Olathe North, led by its undefeated duo of Isaac Dulgarian and Emilio Fowler, took care of business on its home mat Saturday in a Kansas Class 6A wrestling regional.
The Eagles racked up 219 points in capturing the regional title and qualified 12 of its 13 wrestlers for next week’s state tournament in Wichita.
Blue Valley Northwest finished second with 167.5 points and qualified 11 for state.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to take 12 kids to state,” Olathe North coach Josh Carroll said. “We put ourselves in a good position for next week.”
The Eagles will be seeking to improve on last year’s fifth-place finish at state.
Dulgarian, now 42-0 at 170 pounds, pinned Gardner-Edgerton’s Dustin Carsters in the second period. Dulgarian will be going for a third state title.
“I just tried to work hard and do what I’ve been doing all year,” Dulgarian said. “Everyone is trying to come out and try crazy things against me, and I just have to stay in position and score when I can.”
Fowler, 44-0 at 180 pounds, edged BV Northwest’s Chris Lyons 3-0 in the regional final. Fowler finished second as a sophomore and fourth last year at the state tournament.
“My mom is my biggest motivation, and I want to win it for her,” he said. “I’ve been wanting that state championship all four years. It’s something I feel would end my senior year perfectly.”
Fowler and Dulgarian, with their 86 combined wins, grapple against one another every day in practice.
“Having Isaac as my practice partner has put me to the next level,” Fowler said. “It’s made me so much better.”
Also picking up regional titles for Olathe North were Jevon Parrish at 103 pounds, Riley Alderman at 113, Blake Stovall at 138 and Tyler Moulden at 145.
BV Northwest had four individual champions, including Sam Elliot at 126 pounds, Jason Laramore at 132 and Max Tierney at 160. But perhaps the biggest win for Northwest came at 220 pounds, where Blake Johnson beat Blue Valley’s Mason Fuller in the finals.
After losing to Fuller five times over the season, Johnson stayed even over the first two periods and then took the lead with a takedown with 45 seconds remaining. Fuller countered with a point soon after but was then penalized a point for an illegal slam. Johnson stayed on the mat for a few minutes before continuing the match and holding Fuller at bay for the final 24 seconds.
“I think the intimidation factor went away about the third time I faced him,” said Johnson, who was named the tournament’s most outstanding wrestler. “I knew I had to try and wear him down and then score in the final period and I was able to do that.”
BV Northwest coach Tim Serbousek was named the regional’s most outstanding coach.
“We wrestled extremely well, and everyone pretty much wrestled to their seed or above,” he said. “I’m very pleased. We’ll enjoy this, get back to work and then head down to state and see what happens.”
Other regional champions were: Olathe East’s Khyale McFarland at 120; Blue Valley’s Tanner Madle, who improved his record to 36-1 at 152; Gardener-Edgerton’s Seth Pesek at 195; and Olathe East’s Ron Broyles at 285.