Ark City entered Friday as the favorites in 5A Wrestling. They left Friday as the leader at the State Wrestling tournament.
The Bulldogs finished the quarterfinals with 83 team points and first place after the first round. Saint James Academy is second, followed by Great Bend and Andover Central.
Click here for team scores and each weight bracket.
Zac Gentzler was the highlight of the day with a 18-2 major decision win at 120 pounds. He was the start of a big day for the Jaguars. Ben Lightfoot outlasted his opponent in a final 10 second charge to win 2-1 in 126 pounds and the wildest match for the Jaguars came from 138 pounder Joe Umscheid. Down 2-1 at the end of regulation, he squeeked out a late point to push it to overtime. After a stalemate in the first period, he yanked down Max Detwiler of Emporia for a 1-point takedown and 3-2 double overtime win.
A scary moment happened while that match wrapped up. Dayton Will of Salina Central was injured in his match and had to be taken off on a stretcher. His coach said before he left that Will had some feeling in his fingers and wiggled his toes. He was taken to St. Francis Hospital for further observation.
152 pounder Leroy Franco of Hays had a chance to advance but came up short late, falling 7-6 and Cody Hofmeister of Great Bend at 160 pounds showed off his strength with a third round pin of Jesse Oliver of Wichita-West. He was leading 3-1 before the pin with nine seconds before the end.
Jared Langley of Newton had no style points in his win but was very dominant in a 10-0 decision. Nick Heiland of Kapaun had a bye in the first round and had to watch all of his potential opponents. Concerns of rust were wiped away with a 4-2 win at 182 pounds.
"Most importantly, it's trying to keep mental strength," Heiland said. "You need to be strong mentally, as well as physically, to make sure you get that win."
Dillon Archer of Newton took down Malcom Pink of Ark City at 195 pounds and Preston Wiegel of Hays kept his undefeated run going with a 15-0 technical fall over Tommy Marquez of Bishop Carroll. Sage Eckman of Emporia will meet Weigel in the semifinals.
Ark City's Dylan Cox battled through Raymond Gallegos of Newton at 220 for a 5-3 win. He added to the Bulldogs team lead. Heavyweight Garrett Lee of Newton banged his way to a second round pin.
Everything gets gonig tomorrow at 9 a.m. at Hartman Arena for the semifinals. Finals will begin around 2:30.