On to Omaha

Five Yutan wrestlers qualify for a trip to state


Kylie Krajicek

Senior Trevin Arlt prepares to begin his wrestling match at a Conestoga meet. Arlt finished the state tournament with a fourth-place finish.

After a season of long practices, restrictive diets and wrestling meets, five Yutan wrestlers successfully ended the district meet with top four placements and punched their tickets to the state championships. This included seniors Trevin Arlt and Janson Pilkington and juniors Derek Wacker, Bryce Kolc and Jesse Kult.

These tickets to state didn’t come easily, though, and took many weeks of practice and hard work.

“I have a routine in practice that helped me prepare for the district meet,” Wacker said. “I just drilled all of the basics because once you get into the big matches, basics really play a key role in the matches.”

This preparation paid off after Wacker ended the district meet with a first-place finish.

“I was expecting myself to get to state, so it just felt like it was another check off a long list of things for me to do,” Wacker said.

As the time to wrestle rolled around, Kolc used the environment to earn a fourth-place finish.

“It was so exciting and the gym got so loud,” Kolc said. “It was exhilarating I’d say because everyone was coming up to me and congratulating me with high fives.”

This finish was even more special for him as he was a first-time state qualifier.

“It’s just really cool because this is the third year I’ve wrestled and I finally was able to make it state,” Kolc said. “My parents were very excited and it was really fun.”

Junior Bryce Kolc works to pin his opponent during the Yutan Invite. Kolc finished the district meet with a fourth-place finish and his first state qualification. (Alexis Pehrson)

On the other hand, district matchups were more challenging for Kult after a loss in the semifinals, yet he didn’t let that affect him.

“I wasn’t supposed to beat the guy I lost to, so I just told myself to focus on the next match ahead of me,” Kult said.

Kult ended districts with a third-place finish and is looking forward to competing at the state tournament. 

“Hopefully I’ll place, but I just want to win a couple of matches,” Kult said.

Pilkington was also proud to say that he would be competing at the state meet even though he had a bumpy meet with a loss in the semifinals.

“After losing, it was tough to come back, so I just had to reset and get my mind right to punch my ticket to state,” Pilkington said.

Despite a tough loss, he was happy to earn the opportunity to finish fourth and be a returning state qualifier.

“It feels just as great as it did the past two years,” Pilkington said.

Along with Pilkington, Arlt fought for a second-place finish and will be competing at state again.

“It felt good that I was going back one last time,” Arlt said.

At the end of the day, Arlt is ready for one more state competition.

“I am most excited to get a really cool medal and have one last ride with my best friends,” Arlt said.

Alexis Pehrson