Carson High sophomore J.T. Heaton didn’t have to spend much time on the mat en route to his title bout at 165 pounds at Saturday’s Class 5A regional wrestling tournament.
Heaton needed all of 3:45 to pick up two pins in his first two matches before advancing to Saturday’s finale.
Heaton drew Reno’s Breck Worthen, who was undefeated against league opponents this winter, but the two had yet to face each other as Heaton dropped to 165 prior to the regional tournament held at Carson High.
The Senator grappler took the lead with the first takedown of the contest, but Worthen used an escape and a takedown of his own to lead 3-2 after one.
The Husky wrestler expanded his lead to 8-2 in the third period before Heaton was able to respond with an escape and a takedown inside of the final minute to get within three points, 8-5.
“I was pretty happy with the results. Obviously, I wish I could’ve gotten the win,” said Heaton. “As a sophomore, I’m definitely building up and getting better every day.”
Heaton said his confidence has grown through the season after just missing out on a state tournament spot by finishing fourth a year ago.
“I mostly just look for early starts. I don’t really like going to third rounds, but rather wearing the opponent down,” Heaton said. “I was under 170 all year last year.”
Heaton added that he could feel his strength at 165 pounds versus 175.
Now, the sophomore turns his attention to practice this week — he wants to make it on the podium at the state tournament this weekend in Winnemucca.
Heaton added that CHS coach Nick Redwine would cut his hair into a mullet if he can place.
“I want to get as high as I can and see what I can do,” said Heaton.
SENATORS HEAD TO WINNEMUCCA
Carson had seven other wrestlers qualify for the state tournament.
Lucas Wold, who was second in the state last season at 120 pounds, took third at regionals over the weekend in the 126-pound class.
Wold opened his tournament with a tech fall win before losing a 5-4 decision in the semifinals to eventual regional champ Abner Lopez of Spanish Springs.
The junior responded to the loss nicely with two wins by fall, including the third-place match where he was victorious in 4:20.
At heavyweight, Dominic Porter took fourth, falling in the third-place match to Douglas’ Michael White.
Porter, who had faced White twice this season, was nearly able to pin the Tiger heavyweight before falling by pin.
Porter went 2-2 at the regional tournament, with both of his wins coming in the first round by pin.
Jett Rupert went 3-2 in his five regional matches to take fourth place and reach state for the first time at 138 pounds.
All three of Rupert’s wins came by fall.
Darron and Christian Rey each took sixth place at 215 and 190 pounds, respectively.
Jon Barnes-Hurt will return to the state tournament after taking sixth at 150 pounds.
Last season, Barnes-Hurt qualified at 145 pounds.
At 106, Jesse Oliva will make his first state tournament appearance as a sophomore after taking fifth at regionals.
(Lucas Wold, who was second in the state last season at 120 pounds, took third at regionals this past weekend in the 126-pound class. Jeff Mulvihill, Jr. | InstaImage)