Jurgens making an impression with back-to-back tourney finals
SCHS sophomore Jarret Jurgens works for a reversal against Kian Colonese (Pine Creek) during the quarter-finals of the Rocky Welton Invitational in Garden City last Friday. Jurgens was a silver medalist.
By Rod Haxton, editor
Jarret Jurgens couldn’t have picked a tougher time to come off the injured list and begin his wrestling season.
On back-to-back weekends, the sophomore has competed in two of the toughest tournaments on Scott City’s schedule - claiming silvers at both Lexington and Garden City.
That’s a pretty impressive start for someone who had been sidelined with a broken ankle since week seven of the football season.
“Actually, it feels pretty good,” the 145-pounder said about his ankle.
He might well have also been describing what it’s like to be in back-to-back finals of two such prestigious tournaments.
However, it’s not the ankle that is Jurgens’ biggest concern now. It’s the rest of his body.
“By the time I got to the third match in the tournament there was a big difference. The guys are faster, they’re stronger and they’re in good shape - at least a lot better shape than I am,” noted Jurgens. “I’m glad I still have a few more weeks to do something about that.”
Even though he’s not in the condition he’d prefer, Jurgens looked good in the two-day Rocky Welton Invitational and picked up a couple of impressive wins on his way to the finals.
In the quarter-finals he earned a sudden victory takedown in overtime for an 8-6 decision over Kian Colonese (Pine Creek). He was trailing 6-4 when he got a reversal with just :04 left in the third period to force overtime.
In the semi-finals he again came from behind with a takedown and two-point near-fall in the third period for a 4-3 decision over second-seeded Jair Flores (Pueblo Central).
In the championship finals, Jurgens was no match on his feet for top-seeded Jason Romero (Pomona, 27-3) who scored four takedowns on his way to a 10-6 win over the SCHS grappler.
“On my feet I’m slow. I’m still shaking off the rust,” he said afterwards. “I knew that’s what I had to work for but I couldn’t stop him. When he tied up there wasn’t much I could do out of it.”
While Jurgens likes where he is with limited mat time, seeing this caliber of competition showed what he needs to focus on.
“I’m not too upset. This was a chance to see some really good competition which is all I really wanted,” Jurgens said. “Getting second is great, but being able to wrestle these tough matches so late in the season is a good deal.”
Head coach Jon Lippelmann wasn’t surprised with Jurgens’ strong performance.
“He’s put in the time, been to a lot of places. He’s that caliber of wrestler,” said Lippelmann. “Conditioning is going to suffer when you can’t run. We’ll take care of that.”
Griffith Wins Silver
Also claiming a silver medal for the second consecutive week was senior Cooper Griffith (22-2).
The top-seeded grappler dominated his side of the bracket with an opening round fall and a seven point win in the quarter finals. In the semi-finals he scored on a couple of takedowns for a 5-3 decision over Garden City’s Zeke Herrra.
In the championship finals it was Andale’s Anthony Capul (31-2) who controlled the match on his feet - scoring with four takedowns - in a 12-3 major decision over Griffith.
It was the second finals in as many weeks that was decided with a takedown clinic.
“We knew (Griffith) needed another takedown. He’s really good at one and that’s what we’ve depended on other than just scrambling out of misdirection stuff because of our power,” Lippelmann says.
“The two boys we’ve lost to the last two weekends haven’t had great takedowns, but they never got out of position and therefore we were unable to knock them down. We need another good setup with a takedown.”
The only other grappler to make it on the awards stand was freshman Wyatt Hayes (152) who had to injury default his final match, but still placed sixth against a rugged field.
In addition, Zach Tucker (113) was seventh; Jack Thomas (132) was eighth; and Theron Tucker (106) was 11th.
“We were competing against some outstanding kids from Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska. If you can put together two days of good wrestling against this level of competition then you should be ready for the state tournament,” said Lippelmann.
“We’re going up against kids who are among the best in the nation - not just in Kansas. They don’t earn those rankings by being kind of good,” Lippelmann said. “That’s the competition we’ve come to see.
“We put three kids on the medal stand and we have three more who were in the top eight and wrestled all day (Saturday). That’s a good weekend.”
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