Three wrestlers earn trip to nationals

By FHSU SPORTS INFORMATION

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The Fort Hays State wrestling team competed in the Super Region VI Championships on Saturday (Feb. 26). Marty Verhaeghe (184), Tereus Henry (197), and A.J. Cooper (285) punched their tickets to the NCAA Championships by placing in the top three in their respective weight classes. Verhaeghe and Cooper both reached the regional championship bout before placing second, while Henry fought his way through the consolation bracket before winning the third-place match. The Tigers placed sixth as a team out of 11 programs with 66 points.

Verhaeghe was one of the few Tigers who did not receive a first-round bye. He picked up a second period fall in his first match, a 7-4 decision in the quarterfinals, and a 5-3 decision over No. 8 Anderson Salisbury (Colorado School of Mines) to advance to the finals and secure his spot in St. Louis. The championship was slotted to be a rematch between Verhaeghe and No. 7 Billy Higgins (Nebraska-Kearney) from the MIAA dual in Hays earlier this season. The match was tied at two late in the second period, but Higgins picked up a takedown before the end of the period taking the lead 4-2. Higgins would get an escape in the third period and hold off Verhaeghe to claim the regional title. This is the second time that Verhaeghe has qualified for nationals after also placing second at the 2020 regional in Hays.

Cooper’s first match was in the quarterfinals after receiving a first-round bye. The match was tied at the end of the third period, but Cooper was able to get the takedown in overtime and record a sudden victory fall at the end of the period. The Cimarron, Kan. native picked up his second fall of the day in the semifinals to propel himself into the finals and clinch his return to the NCAA Championships. In the finals, Cooper was slotted to face one of his long-time opponents, Lee Herrington of Nebraska-Kearney, who used a first period takedown to salvage a 4-2 decision.

Henry also began the day with a bye, but was defeated by decision in the quarterfinals. On the backside, Henry received another bye before picking up wins by second period fall and an 8-2 decision to reach the third place match. Henry then faced Eli Hinojosa from Chadron State for a NCAA Championship berth. Hinojosa got the first takedown but Henry escaped and took the lead at the end of the first period with a takedown. Henry would ride out the entire second period to keep his 3-2 lead and give him 2:00 of riding time. The El Paso, Texas native would pick up an escape to start the third period and take down Hinojosa once more. After cashing in his riding time, Henry was victorious with a 7-3 decision and clinched his first ever appearance in the NCAA Championships.

Cason Lindsey (149) and Anthony Scantlin (157) took similar paths to the consolation semifinals. Both wrestlers received a first round bye and fell by decision in the quarterfinals. Lindsey advanced to the semifinals with a major decision and a first period fall while Scantlin received another bye and picked up a 4-2 decision in the consolation quarterfinals. Lindsey and Scantlin each fell in their next match by decision. Scantlin would finish in sixth after falling by decision in the placement match and Lindsey would capture fifth with a decision of his own.

Broderick Green, Cole Zebley, and Aidan Johnson each picked up a win at regionals, but did not advance to placement matches.

Verhaeghe, Henry and Cooper will head to St. Louis in two weeks for the NCAA Championships inside Chaifetz Arena. Action begins on Friday (March 11) at 11 a.m. and continues Saturday (March 12) at 10 a.m.Fort Hays State Regional Results

125 | Broderick Green (1-2)
Champ. Round 1 – Christian Lopez (Colo. Sch. of Mines) won by decision over Broderick Green (Dec 9-5)
Cons. Round 1 – Broderick Green received a bye
Cons. Round 2 – Broderick Green won by medical forfeit over Isaiah De La Cerda (Adams St.) (M. For.)
Cons. Round 3 – Quade Smith (Chadron St.) won by major decision over Broderick Green (MD 8-0)

133 | Tom VanValkenburg (0-2)
Champ. Round 1 – Stefano McKinney (San Francisco St.) won by decision over Tom VanValkenburg (Dec 7-5)
Cons. Round 1 – Tom VanValkenburg received a bye
Cons. Round 2 – Alex Alvarez (Western Colo.) won by major decision over Tom VanValkenburg (MD 13-4)

