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Abilene wrestlers earn five state medals

Feb. 28—Members of the Abilene wrestling team earned five state medals at the 4A State Wrestling Championships held last weekend in Salina. In all twelve individuals qualified for the state tournament including eight boys and four girls.

The Cowboys team put together a good effort as they finished once again in the top ten, in sixth place overall.

Headlining the accomplishments for Abilene were runner up finishes by senior Tucker Cell at 157 pounds, freshman Murphy Randolph at 126 pounds, and freshman Charlie Elliott at 100 pounds in the girl's division. Also finishing strong with a third place finish was 150 pounder Joseph Welsh, and 285 pounder Jacob Hanback with a sixth place finish.

Tucker Cell

157 pound senior

Senior Tucker Cell completed his Abilene wrestling career with a runner up performance at 157 pounds. Cell a four time state qualifier, two time state champion, and a now two time runner up worked his way through the bracket to once again meet up with #1 ranked Andale wrestler Owen Eck in the state championship. The two wrestlers have had a storied career against each other in which they have been the featured match many times.

An early takedown by Cell gave him a 2-0 lead. Things changed after a reversal by Eck led to Cell injuring his knee. The injury unfortunately limited Cell's ability to wrestle full strength and Eck would end up claiming his fourth State Championship by way of a 16-4 major decision.

Cell leaves the Abilene program with the most recorded victories by an individual, and one of the most successful wrestlers in the Cowboy program with over 150 victories. Cell finished his senior year with a record of 35-2

Murphy Randolph

126 pound freshman

Murphy Randolph had his undefeated freshman season come to an end in the State Championship as he lost a 12-2 major decision to Paola's Brock Johnson.

Randolph worked his way through the bracket and survived an electric semifinal match against Rose Hill wrestler Adam Bilby to make it to the Championship. In what was a continuous close match, Murphy trailing scored a reversal with just five seconds on the clock to tie the match up. In the overtime, a scramble for a takedown allowed Murphy to slip out of a potential headlock by Bilby that led to an illegal headlock. The illegal move would end the match on an awarded penalty point for Murphy for the 4-3 final. Randolph finished the season 35-1.

Charlie Elliott

100 pound freshman

Freshman girl wrestler 100 pounder Charlie Elliott finished her season as a State runner up. After dominating her opponents in the first three rounds to make it to the State Championship, Elliott lost a sudden overtime heartbreaker to Alexis Wall of Towanda- Circle.

Elliott now becomes the Cowgirls second all time state medalist, and finished her freshman season with a record of 34-3.

Joseph Welsh

150 pound junior

Junior Joseph Welsh finished the state tournament on a high with a thrilling third place victory over fellow NCKL opponent Thomas Mcentyre from Wamego. In a somewhat confusing and controversial call that caused the referees to have a discussion at the end of the match, Welsh was awarded the points for an 8-7 victory. Welsh finished the season 38-3, and will most likely contend for a run at the title next year.

Jacob Hanback

285 pound senior

Jacob Hanback is more than likely considered the story of the season for the Abilene wrestling team after finishing the season with a sixth place state medal.

For many wrestlers they begin their wrestling careers at a very young age, and spend countless years and time gaining on mat experience in hopes of someday earning a state medal. For Hanback he accomplished that goal while wrestling in just his first full year of wrestling action.

Hanback who started wrestling a year ago as a junior suffered an early season ending injury in practice, and lost out on the entire year.

He secured his medal this year by opening the state tournament with a 3-1 record, but lost his final two matches in the placement rounds. Hanback finished the season with a record of 20-17.

Despite not placing at the state tournament, fellow Cowboys qualifiers Gage Taylor, Dayven Cuba, Parker Farr and Landon Taplin all won at least one match in the tournament to move onto day two. All four of them gained tournament experience, as they will all return to the program next year.

Cowgirls qualifiers Josie Keener, Kailee Weibert, and Miranda Radenburg all failed to win a match, and move onto day two. The future of the Cowgirls program however looks bright as they all return next season with more incoming girls expected to bolster the strength of the program.

