Medal goal achieved
Gothenburg wrestlers bring home two medals.
OMAHA—Gothenburg’s five state qualifying wrestlers were on a mission over the weekend.
It wasn’t enough for the Swedes to simply qualify for the state meet in Omaha.
They wanted more proof than a T-shirt that they competed at the Qwest Center in the Nebraska State Wrestling Championships.
They wanted medals … multiple medals.
It’s been 24 years since the Swedes have brought home more than a single piece of hardware from the state meet.
In 1986 Travis Brock, Detrick Brock and Rodney Lohse placed second, fourth and fifth respectively at state.
Since then, the medals have been few, far between and one at a time.
But at school on Monday morning, two Gothenburg boys proudly wore shiny medals hanging from red, white and blue ribbons—evidence that the culture is changing in the Swede wrestling program.
“This proves these boys have the talent, ability, skills and knowledge to be a state medalist,” said Swede coach Eric Manstedt. “We didn’t just show up at the state meet, we competed.”
Sophomore Mitch Spiegel and junior Tanner Schwanz, each returning qualifiers, earned sixth place in their respective weight classes.
“That’s something they’ll carry with them the rest of their lives,” Manstedt said. “It shows they’re not just the best in Gothenburg but they’re one of the six best wrestlers in the state.”
Mitch Spiegel, 103
Mitch Spiegel came out strong in the first round of the 103-pound weight class to pin Bennington opponent Luke McCord in 1:12.
Moving on, Spiegel faced AJ Farrand of Aurora in the second round.
Farrand had previously been rated at No. 6 in the state in the weight class by high school coaches.
“We were down 5-3 going into the final period,” Manstedt said. “We needed a takedown to tie and it was an incredible battle.”
Farrand won the match with a 7-3 decision, sending Spiegel to the consolation bracket. Farrand finished third in the class.
Spiegel came back to get a pair of wins, including a 2-0 decision over Trevor Schroeder of Fairbury.
“Mitch got a takedown early in the first period and pretty much controlled him the rest of the match,” Manstedt said.
Schroeder was recently rated No. 5 in the state by coaches.
“It was a great win for him and it guaranteed him a spot in the medal round,” the coach said.
After getting pinned by Tanner Oborny of Milford Saturday morning, Spiegel found himself in the match for fifth and sixth place.
“I think there was a little let-down,” Manstedt said. “Once you get to the medal round, it can be hard to stay focused.”
Spiegel finished sixth after being pinned by Travis McIntosh of Plattsmouth.
Manstedt said that sets Spiegel up for next year. After qualifying for state as a freshman and sophomore, the coach said Spiegel will have bigger goals to strive for next season.
Tanner Schwanz, 119
Three time state qualifier Tanner Schwanz had a state medal on his mind before he ever got to Omaha last week.
Schwanz opened with a first-period pin over Charles Knight of Northwest before falling by a 5-0 decision to Jon Curzon of Bennington in the second round.
“Tanner didn’t look as sharp as he needed to,” Manstedt said.
At No. 6 in the state going in, Schwanz needed his A-game to defeat the No. 2 Curzon and didn’t have it. Curzon finished runner-up in the weight class.
Schwanz came back in the consolation bracket to win a pair of decision matches to get into the medal round.
“(Bradley) Lovesee of Gering gave us everything he had,” Manstedt said of Schwanz’s match to get into the medal round. “We dominated in terms of earning points but we had to fight for every point we got. It was an absolute dog fight.”
Schwanz beat Lovesee 12-1, guaranteeing himself a medal.
Then Saturday morning, a let-down similar to Spiegel’s.
“It was like two different kids from Friday to Saturday,” Manstedt said. “We weren’t wrestling our style on Saturday.”
Schwanz lost a 6-0 decision to KC Block of Beatrice before falling 12-0 to Brandon Dehling of Chadron for sixth place.
“The next push for Tanner is a higher medal,” Manstedt said. “That’s what he’ll be working toward next season.”
Bryce Eggleston, 130
The difference between finishing third and fourth at the district meet can be painfully evident when it comes to first-round draws at state. Just ask Bryce Eggleston.
Eggleston, a sophomore, faced No. 1 seeded and No. 3 state ranked Kavan Jones of Boys Town in the first round at 130 pounds.
Jones pinned Eggleston in less than a minute and went on to become weight class champion.
“That’s just a tough draw,” Manstedt said.
