At an event billed as the “toughest wrestling tournament in the United States,” several Skyview High School wrestlers proved their mettle earlier this week.
Leading the Panthers was Eli Hutchison, who wrestled to an individual title in the 135-pound weight class at the Reno Tournament of Champions, contested Monday and Tuesday in Reno, Nev. Hutchison, who was seeded first at the tournament, was awarded a forfeit in the championship match against Elijah Nacita of Bakersfield, Calif.
Clark Buffington was the other Skyview wrestler to place at the tournament, taking fifth at 145 pounds. Buffington, who earned a No. 3 seed in the tournament, won four straight matches in the championship bracket before he was bumped to the consolation bracket, where he battled back to win the fifth-place match with a 15-4 win over Corby Ray of Sapulpa High School in Oklahoma.
At 103 pounds, Michaela Hutchison was the first female wrestler to be seeded in the 11-year history of the tournament. She was one of four No. 6 seeds in the 64-wrestler bracket. Hutchison had a first-round bye and won her second-round match by pin before being bumped from the championship bracket by the eventual tournament runner-up, and won once more in the consolation bracket before being bumped from the tournament.
Skyview 140-pounder Shane Strausbaugh won his opening-round match before being bumped to the consolation bracket, where he won twice more before being eliminated.
At 152 pounds, Michael Burlison dropped his preliminary-round match but won three matches in the consolation bracket before being bumped.
Skyview 160-pounder Eddie Buffington went 2-2 in the tournament, winning his opening-round match and adding one more win in the consolation bracket.
Josh Carlon, competing at 189 pounds, won three straight matches before he was knocked into the consolation bracket, where he lost to the eventual fourth-place finisher.
Nick Hann, wrestling at 215 pounds, lost in the opening round but came back to win his first consolation bracket match before bowing out. Russ Bacon, wrestling at 275 pounds, went 2-2 at the tournament, winning his opening-round match and his first match in the consolation bracket. Also for the Panthers, Eric Rodgers competed at 171 pounds but finished the tournament with an 0-2 record.
The Panthers were 20th in the team standings with 91 points, with 94 teams from across the country represented at the meet.
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