KSHSAA 4A-1A State Championships Results for Abilene

4A 113 — Gage Taylor (23-12) place is unknown and scored 5.0 team points.

Champ. Round 1 — Gage Taylor (Abilene) 23-12 won by fall over Jax Cornejo (Towanda-Circle) 25-13 (Fall 0:43)

Quarterfinal — Storm Rieck (Girard) 35-5 won by decision over Gage Taylor (Abilene) 23-12 (Dec 9-2)

Cons. Round 2 — Gage Taylor (Abilene) 23-12 won by decision over Blaize Charbonneau (Clay Center Community) 25-16 (Dec 7-2)

Cons. Round 3 — Koehn Dietrich (Mulvane) 38-10 won by fall over Gage Taylor (Abilene) 23-12 (Fall 0:00)

4A 126 — Murphy Randolph (35-1) placed 2nd and scored 20.0 team points.

Champ. Round 1 — Murphy Randolph (Abilene) 35-1 won by fall over Clayton Considine (Halstead) 35-13 (Fall 3:18)

Quarterfinal — Murphy Randolph (Abilene) 35-1 won by decision over Keith Sanders (Independence) 33-11 (Dec 6-3)

Semifinal — Murphy Randolph (Abilene) 35-1 won in sudden victory — 1 over Adam Bilby (Rose Hill) 47-2 (SV-1 4-3)

1st Place Match — Brock Johnson (Paola) 40-5 won by major decision over Murphy Randolph (Abilene) 35-1 (MD 12-2)

4A 138 — Dayven Cuba (27-13) place is unknown and scored 1.0 team points.

Champ. Round 1 — Kohen Wright (Independence) 40-4 won by decision over Dayven Cuba (Abilene) 27-13 (Dec 7-1)

Cons. Round 1 — Dayven Cuba (Abilene) 27-13 won by decision over Dylan Hanna (Clearwater) 24-7 (Dec 8-3)

Cons. Round 2 — Knox Karnowski (Wamego) 39-6 won by decision over Dayven Cuba (Abilene) 27-13 (Dec 3-1)

4A 144 — Parker Farr (33-11) place is unknown and scored 2.0 team points.

Champ. Round 1 — Parker Farr (Abilene) 33-11 received a bye () (Bye)

Quarterfinal — Cason Wyrick (Altamont-Labette County) 33-7 won by decision over Parker Farr (Abilene) 33-11 (Dec 5-4)

Cons. Round 2 — Trace Mehlhorn (Pratt) 30-16 won by decision over Parker Farr (Abilene) 33-11 (Dec 8-3)

4A 150 — Joseph Welsh (38-3) placed 3rd and scored 17.0 team points.

Champ. Round 1 — Joseph Welsh (Abilene) 38-3 won by major decision over AJ Schaffer (Garnett-Anderson County) 35-9 (MD 13-4)

Quarterfinal — Joseph Welsh (Abilene) 38-3 won by fall over Brody Lindenman (Winfield) 28-15 (Fall 2:55)

Semifinal — Jasper Allison (Fort Scott) 45-2 won by decision over Joseph Welsh (Abilene) 38-3 (Dec 5-2)

Cons. Semi — Joseph Welsh (Abilene) 38-3 won by decision over Blake Winsor (Pratt) 35-10 (Dec 5-2)

3rd Place Match — Joseph Welsh (Abilene) 38-3 won by decision over Thomas McIntyre (Wamego) 25-13 (Dec 8-7)

4A 157 — Tucker Cell (35-2) placed 2nd and scored 23.0 team points.

