Highland Park’s Angelo Plakio perseveres to win 145-pound title at Topeka High Invitational

Highland Park’s Angelo Plakio, top, won the 145-pound title in Saturday’s Topeka High Invitational. (Rick Peterson/The Topeka Capital-Journal)

Athletes hate distractions and Highland Park senior wrestler Angelo Plakio had to deal with a big one in the 145-pound final of Saturday’s Topeka High Invitational.


Plakio suffered a bloody nose that stopped action two different times in the match, but the Scot standout persevered to take a 6-4 decision over Louisburg senior Ryan Adams to improve to 17-4 on the season.

“I just try not to think about it because if I’m start thinking about it and I’m thinking about nosebleeds I start forgetting about the task at hand and that’s winning the wrestling match,” Plakio said.

Like most wrestlers, Plakio has dealt with injuries, etc. several times in his career and said he knows how to handle the adversity.

“I’ve probably had it happen four or five times and it’s just something that happens,” he said. “You just try to wrestle through it every time.”

Saturday’s championship match was close throughout before Plakio, a returning Class 5A state qualifier, scored in the third period and then held on for the victory against Adams, who lost for only the third time in 17 matches.

“I just knew I needed to get that win,” Plakio said. “I knew he was a tough opponent and I just kept working hard and I finally got the opening I was hoping for.”

Highland Park only entered four competitors Saturday but two Scots earned titles, with junior Kenny Hartzell winning the 152-pound championship with a 6-1 decision over Topeka High sophomore Matthew Cutshall.

Hartzell, a two-time 5A state qualifier, improved to 18-2 on the season while Cutshall fell to 18-8, with three of those losses coming against Hartzell.

The Scots had a third wrestler make it to the finals, with senior Maxwell Curry (13-8) finishing second at 106 pounds.

Topeka High also garnered a pair of individual titles Saturday, with senior Michael Welch winning at 170 pounds and junior Vince Vehige winning the 182-pound title.

Welch improved to 19-5 with a win by pin over Topeka West senior Caleb Schmelzle (9-7) while Vehige (20-8) pinned Holton junior Killian O’Connor (8-7).

Trojan coach Erich Singer was pleased with the work of Welch and Vehige as well as runner-up Cutshall and sophomore Caemen Blake (16-6), who was fourth at 160 pounds.

“We have some guys who are really having solid years,” Singer said. “They’re all kind of in the practice room together pushing each other and they’re sophomores, juniors and seniors so they’ve been together for awhile and they’ve learned from each other. It’s a fun group to coach for sure.”

Topeka West finished a city-best third place as a team in the 11-school meet, with senior TJ Peterson pacing the Chargers.

Peterson, a two-time state qualifier, won the 138-pound championship with a 12-2 major decision over Louisburg senior Tucker Batten (14-6). Peterson improved to 17-1 on the season.

In addition to Schmelzle, Topeka West got a runner-up finish from senior Miguel Bueno (20-5), who was second at 132 pounds. A round-robin format was used in the 132-pound division.

Louisburg won the team championship by just 2.5 points over Council Grove (202-199.5). Topeka High finished sixth as a team while Highland Park was ninth.


Louisburg 202, Council Grove 199.5, Topeka West 118, Miege 108.5, Burlingame 108.5, Topeka High 106.5, SM West 81, Gardner-Edgerton 79, Highland Park 66.5, Holton 44, KC-Washington 24.0


Championship finals

106 — Vanvalkenburg, CG, pinned Curry, HP; 113 (round-robin) — 1. Holtzen, Lou; 2. Irwin, CG; 120 (round-robin) — 1. Welborn, Lou; 2. Huffman, G-E; 126 (round-robin) — 1. Sales, CG; 2. Allen, Lou; 132 (round-robin) — 1. Wyatt, SMW; 2. Bueno, TW; 138 — Peterson, TW, maj. dec. Batten, Lou, 12-2; 145 — Plakio, HP, dec. Adams, Lou, 6-4; 152 — Hartzell, HP, dec. Cutshall, TH, 6-1; 160 — Caplinger, Lou, pinned Perez, M; 170 — Welch, TH, pinned Schmelzle, TW; 182 — Vehige, TH, pinned O’Connor, Hol; 195 (round-robin) — 1. Moore, Lou; 2. Gilbert, CG; 220 — Neal, M, pinned Whalen, Bur; 285 — Snesrud, Bur, pinned Sherwin, SMW

Consolation finals

106 — Collins, Bur, dec. Hendrix, Lou, 5-2; 113 (round-robin) — 3. Heckman, Bur; 4. Goodwin, G-E; 120 (round-robin) — 3. Bacon, CG; 4. Dew, Wash; 126 (round-robin) — 3. Crapo, SMW; 4. Thompson, Wash; 132 (round-robin) — 3. Bonham, Lou; 4. Gilliland, Hol; 138 — Mills, G-E, maj. dec. Bacon, CG, 11-0; 145 — Meadors, CG, pinned Deitchman, M; 152 —Waeltermann, SMW, dec. Cassida, G-E, 8-6; 160 — Randles, TW, dec. Blake, TH, 8-6; 170 — Hill, Bur, pinned Kraus, CG; 182 — Gagnon, CG, pinned Champney, Unatt; 195 (round-robin) — 3. Samchez, M; 4. Remigio, SMW; 220 — Ziegenhirt, CG, pinned Williams, G-E; 285 — Ryan, M, pinned Day, Lou



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