Clayton Himpel, regional finalist, headed to state
The Class 4A wrestling regional at Holton won’t be over until Saturday, but one Tonganoxie High wrestler has already punched his ticket to state.
Chieftains freshman Clayton Himpel, who entered the tournament as the No. 4 seed in the 112-pound bracket, won both his Friday matches at Holton to secure not only a spot in a regional championship match, but also a trip to state as one of the top four finishers in his weight class.
Himpel first defeated Tucker Clark of Baldwin, 5-3, then pinned the No. 1 seed, Garret Matthews of Royal Valley, in a semifinal.
The THS freshman will face Bonner Springs’ Justus Seaton Saturday in the 112-pound title match.
While Clayton was the only Tonganoxie wrestler to advance to a final, his older brother, Caleb, is one win away from earning a state berth of his own. Caleb, a junior 130-pounder, went 1-1 Friday and with a victory in his first match on Saturday, a consolation semifinal, he can advance to the third-place match in his bracket and earn a spot at the 4A state tournament.
The rest of the Chieftains will have some work to do Saturday in consolation matches to get to a top-four spot.
Adam Thomas (145), Thomas Miller (171), Jonas Myers (215) and Ryan Lynch (285) all went 1-1 on Friday and have to win multiple matches to reach the consolation finals.
The route will be similar for six other Tonganoxie grapplers who all were 0-1: Dominick Estrada (103), Dylan Yates (119), Justin Soetaert (125), Colton Brown (135), Anthony Baker (140) and Julius Coats (189).
Only two Tonganoxie wrestlers have been eliminated. Both Luke Carey (152) and Ian McClellan (160) went 0-2 Friday.