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Bells sixth-place finish leads Hoisington at state wrestling meet
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HAYS — The Hoisington High School wrestling team finished in a five-way tie for 23rd place at the Class 3-2-1A state wrestling tournament on Saturday.
The Cardinals scored 25 points to knot them with Lakin, Ellis, Cimarron and Southeast of Saline.
“We thought we did really well considering everything,” Hoisington head coach Dan Schmidt said. “The things we had to fight at the end of the season like the flu.
“We had four kids make it to the round where if you win, you place.
Dalton Bell took sixth place in the 145-pound weight class.
“Bell wrestled well,” Schmidt said. “All of the kids did. At the state level all of the kids are very good so to be able to medal means a lot. Everybody he wrestled were pretty legit kids.”
Bell made it through to the second round of the championship bracket before getting bumped by Ky Biddle. He went 3-3 over the weekend and finished with a loss to Nathan Deeds of Goodland in a 6-2 decision.
Chance Demel in the 140 weight class was sent to the third-place bracket in the first round by Jared Johnson.
Demel won the next two matches before Kiefer Hurla of Rossville, who went on to take third place, bested him before he got to the placing rounds.
“Chance’s weight class was seriously tough,” Schmidt said. “There were 15 kids that could win at state on any given day. The matches are just razor-thin getting to the medal rounds or not.”
Eric Hellerud also got knocked out of contention just before the  placing rounds of the171 weight class bracket.
Hellerud won his first match against Josh Hoch of Burlington in a 12-8 decision. In the second round, he got bumped to the third-place brackets.
After winning his first match in the third-place brackets, Hellerud met his match against Kyle White of Horton.
“Hellerud literally lost at the last second,” Schmidt said. “It’s exactly what happened to him last year. He was moments away from being a two-time state placer.”
Cody Batt went 2-2 over the weekend to miss out on placing in the 189 weight class. After winning in the first round, Batt lost to Colt Castlebury, who wrestles for Douglass.
Batt beat Ty Swartz but lost to Jesse Campbell by injury default to close out his run at state.
“Batt was injured in the match that if he won, he would have placed,” Schmidt said. “He injured his shoulder during the match so he had to default out.”
Ethan Soeken lost his first two matches at state in the 215 weight class. Gerald Dilley of Wathena finished his time at state in the first round of the third-place bracket.
“Ethan had two tough draws in a row,” Schmidt said. “He had some really good kids wrestling against him and he just didn’t come out on top.”