbon held off the hard-charging Jepson for a 9-7 victory in the finals at 182 pounds at the state tournament. It was the second year in a row that McDaniel defeated Jepson in the state tournament. It was in the semifinals last year.
Jepson, who was seeded second, closed out his illustrious prep wrestling career with his third state medal. He placed third last year and fifth as a sophomore.
He was one of four wrestlers to place at the state tournament for the Cowboys, which helped Killdeer place 18th in the team race with 51 points. McDaniel’s victory helped Lisbon win the tournament with 150 points.
In addition to Jepson’s effort, Tony Kluver was fifth at 160, while Cole Dukart placed fifth at 152, and Tommy Hall placed eighth at 220.
Jepson rolled through his competition in the early rounds as he worked his way to the much-anticipated “1-vs.-2” matchup. Prior to the finals, Jepson wrestled a total of five minutes and 14 seconds in three victories.
He pinned Braydon Schmidt of Linton HMB in just 16 seconds in the first round, stuck Region 4 foe Damian Eslinger of Beulah-Hazen in 3:50 and moved into the finals after pinning third-seeded Carter Brown of Pembina County North in 1:08.
McDaniel did his part with pins in the first two rounds before a 10-4 decision over fourth-seeded Connor Dennis of Watford City in the semifinals.
In the finale, Jepson took a 3-2 lead with an escape and a takedown in the first period before McDaniel wrestled to a 9-4 lead in the third period. But Jepson rallied with an escape and scored a takedown as time ticked down.
Kluver had a rough to en route to his medal-winning 5-4 victory over third-seeded Clayton Mattern of Bowman County. Kluver, who was seeded eighth, wrestled the top, second, third and fifth seeds in the tournament.
Dukart also won his first-round match before falling the quarterfinals. He rebounded to beat Region 4 foes Jacob Ruggles of Bowman County and Delaney Lester of Standing Rock before falling to second-seeded Jon Thomas of Velva in the consolation semifinals. Fourth-seeded Nathan Weigel defeated Dukart for the second time in the tournament for fifth place.
Hall made his way to the medal round after losing in the first round. He beat Hunter Greenmeyer of Oakes and Valva’s Kutter Baughman in the medal round. He fell to Bailey Lawson of Harvey-Wells County in the consolation round and then fell to Bronson Flynn of New Town-Parshall in the seven-place match.