Hornet finishes 2018-19 season record 42-1 with 1-0 decision over Dalton Thompson of St. Clair in Saturday (Feb. 16) midday duel in finals. Tenth-straight year CHS has had a state medal-winner & second time for Sewell
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Having “hit the sack” Friday night (Feb. 15) secure in the knowledge he’d receive the second state-tournament medal of his high school wrestling career the next day, Chillicothe (Mo.) HS junior Colten Sewell awakened Saturday with dual goals yet to achieve – avenge his loss to Damon Ashworth of Excelsior Springs in the Class 2 District 4 Tournament championship bout a week earlier, and finish a notch higher in state competition than he did two years before.
By midday at the 2019 Missouri State High School Activities Association’s Class 2 Championships, both were in the “accomplished” column of his personal ledger.
Certain of at least matching his 2017 fourth-place finish at 106 pounds when he stepped on the mat for his final-round bout against Dalton Thompson (37-12) of St. Clair, Sewell stepped off it having surpassed that by capturing third at 132 this year.
Probably a favorite in the finals, Sewell began the last regulation-time period of his 2018-19 season still scoreless, but knowing he’d be on the bottom (defensive position) as the third period began with two minutes to try to at least escape and score perhaps the only point he would need to win.
That’s exactly how it played out, only the Hornet didn’t need two minutes to accomplish it; he barely needed two seconds.
Immediately upon the official’s whistle to begin the third period, Sewell twisted to try to squirm away from Thompson’s control. Despite the St. Clair foe’s attempt to stop him, within five seconds, the Chillicothe was loose and on the scoreboard and on his way to a 1-0 victory.
The conquest not only gave Sewell, hampered by a knee injury and beaten in two of his three state bouts last year, not only his second prep-career state medal, but a higher finish this time. In addition, it left him with a CHS-leading 42-4 record for the now-ended season and 113 bout wins for his career, eighth-most in Hornets history.
Should Sewell have full health and continued success in his senior year, he’ll have a reasonably-good chance to conclude his career as the program’s second-winningest performer ever, behind only ex-teammate Aaron Baker’s 168 triumphs. At present, Chase Minnick, another former teammate of his, stands second with 156.
Defeated 8-4 by Ashworth on the ESHS Tigers’ home turf in the district finals seven days before, Sewell (41-4) scored the same number of points in the rematch at state, but used the knowledge gained in the prior meeting to prevent Ashworth from earning any in what ended as a 4-1 victory for the Hornet.
The only point his foe got came when Sewell, the 2017 fourth-place medal-winner at 106 pounds as a freshman, was assessed a penalty point in the first period.
Behind 1-0 after that first minute, Sewell chose to start the 2-minutes second stanza in the defensive (bottom) position after the 42-5 Excelsior Springs sophomore deferred his choice to the third.
With Ashworth warned for stalling early and each wrestler issued cautions (Ashworth twice), the middle period looked like it might not produce any scoring, but Sewell changed that late.
Just inside the final 20 seconds, he scored his first points of the bout, taking a 2-1 lead by executing a reversal.
As the third period began, Ashworth opted to start from the bottom, hoping for at least a tying escape and preferring to regain the lead with an answering reversal.
The Chillicothean, however, had other ideas.
Just as he had in his consolation-quarterfinals bout the night before, Sewell used his controlling position to add to his lead in the third period, rather than lose it.
He got Ashworth turned just far enough onto his back to gain two near-fall points and expand his lead to 4-1, enough to withstand either an escape or reversal, should either occur. Neither did and the 5-minutes bout ended with Sewell headed on to the third-place bout at midday.
In the finals, the Hornet would line up against Dalton Thompson, a junior from St. Clair whose own Saturday morning victory had raised his record to 37-11.
Should Sewell finish third, the only Class 2 132-pounds wrestlers in the state to finish ahead of him would be two 2018 state champions – Joseph Semerad of Monett, last year’s 106-pounds winner, and Jay Strausbaugh of Logans-Rogersville, the defending champ at 132 and a 6-1 winner over the Hornet in this year’s championship quarterfinals. Those two were to clash for the 2019 crown late Saturday afternoon.
Friday night, Sewell made a second state medal of his career and extension to 10 years Chillicothe’s current streak of having had at least one state medalist a reality when he posted a 6-1 triumph over Riley Hawk of Bolivar at Mizzou Arena on the campus of the University of Missouri-Columbia.
The CHS standout, now at 112 wins for his sterling prep career – already the program’s eighth-winningest wrestler ever with another season to go, trailed briefly in his medal-or-elimination bout Friday evening.
After the 1-minute first period ended scoreless, Hawk chose to begin the 2-minutes second segment in the defensive position, a choice he made work to his favor by escaping from Sewell’s control about a half-minute in to generate the bout’s first point.
Not quite 30 seconds later, Sewell got things going, earning the first and only takedown of the bout for a 2-1 lead.
With Sewell choosing to be on the bottom when the last period began, in the exact same amount of time (36 seconds) it had taken his opponent to escape in the previous period, the Hornet was able to go Hawk one better and complete a reversal that turned his 1-point lead into a safer 4-1 margin with just under 90 seconds remaining.
The Chillicothean then delivered, effectively, the coup de grace, getting the Bolivar junior turned far enough and long enough to earn a 2-points near-fall with a minute left. From there, Sewell maintained his control and “ran out the clock” to assure his return spot on Saturday’s medals podium.