Last year’s regional champs head to state tournament

Killdeer head wrestling coach Shane Olson had hopes of his Cowboys keeping a long tradition of strong showings in the team standings at the regional tournament alive Saturday during the Class B Region IV Tournament at Bowman.

By Eddie Hibbs III

For the Herald

Posted Feb. 15, 2013

BOWMAN — Killdeer head wrestling coach Shane Olson had hopes of his Cowboys keeping a long tradition of strong showings in the team standings at the regional tournament alive Saturday during the Class B Region IV Tournament at Bowman.

The Cowboys fell a bit short of that goal, but Killdeer qualified eight for the “Big Dance” nonetheless.

“Overall, we did alright,” Olson said after the championship matches. “We had to go back to a lot of basics this year and develop some skills. We had 10 athletes wrestling. Eight made it. That is one more than we were supposed to on paper. That was good.”

Olson was hoping the Cowboys would place at least fourth in the team standings, a nearly annual event for his program. Last year, the Cowboys were crowned the team regional champs, but that was a senior-dominated team. This year, the Cowboys didn’t even have a single senior.

Hettinger, normally one of the Cowboys victims during regional action, took advantage of the rebuilding process for Killdeer and claimed the team crown with an impressive 218.5 points. Host Bowman County followed with 173 points while Beulah-Hazen and Watford City tied for third with 147 points apiece. Killdeer was fifth with 124 points.

In spite of the youth movement this year by the Cowboys, Killdeer still had three grapplers reach the finals of their respective weight classes. Sophomore Tanner Rohde was the lone Cowboy to capture the regional crown.

Wrestling at 132, the second-seeded Rohde knocked off top-seeded Matt Newman of New Salem-Almont, winning with a 16-9 decision, though the match was much closer than the final score.

“That was a good win for us,” Olson said.

Also representing the Cowboys in the finals were eighth-grader Daniel Arthur at 170 and junior David Dukart at 195. Arthur fell to Bowman County junior Micheal Longland while Dukart fell to Gauge Harrison, a senior from Standing Rock. Both were pinned in the championship round.

A trio of Cowboys captured third place at regionals. They were Derek Tabor at 126, Dillan Jepson at 160 and Colten Turner at 220.

Tabor, a freshman, entered as the third seed in his weight division and placed accordingly.

Jepson, an eighth-grader, was the surprise for the Cowboys. He was the sixth seed in the six-person field. He lost to Logan Lachowitz by a 9-8 decision in his first match, but ironically, bounced back to place higher than his first regional opponent. Jepson would win his next two matches, while Lachowitz would lose his next two.

“Dillon entered sixth and placed third,” Olson said. “He did a good job to make it to State”

Like Tabor, Turner, an eighth-grader, was seeded third and placed accordingly.

Two Cowboys fell in their third-place matches, but the top four placers in each weight class advance. Cole Dukart, a seventh-grader, was seeded fourth at 113 and placed the same. Likewise, at 120, eighth-grader Jace Horner was seeded fourth and placed likewise.

The two Cowboys competing at regionals who placed fifth and just missed going to state were freshman Dane Larsen at 138 (seeded fifth) and eighth-grader David Arthur at 145 (also seeded fifth).

The Class B State Tournament is this week at the FargoDome in Fargo with the finals scheduled for Saturday.


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