Rich is kids state wrestling champion

By JOCELYN SHEETS
Register Sports Editor

Register/Jocelyn Sheets
Lukas Rich pins Beau Hopkins of Ulysses Tigers with his father, Jaison, watching as Rich wins a Kansas USA Kids Wrestling state championship in the 8-and-under 110-pound weight class Sunday in Topeka.
Register/Jocelyn Sheets
Allen County Kids Wrestling’s Dacoda Settlemyer drives for a takedown of Jace Lowe of Wellington at the Kansas USA Kids Wrestling state tournament Sunday.
Register/Jocelyn Sheets
Stephen McDonald of Allen County Kids Wrestling sits out from the bottom against Jaylan Padilla of Junction City during Kansas USA Kids Wrestling state tournament action over the weekend in Topeka.

TOPEKA — Waiting was worth it.
Lukas Rich of Allen County Kids Wrestling Club waited all day Sunday to wrestle his championship match at the 2009 Kansas USA Kids Wrestling State Tournament. There were all the consolation side matches to wait through to get down the final six competitors in five age divisions and countless weight classes.
Then there came the parade of champions under the spotlights at the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka. Rich and his opponent, Beau Hopkins of the Ulysses Tigers Club, were introduced along with all the other championship match competitors.
Then there was more waiting.
Rich finally got on the mat late Sunday afternoon. He was behind 4-0 going into the third and final period.
Momentum switched just like that. Rich saw the opening, used the half-nelson and his weight to put Hopkins on his back.
Rich never allowed Hopkins to get off his back. Finally, Hopkins shoulders were down for the two-second count, the official slapped the mat for a pin.
Rich is the 2009 Kansas USA Kids Wrestling state champion for 8-and-Under 110-pounds.
“It’s awesome,” Rich said with a grin after standing on the podium with his championship plaque and bracket.
Rich became Allen County Kids Wrestling Club’s first state champion. Two years ago, Rich won an 80-pound weight class championship at a Kansas Kids 6-and-under state tournament. But USA Kids Wrestling does not have a 6-and-under sanctioned division.
Rich won three matches Saturday at the state tournament, all by pins. He defeated Dru Keen of Wa-keeney, J.T. Duree of Team Lightning of Hutchinson and Heath Knopp of Jr. Viking Wrestling in Topeka.
Two other Allen County Kids Wrestling Club wrest-lers were at the state tournament.
Dacoda Settlemyer and Stephen McDonald each finished in the top eight in their respective weight classes. They lost a round short of placing.
On Saturday, Settlemyer lost his opening match in the 10-and-under 130-pound weight class. He was pinned by Jacob Green of Norton.
Settlemyer had a bye in the first round of consolation action. He pinned Jace Lowe of Wellington in a consolation match Sunday, then was pinned by Cole Lautt of East Kansas Wrestling Club of Law-rence, which eliminated him for contention.
McDonald was in 14-and-under 175-pound bracket. He lost by a technical fall — a 15 or more point margin — to Justin McPhail of Liberal Saturday. Later, Mc-Donald opened consolation action with a 1-0 win over Jacob Bartel of Newton.
On Sunday, McDonald defeated Jaylan Padilla of Junction City 4-1.
He lost 4-1 to Brandon Salmans of Hoxie, ending his run at state.
“We’re all excited about Luke’s championship. We are also proud of how Dacoda and Stephen wrestled all weekend,” said Stephanie McDonald, coach and club president.