Piatt eyes adding to family legacy
DENVER — Two of his three older brothers are state champions, and Olathe’s Trenton Piatt is well aware of it.
“It’s kind of nerve-wracking,” said Piatt, a senior making his fourth and final appearance in the Class 3A state wrestling tournament. “You feel like you have to do something to get out from under your brothers’ shadows. But it’s not like it’s a bad thing.”
He remembers how good he felt when his oldest brother, Travis, won a state title as a senior in 2002, and his brother Kyle won a state title as a junior in 2010. Now, he has one last chance to know that feeling himself, as he was the lone 3A wrestler from the area to reach the state finals with a semifinal win Friday night.
Piatt dominated Lamar’s Michael Johnson, building a 12-3 lead before ending the 120-pound match with a pin in five minutes, 35 seconds.
Piatt ran his record to 34-0, and he was the lone undefeated wrestler in the field of 16 at 120 entering state. He’s also ranked No. 1 at 120, which sounds good when considering his opponent in tonight’s final is ranked No. 3. But his opponent also is something else rather important to consider: a state champion. Brush junior Conrad Cole (36-5) claimed the 3A crown at 113 pounds last year, and he reached the 120-pound final Friday night with a third-period pin against Cedaredge sophomore Austin Todd.
Piatt said Cole’s state title doesn’t faze him. Piatt also has previous state finals experience, having finished runner-up two years ago.
“I feel like what they did in the past doesn’t count,” Piatt said. “It’s what they do in the present, right now.”
Piatt hoped to be joined in the finals by teammate Austin Shank, another Pirate with a brother who won a state title, or in the case of Zach Shank, it was three titles. But the Olathe junior will have to wait another year.
Austin Shank kept his match at 132 pounds close through two periods, trailing 2-0, but Holy Family junior Julian Prieto got a takedown in the final period and eventually pinned Shank in 4:54.
Speaking of close matches, Todd (32-8) was in a scoreless duel with Cole until Cole reversed him to his back with 16 seconds left and pinned him.
The only other 3A semifinalist from the area was Hotchkiss senior Garrett Toothaker (35-9), who was pinned in 3:09 by Sterling sophomore Colby Duncan (38-1).