141 | Cole Zebley (1-2)
Champ. Round 1 – Cole Zebley received a bye
Quarterfinal – Joshua Fuentes Norikiyo (San Francisco St.) won by decision over Cole Zebley (Dec 8-1)
Cons. Round 2 – Cole Zebley won by fall over Isaac Garcia (N. M. Highlands) (Fall 4:14)
Cons. Round 3 – Dean Noble (Western Colo.) won by fall over Cole Zebley (Fall 2:13)

149 | Cason Lindsey (3-2) 5th place
Champ. Round 1 – Cason Lindsey received a bye
Quarterfinal – Noah Hermosillo (Adams St.) won by decision over Cason Lindsey (Dec 4-0)
Cons. Round 2 – Cason Lindsey won by major decision over Jacob Alexander-Torres (Simon Fraser) 3-6 (MD 11-3)
Cons. Round 3 – Cason Lindsey won by fall over Cody Thompson (Colo. Sch. of Mines) (Fall 2:01)
Cons. Semi – Jonathon Trujillo (N. M. Highlands) won by decision over Cason Lindsey (Dec 6-2)
5th Place Match – Cason Lindsey won by decision over Josh Tolentino (San Francisco St.) (Dec 4-2)

157 | Anthony Scantlin (1-3)
Champ. Round 1 – Anthony Scantlin received a bye
Quarterfinal – Carter Noehre (Colo. Sch. of Mines) won by decision over Anthony Scantlin (Dec 7-3)
Cons. Round 2 – Anthony Scantlin received a bye
Cons. Round 3 – Anthony Scantlin won by decision over Justin Davis (CSU Pueblo) (Dec 4-2)
Cons. Semi – Mason Boutain (San Francisco St.) won by decision over Anthony Scantlin (Dec 9-4)
5th Place Match – Carter Noehre (Colo. Sch. of Mines) won by decision over Anthony Scantlin (Dec 9-7)

165 | Cody Hicks (0-2)
Champ. Round 1 – Hunter Mullin (Western Colo.) won by decision over Cody Hicks (Dec 5-3)
Cons. Round 1 – Cody Hicks received a bye
Cons. Round 2 – Alexander Holguin (Colorado Mesa) won by decision over Cody Hicks (Dec 7-2)

174 | Aidan Johnson (1-2)
Champ. Round 1 – Austin Eldredge (Neb.-Kearney) won by tech fall over Aidan Johnson (TF-1.5 5:14 (16-0))
Cons. Round 1 – Aidan Johnson received a bye
Cons. Round 2 – Aidan Johnson won by decision over Tyee Ducharme (San Francisco St.) (Dec 9-5)
Cons. Round 3 – Cole Hernandez (Western Colo.) won by decision over Aidan Johnson (Dec 11-4)

184 | Marty Verhaeghe (3-1) 2nd place
Champ. Round 1 – Marty Verhaeghe won by fall over Lance Killgore (N. M. Highlands) (Fall 4:31)
Quarterfinal – Marty Verhaeghe won by decision over Cole Gray (Western Colo.) (Dec 7-4)
Semifinal – Marty Verhaeghe won by decision over Anderson Salisbury (Colo. Sch. of Mines) (Dec 5-3)
1st Place Match – Billy Higgins (Neb.-Kearney) won by decision over Marty Verhaeghe (Dec 5-2)

197 | Tereus Henry (4-1) 3rd place
Champ. Round 1 – Tereus Henry received a bye
Quarterfinal – Hunter Tobiasson (Adams St.) won by decision over Tereus Henry (Dec 5-2)
Cons. Round 2 – Tereus Henry received a bye
Cons. Round 3 – Tereus Henry won by fall over Rick Feroce (Simon Fraser) (Fall 2:39)
Cons. Semi – Tereus Henry won by decision over Porter Fox (Western Colo.) (Dec 8-2)
3rd Place Match – Tereus Henry won by decision over Eli Hinojosa (Chadron St.) (Dec 7-3)

285 | A.J. Cooper (2-1) 2nd place
Champ. Round 1 – A.J. Cooper received a bye
Quarterfinal – A.J. Cooper won in SV-1 by fall over Gavin Nye (CSU Pueblo) (SV-1 (Fall) 7:45)
Semifinal – A.J. Cooper won by fall over Sammy Deseriere (Western Colo.) (Fall 5:47)
1st Place Match – Lee Herrington (Neb.-Kearney) won by decision over A.J. Cooper (Dec 4-2)

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