Champ. Round 1 — Tucker Cell (Abilene) 35-2 won by fall over Bryson Fulk (Independence) 25-21 (Fall 0:47)

Quarterfinal — Tucker Cell (Abilene) 35-2 won by tech fall over Wyatt Lovell (Pratt) 31-13 (TF-1.5 2:27 (19-3))

Semifinal — Tucker Cell (Abilene) 35-2 won by tech fall over Masten Wright (Garnett-Anderson County) 36-9 (TF-1.5 3:11 (17-2))

1st Place Match — Owen Eck (Andale) 27-1 won by major decision over Tucker Cell (Abilene) 35-2 (MD 16-4)

4A 165 — Landon Taplin (26-8) place is unknown and scored 3.0 team points.

Champ. Round 1 — Brody Gomez (Fort Scott) 40-10 won by major decision over Landon Taplin (Abilene) 26-8 (MD 11-1)

Cons. Round 1 — Landon Taplin (Abilene) 26-8 won by fall over Dawsyn Valdois (Buhler) 28-13 (Fall 1:13)

Cons. Round 2 — Rhett Briggs (Rose Hill) 38-9 won by decision over Landon Taplin (Abilene) 26-8 (Dec 6-2)

4A 285 — Jacob Hanback (20-17) placed 6th and scored 8.0 team points.

Champ. Round 1 — Jacob Hanback (Abilene) 20-17 won by major decision over Derrick Lowe (Wellington) 27-15 (MD 14-1)

Quarterfinal — Jaden Garcia (Fort Scott) 36-10 won by decision over Jacob Hanback (Abilene) 20-17 (Dec 7-3)

Cons. Round 2 — Jacob Hanback (Abilene) 20-17 won in sudden victory — 1 over Cameron Lilly (Colby) 20-21 (SV-1 6-4)

Cons. Round 3 — Jacob Hanback (Abilene) 20-17 won by decision over Colt Baker (Burlington) 18-10 (Dec 8-4)

Cons. Semi — Kainen White (Coffeyville-Field Kinley) 38-4 won by fall over Jacob Hanback (Abilene) 20-17 (Fall 1:24)

5th Place Match — Connor Herman (Halstead) 36-6 won by decision over Jacob Hanback (Abilene) 20-17 (Dec 2-0)

KSHSAA Girl's 4A-1A State Championship

Results for Abilene

100 — Charlie Elliott (34-3) placed 2nd and scored 24.0 team points.

Champ. Round 1 — Charlie Elliott (Abilene) 34-3 won by fall over Joee Perkins (St. George-Rock Creek HS) 26-11 (Fall 1:37)

Quarterfinal — Charlie Elliott (Abilene) 34-3 won by fall over Kaeleigh Klein (Plainville HS) 27-18 (Fall 1:15)

Semifinal — Charlie Elliott (Abilene) 34-3 won by fall over Trinity Motter (El Dorado HS) 32-7 (Fall 0:53)

1st Place Match — Alexis Wall (Towanda-Circle HS) 26-3 won in sudden victory — 1 over Charlie Elliott (Abilene) 34-3 (SV-1 4

115 — Josie Keener (25-13) place is unknown and scored 0.0 team points.

Champ. Round 1 — Jerri Smith (Fort Scott) 35-8 won by fall over Josie Keener (Abilene) 25-13 (Fall 3:01)

Cons. Round 1 — Lexie Larson (Holton HS) 24-7 won by decision over Josie Keener (Abilene) 25-13 (Dec 7-1)

135 — Kaylee Weibert (27-14) place is unknown and scored 0.0 team points.

Champ. Round 1 — Maleah Vine (Ellis HS) 22-9 won by fall over Kaylee Weibert (Abilene) 27-14 (Fall 4:44)

Cons. Round 1 — Lainey Farley (Wellsville HS) 31-13 won by fall over Kaylee Weibert (Abilene) 27-14 (Fall 0:24)

190 — Miranda Radenberg (31-10) place is unknown and scored 0.0 team points.

Champ. Round 1 — Brooke Smith (Oakley HS) 21-6 won by fall over Miranda Radenberg (Abilene) 31-10 (Fall 0:44)

Cons. Round 1 — Layla Kuhnert (Highland-Doniphan West HS) 14-5 won by decision over Miranda Radenberg (Abilene) 31-10 (Dec 7-4)