A pair of first-time state qualifiers will represent Humboldt-TR-S/Pawnee City this weekend at the NSAA State Wrestling Championship in Omaha.
Ben Railsback, a 160-pound junior, and freshman Jacob Wilhelm at 106 pounds, each qualified after solid performances at the 16-team C-1 District tournament held Friday and Saturday in Malcolm.
Railsback pinned Fort Calhoun’s C.J. Bolen (2:01) in the third-place match to cap off a 4-1 tournament, but it was his 7-6 victory over second-ranked Devin Prochaska of David City in the consolation semifinals that turned heads. Railsback, who was poised to qualify a year ago before having his hopes dashed by an injury, eliminated Prochaska’s hopes of returning to Omaha. Railsback, now 33-12 on the season, is matched up against Valentine senior Lance Hockenbary.
HTRS freshman Jacob Wilhelm finished 2-2 and in fourth place at districts. Wilhelm opened and closed his tournament with losses to Raymond Central’s Monte Mumm, but managed two wins – one by pin another by 6-4 decision – in the consolation rounds to reach the third-place match. Wilhelm enters this weekend with a 16-20 record and will have to face Kearney Catholic senior Alex Cantral in his first match Thursday morning. Cantral, who finished runner-up at 106 in 2013, is ranked third and enters with a 35-3 record.
Thursday’s Session 1 includes classes B and C and begins at 9:30 a.m.