Being a first year program, the Barton wrestling team is looking for progress. The Cougars showed that for sure Tuesday night at the Barton Gym.
Barton split a pair of duals, blanking Northwest Kansas Tech and losing a close match with Pratt. The Cougars beat Northwest Tech, 36-0, and lost to Pratt, thanks in part to a pair of open weights, 25-19.
The blanking of Northwest Tech is a big turnaround from a 19-18 loss to the same Mavericks earlier in the year at Goodland.
Against Pratt, a team ranked in the Top 20 earlier in the year and currently just outside the top 20, Barton went match for match with the Beavers. The two teams split eight matches on the mat with Barton winning in points, 19-13. But Pratt picked up a couple of forfeit wins that was the difference.
To be fair, one of the matches Pratt received a forfeit the Beavers have the No. 4 ranked wrestler in the nation in Andrew Beck. But that weight, 149 pounds, is also a weight of one of Barton’s top wrestlers. Zach Vesta wrestles that weight for the Cougars and after a hard fall in his opening win, Coach Mike Bammes chose to hold him out of competition against Pratt.
The Cougars had two wrestlers win twice on the mat during the night. Caysen Smith won both his matches at 133 and Kade Sander won both at 157.
Smith picked up a 3-0 decision on Lucas Gardner from Northwest Tech then won by major decision over Clay Bodenheimer of Pratt, 11-3.
Sander’s night was similar. He won 2-0 over Victor Haro of Northwest Tech in one of the best matches of the night, then pinned his foe from Pratt. Sander won by fall over Garrett Martin in 4:00.
Justin Scarbro was also 2-0 during the night but won by forfeit against Northwest Tech at 275. Scarbro beat Tommy Vu of Pratt by a 5-2 decision.
The Cougars won both matches at 174 with two different wrestlers competing. Christian Strother defeated Brice Mason of Northwest Tech, 7-2 while Devon Baker pinned Jose Cortez of Pratt in 2:10.
Vesta won his match at 141 by major decision over Dominique Evans of Northwest Tech, 14-2 but took a hard fall outside the ring in the process.
Jayden McRoberts split decisions at 141. McRoberts beat Levi Maes of Northwest Tech 14-10 then lost to Zachery Schridde of Pratt, 6-3.
Sean Taborsky and Jonathan Bowen also split decisions on the day. Taborsky won over Corey Coombs of Northwest Tech by technical fall, 16-0. He lost by major decision to Syed Rafay Ali of Pratt, 18-7. Bowen scored a 10-2 major decision win over Turah Reed of Northwest Tech then lost a close 9-6 decision to Pratt’s Travis Quarterman.
The Cougars are now 5-4 in duals this season. Barton will head to Wichita Sunday for the Kansas Cup hosted by Newman University.