NEWTON, Kan. — The Seneca Indians finished ninth in the Kansas-heavy field of the 56th annual Tournament of Champions hosted by Newton.
Four Seneca wrestlers finished in the top six: Levi Connelly (106 pounds) third, Dalton Hembree (145) second, Zane Cotten (152) sixth, and Dayton Fields (170) third.
Hembree pinned Wichita South's Cameron Gilbert in 1 minute, 33 seconds, won a 11-1 major decision against Bishop Carroll's Hunter Trail, and won a 6-3 decision against Goddard's Cayleb Atkins en route to the finals, where he ran into unbeaten Devin Gomez from Maize. Gomez won a 9-6 decision against Hembree.
Connelly lost a 4-3 decision to Dodge City's Damian Mendez, his only blemish in the tourney. Connelly rebounded by winning 5-0 decision against Stilwell's Cutter Sheets and Arkansas City's Jevin Foust in the consolation semis and third place match, respectively. He pinned Bishop Carroll's Ryan Pacha in 24 seconds and won a 3-2 decision against Maize South's Ian Demiss en route to the semis.
Fields lost a tough 4-3 decision in the quarters against Blue Valley Southwest's Seth Nitzel, but rebounded well with four straight victories to earn third. He won a 7-2 decision against Newton's Dante Harper, pinned Arkansas City's Britton MacLaughlin in 4:25, won a 3-1 decision against Emporia's Anthony Delgado, and came out 2-1 against Nitzel in their rematch for third. Fields pinned Hutchinson's Levi Allen in 4:53 in his first match.
Cotten went 4-3 in the tourney ren route to sixth, but the two key victories were in the fourth and fifth consolation rounds. Cotten won a 13-0 major against Valley Center's Dillon Moler and pinned Bishop Carroll's Kyler McGlachlin in 1:52 to reach the consolation semis. Cotten pinned Newton's Jamie Gonzalez in 36 seconds and won a 4-2 sudden victory against Holton's Cael Jackson in his first two matches.
Team scores: Goddard 216, Arkansas City 193.5, Maize 179.5, Manhattan 155, Derby 147.5, Washburn Rural 146.5, Blue Valley Southwest 123.5, McPherson 112, Seneca 107.5, Newton 101, Wichita Northwest 101, Dodge City 91, Bishop Carroll 90.5, Eureka 79, Winfield 75, Emporia 73, Valley Center 73, Olathe South 68, Holton 60, Norton 59.5, Leavenworth 45, Hutchinson 33, Wichita South 28.5, Stilwell 27.5, Andover 25, Maize South 23, Wichita Heights 13, Andover 10, Marion 8.