Olathe North High School senior Chase Miller’s path to the Kansas Class 6A wrestling state championship was far from flashy. After all, he needed tiebreakers to win his final two matches.
But that’s what ultimately made it so satisfying.
“I lost a really close match last year, and that was hard to take,” Miller said after his state-final victory in the heavyweight division Saturday at Hartman Arena. “I felt like I should’ve won (last year), so it feels great to come back and win it now.”
Miller, who finished his senior season 46-3, sparked the best 913-area team finish in Class 6A. Olathe North compiled 129.5 points to finish third, with Garden City repeating as state champion.
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Olathe North had seven wrestlers receive state medals. Tyler Flood (126 pounds) placed second; Jevon Parrish (113) and Terrell Garraway (145) won third-place matches; Brandon Huntley (220) was fourth; and Riley Alderman (120) and Kaleb Brooks (152) finished fifth.
Other Class 6A champions from the 913 area were Blue Valley senior Tanner Madl (152), Olathe South sophomore Jace Koelzer (106), Shawnee Mission West senior Jose Montoya (195) and Blue Valley Northwest senior Blake Johnson (220).
Class 5A: Three champs at St. James Academy
Although Goddard cruised to its second consecutive Kansas Class 5A team championship, Mill Valley and St. James Academy were heavily represented on the final day, placing third and fourth, respectively.
St. James had three individual state champions, the second most of any school, with junior Clay Lautt (170 pounds), senior Stephen Tujague (138) and junior Sammy Cokeley (160-pound) winning their respective weight classes.
Lautt was the only repeat champion from the 913 area, and he handed Maize senior Brett Moon his first loss in two seasons in the 170-pound championship bout.
“This one is way more satisfying,” Lautt said. “I had an easier bracket last year. I had to go out and earn it this year.”
Mill Valley placed third in the team standings despite crowning no individual champions — a credit to a deep roster.
Mill Valley qualified 12 wrestlers for the two-day tournament, and 10 of them won at least one match. Five received medals. Conner Ward placed second in the 126-pound division when he lost a 1-0 decision in the finals. Dylan Gowin (113), Peyton Bendure (195) and Jarrett Bendure (132) won third-place matches Saturday, and Seth Burnett (182) won his fifth-place bout.