By Jared Janzen
HALSTEAD—Sixteen wrestling teams were in town last weekend for the 42nd Annual Halstead Invitational Wrestling Tournament, which was held in a condensed time frame this year due to forecasts of icy weather. Normally a two-day event, this year’s tournament all took place Friday night.
“The coaches voted and decided to just finish up the tournament on Friday,” Halstead Head Coach Chris Wilson said. “This made for a late evening, but allowed teams to stay home (Saturday) and not worry about traveling in bad weather.”
As it was, six schools decided not to risk making the trip Friday night.
To speed things up, time lengths in consolation rounds were shortened, and the medal ceremony was also eliminated. The tournament finished at 11:30 p.m.
“It took a lot of help from all our workers and volunteers to be able to pull it off,” Wilson said.
With just two wrestlers representing the Dragons, Halstead had fewer opportunities to score team points, finishing 16th with 23 team points. Douglass claimed the team title over second-place Marion, who had been looking to defend their title of tournament champion from the past two years.
Senior Tony Morris led the way for Halstead, going 2-1 for the night and placing second in the 170-pound weight class. In the first round, he quickly pinned his Remington opponent in 50 seconds. In the semifinals, Morris battled it out against Leon Bluestem and won in a 7-2 decision.
In the championship finals, Morris was up against a Nickerson wrestler who is 11-3 for the season. After a scoreless first round, Nickerson edged ahead. Morris scored two points at almost the end of the third with a near fall but still came up short, 4-5.
“I was very pleased to see him come back in a match like that and not give up,” Wilson said. Morris is now 13-4 for the year.
Senior Lane Boswell went 1-2 on the night in the 160-pound weight class, bringing him to 3-6 for the season. His first match was against Wichita Independent, where he was pinned in the third round at 5:34.
He won his second match, pinning the wrestler from Chase County in 1:45. During the second round of consolation, Boswell was pinned by a wrestler from Douglass in 2:47.
This week the Dragons will be at Lyons on Thursday for a double dual with Lyons and St. Johns Military Academy. Saturday’s tournament scheduled at Stafford has been canceled.
For more coverage of Halstead sports, please see this week's print edition.