Wrestlers finish strong after slow start at Emporia
The up-and-down nature of the 2009 Eudora wrestling campaign continued Saturday at Emporia.
The Cardinals finished seventh out of 18 teams — a strong showing considering the level of talent present.
The squad didn’t make it easy on itself, however, as a sluggish start nearly knocked the Cards out of contention before people broke for lunch.
“We had a terrible first round,” coach Jason Tharp said. “We brought 12 guys and were open at 103 and 189. I think we only won three first-round matches. So it wasn’t a great start.”
The squad bounced back during the back half of the tournament, however, and started sweeping matches that Tharp anticipated would give his team a good measuring stick.
“There were some really good teams there — Goddard, Emporia, Junction City, Hutchinson, Topeka-Seaman. I was really real proud of how they fought back. During the next four rounds we won almost every time we stepped out onto the mat.”
Tharp credited his veterans for the quick turnaround.
“Those seniors had a lot of pride in what they were doing and didn’t want to go two-and-out and be done early in the day,” he said.
Caden Lynch earned a top-four performance at the 112-pound weight class and Tim Wright finished third at 125.
“Tim’s a guy that has struggled to keep his weight and he did a good job managing it this weekend,” Tharp said. “He really got his stuff together and performed well.”
The squad placed six wrestlers in the top six of the respective divisions, a huge step up from what its coach deemed a so-so performance at their home tournament two weeks ago.
“The season has been really up and down,” he said. “We were good at Effingham when we took second out there, then we were really disappointed at our own tournament because we didn’t feel like we competed. Wins and losses are one thing, but we always want to feel like we competed.”