At Olathe North wrestling practice, the Eagles call the center ring “The Dog Pound.”
That’s where Isaac Dulgarian and Emilio Fowler battled it out all year, and now that is what they each credit for their undefeated state title runs.
“When you go in The Dog Pound, we don’t stop ’til a person gives up,” Dulgarian said. “We have long grind matches because no one likes to give up in that wrestling room. It’s really tough.”
Dulgarian capped his 45-0 record with a 13-1 major decision against Wichita Northwest’s Saul Ortiz in the 170-pound weight class. It was his third consecutive state title spanning across 6A and 5A. Dulgarian had won two in a row with St. Thomas Aquinas.
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Fowler followed in the 182-pound weight class with a 6-2 decision against Dodge City’s Jhett Ostrom.
That pushed Fowler’s record to 48-0.
“We practiced together every day and bred that intensity,” said Fowler, who transferred to Olathe East from Gardner Edgerton. “I love practicing with him, and he is the reason I won the state title for sure.”
The duo propelled the Eagles to a second-place finish behind Garden City, which pulled out an 8.5 point victory for its third consecutive state title. Blake Stovall added a second-place finish in the 138-pound weight class for Olathe North.
“We talk about that every day,” Dulgarian said. “We came out here ready, warmed up well and knew that we were going to be state champions.”
The Eagles, who entered the tournament as the top-ranked team in the state according to the Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association Class 6A poll, had seven additional wrestlers place.
Jevon Parrish was fourth at 106, Riley Alderman took fifth at 113, Terrell Garraway took fifth at 132, Tyler Moulden was third at 145, Zach Jaso was fifth at 152, Jadon McGaha was fourth in 220 and Chase Miller was third in 285.
“We came through on the backside and our guys were strong,” Dulgarian said. “Our guys wrestled with heart, and that is what made the difference. It’s all on the backside guys.”
St. James is runner-up in Class 5A
Even though St. James missed out on repeating as 5A state champions, coach Mike Medina said he is happy with the progress of his young Thunder squad.
It was the thunder’s third top-three finish in three seasons and second in Class 5A after making the jump last year.
“After losing five state placers last year, we knew that it would be a bit of a rebuilding year,” Medina said. “We have good young kids that we knew were going to step up.”
The Thunder was able to capture three individual titlesr with Zak Hensley (132), Clay Lautt (160) and Matt Pratt (170) all topping the awards stand. Hensley and Pratt each defended a title from last year.
Medina was voted coach of the year by the KWCA and was honored before the title matches.
Mill Valley medals
The Mill Valley Jaguars left Park City on Saturday with their first state medal, and coach Travis Keal could not have been much happier.
“Yesterday was an awesome day,” Keal said referring to Friday’s rounds. “We beat people we weren’t supposed to beat, they battled. I have nothing but good words to say about these boys. They are awesome.”
The Jaguars were led by a group of four wrestlers who made finals matches: Dylan Gowin (106), Conner Ward (113), Logan Marx (138) and Bryan Burnett (152) each took home second-place medals.
The team finished 17.5 points behind second-place St. James Academy and 70.5 behind Goddard.
Ewing settles for second
St. Thomas Aquinas senior Ben Ewing used the motivation of last year’s semifinals loss to motivate himself all season.
It took him all the way to the Class 5A 220-pound weight class title match with a perfect 26-0 record before he fell to Bishop Carroll’s undefeated Nick Nolting in a 3-1 decision. It was Ewing’s third top-three finish in three years with a state title in 2013.
“I’m pretty happy, but it didn’t end the way I wanted it to,” Ewing said. “Losing last year motivated me to not lose as much this year, and I went as hard as I could.”
Gardner Edgerton senior Seth Pesek, who sat out most of the year with ligament damage in his knees, came back to win the Class 6A 195-pound title. He defeated Garden City’s Zeke Herrera in a 6-3 decision and finished with a 9-1 record. It was his third consecutive state title.
Update from Class 4A
Bonner Springs’ Tanner Hitchcock defeated Augusta’s Jake Goldenstein 4-2 in a sudden victory to take the 113-pound weight class. Teammate Jon Trowbridge won the 126-pound weight class by fall against Zane Baugh of Abilene.
Sumner Academy’s Emmanuel Browne defeated Basehor-Linwood’s Corbin Nirschl in a 9-7 decision to win the 120-pound weight class. Nirschl was the 106-pound champion last year and the top-ranked 120-pound wrestler in the KWCA Class 4A poll.
Basehor-Linwood finished sixth and was the top Kansas City-area team in Class 4A.