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Salaz, Careaga win titles for Crusaders

Salaz, Careaga win titles for Crusaders

February 10th, 2019 by News Tribune in Sports Prep

KEARNEY, Mo. — A pair of Helias Crusaders claimed individual titles Saturday in the Class 3 District 4 Tournament.

Aleksey Salaz and Jackson Careaga are among five Crusaders who advanced to this week's Class 3 state tournament with their district performances.

Salaz won the title at 126 pounds with a win by fall in 2:19 against Ben Locke of Kearney.

Salaz, seeded first, went 3-0 in the tournament. After a first-round bye, he won by fall in the quarterfinals and by major decision in the semifinals.

"Aleksey came out and wrestled just like it was any other day," Helias coach Weston Keleher said.

Salaz will take a record of 34-7 to state.

Careaga, the No. 1 seed at 152, claimed the crown with a 2-1 victory against second-seded Blake Ackerman of Smithville.

"That was the second time they've wrestled each other this season and it's tough to do that," Keleher said. "But Jackson stuck with it and got a takedown in the third period when he needed it."

The title capped a 3-0 tournament for Careaga (43-6). After a bye, he won twice by fall to advance to the title match.

Careaga was sixth at 152 last season at the state tournament.

Gavin Adams was second at 106 with a 2-1 district record. After a bye, he won by fall in the quarterfinals and then by a 3-2 decision in the semifinals.

Adams then lost 9-2 to top-seeded Eli Ashcroft of Kearney in the title match.

Adams is 44-6 on the season.

Evan Winder was second at 132 for the Crusaders. He won his first two matches by first-period falls before taking a 5-2 decision in the semifinals.

Winder then fell 5-3 to top-seeded Devan Lewis of Smithville in the title match.

It will be Winder's fourth state tournament appearance. The three-time medalist is 27-4 this season.

"Gavin and Evan both had good tournaments," Keleher said.

Dustin Luebbert finished third at 160 for Helias, going 3-1 at districts. Luebbert, after a bye, won by a 10-2 decision before falling 6-2 in the semifinals. In the consolation final, he won 10-9 against Drake Tipton of Grain Valley before winning by a second-period fall against Josh Tomich of Warrensburg in the third-place match.

Luebbert is 35-11.

Two Crusaders — Nikolai Careaga at 145 and Noah Wieberg at 195 — lost in the consolation semifinals. Careaga was 3-2 in districts, while Wieberg was 2-2.

Wyatt Forck at 138 and Curtis Rockers at 182 both were eliminated in the third round of the consolation bracket. Forck was 1-2 in the tournament, while Rockers was 0-2.

Helias finished fifth in the team standings with 118 points.

Kearney was first with 189, with Platte County (167.5), Smithville (149) and Grain Valley (145) rounding out the top four.

The three-day Class 3 state tournament begins Thursday at Mizzou Arena.