By JASON ELMQUIST
For as many area wrestlers who reached the semifinals of the Rocky Welton Invitational — with only two area schools, Scott City and Lakin, braving the snowy conditions while Holcomb, Hugoton and Ulysses pulled out — only one, Scott City's Clay Mulligan, advanced to the finals.
The Scott City Beavers had six wrestlers advance to semifinals on Friday at Garden City High School, but after Mulligan won his 103-pound match, it was all downhill for them.
Mulligan defeated Rio Rancho's Bo Nickal, 6-3, in the semifinals. Mulligan will face No. 3-seeded Jace Lopez of Roosevelt, Colo. in the finals. Lopez beat No. 2 seed Paul Mascarenas of Cleveland, N.M. in the semifinals, 6-5.
Scott City's Francisco Antillon fell just short of making another trip to the Rocky Welton finals — last year he finished second — after losing to Liberal's Adrian Salas in the semifinals, 2-1.
Joining Antillon in missing the finals was Beavers' wrestler Dillon Stucky, who lost to Ponderosa's Austin Olson, 5-3, in the 140-pound weight class.
For a second-straight year, Scott City's Dakota Hayes fell to Garden City's Joey Dozier in the semifinals. Dozier pulled out a pin of Hayes, who was previously unbeaten heading into the match.
Scott City's Morgan Numrich fell in the semifinals of the 152-pound bracket to Ponderosa's Steven Kelly, 5-3, while Calvin Erven lost to Emporia's Mark Kolmer, who is ranked No. 1 in Class 5A in the 215-pound division, by just a 3-1 decision.
Also losing in the semifinals was Lakin's Dalton Davis. The No. 4-ranked wrestler in Class 3-2-1A in the 130-pound weight class fell to Rio Rancho's Louis Trujillo — who had a 35-0 record heading into the Rocky Welton and has already signed to wrestle at Arizona State University — by an 8-2 final score.
Consolation action will begin today at 9 a.m. at GCHS. The championship finals, consolation finals and fifth-place matches are all expected to start at 4 p.m. with three mats running in The Garden.
See complete Rocky Welton results in Scoreboard, Page D2.