Olathe’s Shank chases 3rd title
DENVER — Upon becoming a four-time state wrestling tournament finalist Saturday, Olathe’s Zach Shank did not take time to soak up victory.
Instead, he ran up a few steps, perched over a wall at the Pepsi Center, and began scouting his next opponent in today’s Class 3A final, Alamosa’s Zach Mahaney.
Olathe also advanced 113-pound Trenton Piatt to the final. Piatt pinned Holy Family’s Julian Prieto in 3:30.
Olathe has 91.5 points and is second to Alamosa’s 114 heading into today’s final matches.
Shank, a two-time state champion, had scored a 4-2 decision in a semifinal over Strasburg’s Jacob Haney. He had two escapes late in he match to seal the win.
Then he focused on a possible third state title.
“It means everything,” Shank said. “That’s what everything is for, is for a state title.”
Shank said he would go back to the hotel and visualize himself winning — and attempt to not let the hype of the state final keep him awake.
Shank has been the Superman of Olathe recently, becoming the leader of four lower-weight wrestlers who made the semifinals.
His freshman brother Austin Shank, at 106 pounds, Jacob Solseth at 126 pounds and Wyatt Yarnell at 145, made the final four but lost in the semis.
The other “Superman” wore the label on his shirt Saturday. Piatt, soon after becoming a state finalist, spoke about his pin wearing a Superman T-shirt that was given to him last season by his older brother Kyle Piatt, a wrestler at Western State.
“He’s always coming down during the summers to help me wrestle,” Piatt said.
Piatt pinned Prieto in what he called a “gramma,” in the second period.
“Last year I took third place and I went home and worked on what I’d have to do this year to get farther,” Piatt said. “I knew I could take (Prieto) down. So going into the match I felt more comfortable than in any other of the matches.”
Olathe heavyweight Casey Childs lost his semifinal in a 4:33 pin to Platte Valley’s Raul Rios.
Cedaredge senior Cole Caywood lost a 13-0 major decision in the semifinals to Eaton’s Jaden Olearnick.
Grand Valley’s 170-pounder David Witt (41-1) lost for the first time this season, a 12-5 decision to Bennett’s Caleb Copeland.