In the first round of the consolation bracket, Eggleston was leading Drae Swarthout of Beatrice 14-9 heading into the final period.
Manstedt said he got caught and was pinned with 1:38 left in the match.
“That shows you can’t let down, you can’t ever stop and take a breath,” the coach said.
Kyle Demoret, 160
In the first 20 seconds of Kyle Demoret’s opening match at 160 pounds, the junior had given up five quick points to Isaac Olson of Adams Central.
“Before he knew it, he had a lot of ground to make up,” Manstedt said.
Demoret closed the gap but there wasn’t enough time to make up the whole difference. He lost 7-4.
In the first round of wrestle-backs, Demoret went up against Hadyn Ruge of Ashland-Greenwood. The match was tied 4-4 at the end of regulation.
“It’s unfortunate that we had to give up some blood time,” Manstedt said. “That gave Kyle’s opponent some time to catch his breath and that doesn’t play to Kyle’s strength.”
In overtime, Manstedt said Demoret got a little over-anxious.
“He rushed a shot and it didn’t turn out in our favor,” the coach said. “Kyle lost in the heartbreak round at districts two years in a row and got eliminated early his first trip to state. I think this will make him hungrier as a senior.”
Dane Ehlers, 285
Sophomore Dane Ehlers walked into the Qwest Center in Omaha for the first time last week, a little in awe of his surroundings.
“It’s just so huge for a sophomore to qualify for state in the heavyweight bracket,” Manstedt said. “I’m just so incredibly proud of Dane for getting there.”
In his first match on Thursday, Ehlers dropped a close 3-2 decision to Zeke Reyersen of Plattsmouth.
“He was in it,” Manstedt said, “it just didn’t go our way.”
Then in the first round of consolation wrestling, Ehlers got pinned by Jorge Dunklau of Wayne, an opponent he’d seen twice earlier in the season.
“I think Dunklau was on a mission,” Manstedt said.
Dunklau finished fourth in the state.
CLASS B TEAM STANDINGS: Omaha Skutt Catholic 163; Boys Town 118; Schuyler 90; Plattsmouth 82.5; Bennington 82; Auburn 81; Beatrice 64; Crete 60.5; Adams Central 57; Aurora 54.5; Gretna 52; Scottsbluff 50.5; Blair 50; Chadron 50; Cozad 40; Ashland-Greenwood 37; Milford 36; Minden 36; McCook 35; Platteview 35; O’Neill 27.5; Northwest 25; Nebraska City 24; Falls City 23; Kenesaw/Shelton 23; Fairbury 22; Gering 22; Sidney 22; Gothenburg 21; Norris 21; Wayne 21; Omaha Gross Catholic 20; Columbus Lakeview 16; Waverly 14.5; Seward 10.5; Mount Michael Benedictine 9; Wahoo/Cedar Bluffs 8; Holdrege 7; Ogallala 7; York 5; Broken Bow 4; Hastings 4; HTRS/PC 3; Lexington 2; Alliance 1; Boone Central 0; Lincoln Christian/Lincoln Luth 0.
INDIVIDUAL SWEDE RESULTS
103— Mitch Spiegel pinned Luke McCord of Bennington in 1:12; lost a 7-3 decision to AJ Farrand of Aurora; pinned Norman Young of Boys Town in 3:58; won 2-0 decision over Trevor Schroeder of Fairbury; was pinned by Tanner Oborny of Milford in 2:25; pinned by Travis McIntosh of Plattsmouth in 49 seconds; sixth place.
119— Tanner Schwanz pinned Charles Knight of Northwest in 1:20; lost 5-0 decision to Jon Curzon of Bennington; won 10-3 decision over Joshua Moody of Fairbury; won 12-1 decision over Bradley Lovesee of Gering; lost 6-0 decision to KC Block of Beatrice; lost 12-0 decision to Brandon Dehling of Chadron; sixth place.
130— Bryce Eggleston was pinned by Kavan Jones of Boys Town in 51 seconds; was pinned by Drae Swarthout of Beatrice in 4:22.
160—Kyle Demoret lost 7-4 decision to Isaac Olson of Adams Central; lost 6-4 overtime decision to Hadyn Ruge of Ashland-Greenwood.
285—Dane Ehlers lost 3-2 decision to Zeke Reyersen of Plattsmouth; was pinned by Jorge Dunklau of Wayne in 1:49.