Augusta’s wrestling team didn’t produce the kind of results it wanted out of this past weekend’s Class 4A state tournament at the Bicentennial Center in Salina.
The Orioles, who were coming off the team’s first ever team regional championship and set a team record with 12 state placers at one Regional, had just two wrestlers finish with medals. Augusta tied for the most wrestlers in the tournament and finished a respectable 14th place in the team standings with 46 points, though the Orioles would’ve like more.
Jake Goldenstein had made it to straight state finals as a freshman and sophomore. But this year, Goldenstein was ousted in the semifinals after Bonner Springs senior Josiah Seaton got a late third-period pin. Seaton, who went on to win the title and finished the season undefeated, avenged his loss to Goldenstein in last year’s state championship match.
Goldenstein easily defeated Chanute’s Ornelas with a quick pin just 42 seconds into the match to take third place. He now has first-, second- and third-place state medals. He finishes the season with a 33-4 record and has just six total losses in three seasons.
Senior Colton Clayborn started the tournament well in the 160-pound bracket. He got a pair of strong wins to advance to the semifinals. There, though, Clayborn was shut out by Columbus’ Taylor Watkins, one of the toughest wrestlers in the state who went on to win the championship.
Clayborn went on to take sixth place after losing to Clearwater’s Curtis Rylant, whom Clayborn had defeated easily to win last week’s regional championship match.
The rest of the Oriole seniors can take pride in making it to State, but there no doubt was some disappointment in how they finished. Wright Bosley had a strong season that ended earlier than anticipated after losing in the second round of the 170-pound division. He was unable to earn a state medal in the consolation bracket.
Augusta seniors Tyler Hildibrand (106), Cody Thompson (182) and Blake Aitchison (285) all earned a trip to State for the first time, but they were shut out in the brackets after they all went 0-2.
Rob Winzer got one win before getting eliminated in the 152-pound bracket. Nathan Moore (120), Josh Moore (126), Connor Spellman (145), Blake Watkins (195) and Ian O’Laughlin (220) all came short of the medal podium.
The Orioles’ struggles at State don’t diminish the team’s success throughout the year. Augusta was among the top of the standings every tournament and won a couple team titles, including at Rose Hill and Regionals. Coach Brandon Terry was able to get several first-time varsity wrestlers in position to earn state-tournament berths. Augusta was 14-1 in duals and, for the second straight year, set a record for state qualifiers, with several of them returning, looking to do some damage next year.