BUFFS ROUNDUP: Sunday, March 1, 2020
In its illustrious history, dating back more than 50 years, few Garden City High School wrestlers have won more than two individual state championships.
In fact, it didn’t happen until 2015 when Michael Prieto won his third, as did Tevin Briscoe, to become the first three-peat wrestlers for the Buffaloes program. Prieto would go on and embed himself into his own category in 2016 when he won his fourth straight gold medal.
But now the Buffaloes’ elite fraternity has a new member in Jacob Holt, who captured his third individual title on Saturday, Feb. 29, at Hartman Arena in Park City. And he did so in dramatic fashion.
After three dominating matches, Holt took on the No. 1 seed in the 138-pound division and it was a bout for the ages, with the duo tied at 1-1 at the end of three periods of regulation. The match went to overtime with no points by either wrestler.
Then, it went to OT with each wrestler having 30 seconds to score points from the top position. Holt kept Koelzer from scoring while he then earned a point on an escape. With six seconds remaining, Koelzer got Holt in a headlock, but didn’t get a takedown. Holt was able to secure his winning point, finishing the 2-1 score to complete his senior season with a glossy 31-2 record.
Holt’s title was the lone gold medal for the Buffaloes, but coach Carlos Prieto’s team had another spectacular Saturday performance in the consolation side of the bracket, putting up nearly 50 points to advance the team from eighth on Friday to fourth place in the final team standings with 124.5 points. Mill Valley captured the team crown with 161.5 points, Topeka-Washburn Rural was second with 148.0 and Dodge City was third with 132.0. Derby was close behind the Buffs with 121.5 for fifth.
Four Buffs captured third-place bronze medals with yeoman work on Saturday after dropping semifinal matches on Friday evening. That group included juniors Steven Sellers at 132 pounds, and Josh Janas at 152 pounds, and seniors Jared Arellano at 160 pounds and Alex Rodriguez at 170 pounds.
Sophomore Erick Dominguez captured fourth place, going 3-2 over the two-day meet while Ryan Heiman, finishing at 5-2, took fifth place for the final medal earned by the Buffs.
“I couldn’t be more proud of these young men,” coach Prieto said Sunday. “They wrestled extremely well and competed as hard as one could ask. They really dug deep to get us to fourth place.”
For Holt, the finals match proved to have a twist of irony in that his opponent, Dallas Koelzer of Olathe South, was the younger brother of Jace Koelzer, the wrestler in 2017 that denied Holt what would have been his fourth state title. That match also was decided by a tiebreaker, with Jace Koelzer winning by a 4-2 margin.
Holt’s senior campaign was his best of his four-year career, following records of 36-13 as a freshman, 40-9 his sophomore season and 37-3 in his junior year. In total, he won 144 matches against 27 defeats. Michael Prieto had compiled a 162-10 record in his four-year Buffs’ career.
In similar fashion, Holt joined Michael Prieto as the school’s only two four-time finalists. In the process, both had wrestled in four different weight divisions – Prieto at 106-113-126-138 and Holt at 113-126-132-138.
Coach Prieto watched his wrestlers win 17 of 20 matches on Saturday, thus bypassing Manhattan, Olathe South, Olathe North and Derby on the final day.
“It’s been a bit of a roller-coaster season for us, but this was the best day I think we’ve had this season,” Coach Prieto said.
- Mill Valley, 161.5; 2. Topeka-Washburn Rural, 148.0; 3. Dodge City, 132.0; 4. Garden City, 124.5; 5. Derby, 121.5. 34 teams competed.
Garden City Individual Results
126: Ryan Heiman, Fr. (39-16), 4-2. 5th place. Def. Alonzo Borjas, Gardner-Edgerton, 9-4 dec., in medal match.
132: Steven Sellers, Jr. (32-14), 5-1. 3rd place. Def. Bowan Murray, Washburn Rural, 6-2 dec. in consolation final.
138: Jacob Holt, Sr.,(31-2), 4-0. 1st place. Def. Dallas Koelzer, Olathe South, 2-1, Tiebreaker 1.
145: Erick Dominguez, So. (31-17), 3-2, 4th place. Lost to Austin Keal, Mill Valley, 3-2 dec. in consolation final.
152: Josh Janas, Jr. (39-11), 4-1, 3rd place. Def. Nathan Bowen, Haysville-Campus, Sudden Victory-1, 3-1.
160: Jared Arellano, Sr. (21-10), 4-1, 3rd place. Def. Marcelino Otero, Dodge City, 9-4 dec. in consolation final.
170: Alexavier Rodriguez, Sr., (25-8), 4-1, 3rd place. Def. Samuel Rushin, Wichita West, by fall, 1:57 in consolation final.
220: Matt Smith, Jr. (23-13), did not place. 1-2.
285: Isaiah Barrett, Jr. (8-21), did not place, 0-2.