Senior Michael Aldrich placed fifth at state in wrestling this past weekend. He participated in five matches throughout the entire tournament, winning three and losing two. Though nine other East wrestlers went to state, none besides Aldrich placed.
The wrestlers had to win one of two matches they participated in on the first day to be qualified to move onto the next day. Aldrich completed this, losing his first match against a freshman from Derby, but winning his second against a wrestler from Wichita North.
“The hardest part about state for underclassmen, and seniors too, is the shock factor,” Aldrich said. “Like you walk into the arena and there’s so many seats, so many people. That kind of messes with your head a little bit. It kind of contributes to my first match, I didn’t do that well, I was in that state of mind.”
Aldrich won his next match against a wrestler from Junction City. His next match, the consolation quarterfinals, was big.
“It was against a kid I wrestled earlier in the year, from Wyandotte,” Aldrich said. “I beat him 9-2 earlier in the year. [At state] I ended up winning in overtime by one point. That’s describes the mood for state.”
The match went into points, a system of judging used when neither wrestler ends up completely pinning the other on the mat. Aldrich ended up winning because his opponent was penalized for stalling.
“If you’re taking shots, but the other guy is backing up, avoiding confrontation, he gets hit for stalling,” Aldrich said.
Aldrich lost in semifinals against to a wrestler from Olathe North who he had lost to earlier in the year. However, anyone who participates in semifinals is guaranteed to place, so he wrestled for fifth or sixth place. He won this match against a Garden City wrestler to achieve fifth place in the state of Kansas.