PENDER — The big city beckons for two Wolfpack wrestlers this week.
Wolfpack wrestlers Carter Beckman and Samuel Hemenway will be competing, starting Thursday, at the NSAA State Wrestling Championships at CHI Health Center Arena. They qualified for the state championships, earning their way with outstanding performances at the D-1 District Tournament held in Pender, over the weekend.
Beckman led EPPJ, winning the championship in the 120-pound weight class. In the championship match, he made quick work of Summerland’s Alex Thiele with a pin coming just 48 seconds into the match. The victory boosted his record this season to 33-3.
His route to the championship started Friday afternoon with a pin of Summerland’s Caden Mendoza. In the quarterfinals, Beckman picked up another pin, this time against Ky Cargill of Central Valley. That set up a semifinal showdown Saturday morning against South Loup’s Bo Brennan. Just as in the other matches, Beckman pinned the foe.
“They’re all tough,” Beckman about postseason matches. “Everybody’s gotten better by the end of the season. They’re alll coming after you. My semifinal match, he came after me a little bit but I was ready.”
Hemenway began his march to the championship round with a quarterfinal victory Friday over Cambridge’s Trev Burke. In the semifinals, Hemenway battle Neligh-Oakdale’s Chase Thomas. Meeting for the first time this season, each took the other’s best shot before the Wolfpack wrestler pulled away late to win 4 to 1. The victory set up a first place match against Winside’s Mason Topp. Hemenway’s foe entered the match with a 28-6 record and, on this day, was better. Hemenway lost the match seven to one, claiming the runner-up medal.
“I’ve known all year I was going to get him at districts,” Hemenway said about Topp. The semifinal match against Thomas was the first time the two squared off this year. “I went out there and just wrestled how I knew how to.”
For more information and the rest of the results, see this week’s Elgin Review.