Olathe’s Shank wins third 3A state title
DENVER — Olathe’s Zach Shank on Saturday became a three-time Class 3A state wrestling champion and the first four-time state finalist in school history.
And he accomplished it with more than the strength derived from waking almost daily for 5 a.m. workouts.
During his 8-0 decision victory over Alamosa’s Zach Mahaney in the 132-pound final at Pepsi Center, Shank studied his opponent’s patterns, something taught to him by Olathe coach Tee Jay Rose.
By the second period, Shank, who took second his sophomore season, saw a pattern in his opponent: A lunge forward was always followed by a step back and brief stand-up.
In the second period, after sensing the rhythm, Shank saw the lunge and step and then, when Mahaney stood tall, pounced for a takedown and near fall.
That was five of Shank’s points.
“You never know it until you get it,” Shank said of catching a rhythm. “I just felt real comfortable throughout the whole match.”
The senior (44-0) left high school wrestling having shut out his final opponent and led Olathe to a second-place finish in the team standings with 121.5 points.
Alamosa won the team title with 146.5 points.
Olathe’s 113-pounder Trenton Piatt took second after dropping a 7-5 decision to Sheridan’s Luis Gurule in the final.
But after Shank’s win, Piatt’s face loosened to a smile. After all, he and Zach are family: Piatt’s older brother Travis, married Shank’s mother Jennifer.
And so Step Uncle Trenton, a sophomore, was proud of his nephew.
“We joke around about it,” Piatt said. “Like when (Zach) yells at me, I say, ‘Respect your uncle.’ “
Olathe’s Casey Childs (285 pounds) and Wyatt Yarnell (145) won third-place matches.
Yarnell, at 145 pounds, escaped with a 2-1 decision in the third-place match over Lamar’s Zeb Harvey.
Childs also scraped by with a one-point win, a 1-0 decision over Mead’s Nick Testroet. Childs, 35-6, is a senior.
Jacob Solseth placed fourth for Olathe, dropping a third place match in a 6-4 decision loss to Lamar’s Darrick Adame. Solseth had defeated Adame, 4-2, in a Friday quarterfinal.
Olathe freshman Austin Shank was fourth at 106 pounds.
Hotchkiss’s Connor Beard scored a 2:13 pin over Highland’s Keaton Sameshima. Beard (25-3), a junior, had four pins during the tournament, including a 33-second pin in a consolation match against Holy Family’s Daniel Jansen.
After his undefeated season came to an end in a semifinal loss on Friday, Grand Valley’s David Witt (43-1) won two consolation matches, ending with a 9-2 decision victory over Mead’s Greg Rademacher.