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OMAHA — On the day when two more wrestlers became four-time state champions, Syracuse’s Max Hughes stayed alive to do the same thing next year.

Hughes won his third state title by claiming the Class C 132-pound title with a 13-4 major decision against Monte Mumm of Raymond Central on Saturday at CenturyLink Center Omaha. Hughes was able to watch Korbin Meink of Omaha Skutt win his fourth state title before he wrestled.

“He’s a pretty good buddy of mine. It’s awesome. I hope I can do the same next year,” Hughes said.

Syracuse junior Caleb Lefferdink also won a state title. Lefferdink got to wrestle in practice against a state champion, Matt Clark, when he was a freshman, and has now joined him as winning state titles for the program.

Lefferdink pinned Sam Cantu of Norfolk Catholic in the 285-pound finals to complete a 51-1 season. Clark won three state titles. Lefferdink finished sixth at state last year.

“I wrestled Matt my whole freshman year and he kicked my butt every single day in and out,” Lefferdink said. “It was terrible. But in the long run I guarantee it got me so much further than I could imagine.”

Sidney's Robb finishes 56-0

Derek Robb couldn't remember the half-nelson and hip throw that gave him a second-period pin against Tomas Margritz of Lexington in the Class B 152-pound championship match.

"I don't look back," said Robb, a Sidney junior who is 141-1 and has three state championships. "As soon as the match is over, I get with my coaches and ask, 'What did I do wrong?' They said I could move my feet more. That's what I'm thinking about now."

So a possible fourth state title next year? "Not really thinking about it," he said. "I guess a possibility. But I've got a lot of work to do between then and now."

Robb finished the season 56-0 and hasn't lost since the season-opener of his sophomore season.

Omaha Skutt pulled away from favored Gretna to take its 19th state Class B title in the past 20 years.

Harsh adjustment

Scottsbluff senior Salem Harsh finished off his final year with a 50-0 record to win the ultra-competitive Class B 182-pound title.

Harsh, who didn't wrestle last year, said he rededicated himself to wrestling after a year off -- lifting and getting his attitude adjusted.

Harsh pinned Sam Kolterman of Wahoo/Cedar Bluffs in the championship to boost his state tournament mark to four pins for a 46-pin season -- tying the state record.

"I was so pumped and I wasn't going to let anybody get anything going, so I went for the pin every match here," said Harsh, who is going to join the Marines after high school. "I did a lot of growing up last year and I think my better attitude and my desire to be the best really paid off."

Harsh's brother, Sabin, is in the Marines and stationed in North Carolina. "I wanted to make him proud and I wanted to make my school proud," he said.

Albrecht gets first state title

Raymond Central senior Grant Albrecht had a 4-0 lead slip away in the final seconds of his Class C 145-pound championship match against Keegan Pope of Syracuse, but didn’t mess around in overtime.

Just 16 seconds into overtime Albrecht got a takedown for a 6-4 victory and his first state title.

“I probably let my guard down there at the end,” Albrecht said. “I had a good lead, but that’s something I can work on in the future if I wrestle in college. You can’t just sit on a lead like that, you got to work through it the whole match. Pope is a great athlete and I’ve wrestled him a lot over the last few years and I knew he was going to be a great opponent. “

Valentine sets state record

Valentine set a Class C record for most points in a state championship with 195, bettering the record of 192½ by Tekamah-Herman in 1989. David City was runner-up with 107½ points. All four Valentine wrestlers in the finals won. Valentine qualified wrestlers in 12 of the 14 weight classes, and nine won medals.

Longhorns end Amherst's title run

Burwell finished 3-for-5 in state title matches, piling up 149 points to runner-up Amherst's 131 for the Class D team title.

Amherst had previously won every team title since 2010.

“There is pressure, don't get me wrong, but we know how to handle it,” Burwell 220-pounder Tyler Gideon said. “We've been in this situation before and we showed them we wrestled. That's all it was. It was awesome.”

Gideon helped Burwell to a state football runner-up finish in 2015 and championship in 2016, while adding his state wrestling title by beating Jose Ambriz of Ansley/Litchfield.

State title career milestone

Devon Walker of Elm Creek, a fourth-place finisher in Class D at 152 pounds in 2015, picked up his 100th career victory while claiming the state title at the weight class this year with a 9-8 win over Miles Kulhanek of Howells-Dodge.

Walker finished the season 20-0. His brother, Preston Walker, finished runner-up at 160 pounds.

Stevens brothers go 1 and 2

High Plains' Kyle Stevens won a state title at 170 pounds with a win over Burwell's Ryan Dawe in Class D. Kyle's twin brother, Payton Stevens, lost in the final to Burwell's Tori Huffman at 12, ending a possible chance of twin brothers winning state titles in the same year.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7313 or On Twitter @PanchoHam


Ken grew up in Chicago and is a Doane College grad. His Mr. Sportsknowitall column appears Sundays, and he covers a variety of beats.

Sports reporter

Brent has worked at the Journal Star for 14 years. His beats include Nebraska volleyball, women's basketball and high school soccer and cross country.

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