The Pershing County High School wrestling team hosted the Lovelock Invitational on Saturday at the high school.
Nineteen wrestlers represented Lovelock. Their weights ranged from 106 (Ezekiel Jackson) to 285 pounds (Davis Murphy and Axel Gonzalez). Pershing County also varies widely in experience on the mat.
Some still grapple to master the physically and mentally demanding sport. Others, like Joaquin Wanner (170 pounds) are old pros.
On Saturday, Wanner (3-0) received a bye in his first round. But the defending state champ had a couple more matches to go.
Wanner won his quarterfinal match by fall over Jareyn Martinez of Spring Creek at 2:07. He progressed to pin Galena’s Cobie Sheffied in the semifinals in 39 seconds. The PCHS junior closed out the championship round with a 17-6 win over Churchill County’s . Marcel Proacky. He finished first in his weight range and earned 25 of Pershing Country’s 88 team points.
“Joaquin wrestled smart throughout the tournament and was never in trouble,” said Coach Mike Brooks. “He works hard, and it shows in his matches.”
Davis Murphy (285), Sean Gottschalk (156) and Kasey Brown (132) grabbed fourth-place finishes in their respective weight classes.
Brown battled back from a first-round loss to Reed Blue’s Joshua Berryman by fall at 2:45. He had five more matches to go.
Brown’s three wins in the consolation rounds carried him to the consolation semifinals. He won the semifinals by decision over Battle Mountain’s DeAndre Powell 10-7. Reed Blue’s Joshua Berryman won the third-place match against Brown by forfeit. Brown added 10 points to Pershing’s total.
Wrestlers from nearly two dozen schools competed in the day-long event, as families packed the bleachers.
“The tournament ran great — nice and smooth with good efficiency,” said Mike Brooks.
Steve Evenson announced. The PCHS spirit squad worked the concession stand.
Buzz Brooks, Thomas Brooks, Jared Jensen and Bobby Gibson assisted the coach throughout the day.
“We’d like to thank all our helpers especially the families of the wrestlers and the Spirit Squad,” said Mike Brooks.
Overall, Pershing County’s 88 points got them sixth place in the tourney.
Lowry Blue (178.5) seized the win. Reed Blue (144) came in second. Spring Creek (136), Fernley (99) and Battle Mountain (93.5) rounded out the top five.
“We started off slowly but battled back,” said Brooks.
On Dec. 28 and 29 the Mustang wrestlers travel to Reno to compete in the Sierra Nevada Invitational.
The new year brings several more road trips to the squad. They’ll wrestle in Sparks (Jan. 6), Spring Creek (Jan. 12-13), Fernley (Jan. 19-20) and Battle Mountain (Jan. 26-27).
But the home crowd will pack the bleachers at the Northern 2A Regional Championships. Pershing hosts the event on Feb. 3.
The season culminates on Feb. 9 with the NIAA 2A state championships in Las Vegas.