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OMAHA — No way Lincoln Southeast's Chance Fry was going to limp onto the mat, no matter how much his left knee hurt.

He wasn't going to talk about his shoulder injury either.

And Lincoln Southwest's Connor Clanton didn't have any weaknesses to show or hide, he simply muscled his way to the Class A 220-pound title Saturday in the state wrestling meet at CenturyLink Center Omaha.

Clanton was never behind or in serious trouble in any of his matches, storming his way to a 47-1 record by beating Wyatt Olcutt of Columbus 3-1 in the final.

"I'm a senior and I've been rated No. 1 all year, and there's no way I was feeling anything but confident," Clanton said.

For Fry, the deception was pivotal.

"Once a guy sees you with something wrong, that's what they go for, and I wasn't going to let (Kearney's) Nick James see anything but my best," Fry said after he won the Class A 132-pound title in a 10-5 victory.

"I saw guys going for Adam's hand (teammate Kinnaman, who had a brace on his broken right hand), and you don't want to show any weakness," Fry said.

James had beaten Fry (47-4) twice this season, including a victory in last week's district meet.

But Fry blasted away from the start of the championship match before 11,131 fans, and scored a couple of takedowns and even a near-fall for a 6-1 lead by the end of the first period.

Fry scored two more points in the second period, gave up a takedown and appeared in trouble when James put him in a cradle. But Fry rolled out and hung on for the win.

"I have to thank my parents for good hips," Fry said with a smile. "I have pretty good balance and it seems I can keep out of trouble because I'm hard to take down, as long as I stay away from a guy trying to score on throws."

Fry, who posted 37 pins this season, had plenty of help to get ready for his match, too.

He warmed up with Class D champ Cameron Riggs because neither had a wrestling partner before Saturday's championship matches. He also talked with four-time champ Isaac Deloa, formerly of Millard South.

"Between those guys and my coaches, I think I was ready for just about anything," Fry said.

Clanton, a football player and now potential college wrestler or pre-med student without wrestling, preparation was the key to his success.

"Coach (Aaron) Finley had us work on conditioning harder than ever before and I had Justin Shaw and Jarrett Myers to work with all the time in practice, so I was feeling pretty confident the whole tournament," he said.

Finley said Clanton grew as a wrestler each year.

"He came out as a heavyweight as a sophomore, when he gave up basketball, and after he asked about attending a camp at Wilber a couple of summers ago and did OK, he started getting what wrestling took and what it took to be good.

"Now, I look at what he did and I have to say I'm not surprised he won."

Lincoln East freshman Maxx Mayfield made a run to second place, where he ran into unbeaten defending state champ Joey Harrison of Millard South. Harrison controlled the match and won 8-0.

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.

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