KEARNEY — Kearney junior Eli Ashcroft keeps piling up victories as the two-time wrestling state champion picked up his 100th varsity win this weekend.
Ashcroft took first in the 132-pound division at the Oak Grove Panther Classic Saturday, Jan. 9 at Oak Grove High School. Ashcroft won the first round by injury default before picking up three pinfall victories and a 19-2 tech fall over Brady Littleton of Belton, which was the win that got him to the century mark.
The Bulldogs finished sixth of eight teams in competition, but the team did not have all of their varsity wrestlers available and only had nine competitors out of 14 weight classes. Eight of those competitors finished in the top five.
Senior Garrett Deason (145) and senior Ben Locke (152) joined Ashcroft as first-place finishers in their weight classes.
Deason picked up three tech falls before beating Ethan Phillips of Oak Grove by pinfall to advance in the championship bracket. He had a rematch with Cole Chaney of Oak Grove in the final, earning a 11-1 major decision in a closer match than his first round 17-2 TF over Chaney.
Locke opened with a 6-4 decision over Robert Muir of Smithville and ended with a 3-1 decision over Zach Lewis of Moberly. He had three pinfalls in between, with the longest of those matches ending in one minute, 23 seconds.
Senior Will Locke (160) took third while junior Zach Olson (220) finished fourth. Sophomore Gage Green (120) and senior Jacob Jackson (170) finished fifth.
Ashcroft’s accomplishment put a cap on a big week for Kearney boys wrestling.
The Bulldogs found themselves in a back-and-forth dual against Belton on Thursday, Jan. 7 at Belton High School. Kearney closed out the night with three straight wins to take the dual 45-31. The team improved to 3-2 in duals and 2-0 in conference.
The Kearney girls team did not have the same look as the team finished 0-2 in duals last week, falling 42-36 against Harrisonville on Wednesday, Jan. 6 and 33-30 against Belton the next night.
Senior Lexie Cole (235) picked up quick pinfalls in both of her matches. Freshman Emma Powell (159) and sophomore Hailey Romero (174) joined her as the only Bulldogs to win on both nights. Romero improved to 12-0 on the season.
Sophomore Danica Green (151) and senior Aggie Edwards (112) picked up decision wins to add to the team score against Harrisonville.
Junior Devon Williams (127) won a 6-2 decision in an extra match that did not count toward the dual score.
Sophomore Grace Breshears (117) picked up a third-round pinfall and sophomore Ruby Freestone (127) pulled out a 7-5 decision to get the Bulldogs within striking distance of Belton. The Pirates earned two pinfalls in the later matches to pull away.
The Kearney boys and girls teams are both scheduled to be back in action in a dual against Raytown South 6 p.m. Tuesday at Raytown South High School.