Kearney, Neb. – The fourth-ranked Nebraska-Kearney wrestling team had six placers at the ninth annual Younes Hospitality Open Saturday at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds. The non-team scoring meet featured nearly 600 wrestlers covering 16 mats and eight hours of wrestling. There was an “Elite” and “Amateur” brackets with schools ranging from NCAA Division I to junior college. In the Elite Division for UNK, Iowa junior Josh Portillo was third at 125 pounds, Grand Island junior Jonathan Killingsworth was fifth at 141 pounds, Gretna redshirt freshman Tyler Cunningham was runner up at 157 pounds with Alliance senior Walker Johnson fifth in the same class. The two placers in the Amateur Division for the Lopers were Kearney true freshman Nick James (1st/141 lbs.) and Seward true freshman Joseph Reimers (1st/184 lbs.). Ranked second nationally, Portillo bounced back from a second round loss to win four straight. He had three tech falls among those victories including a 17-2 decision over Western Colorado’s Patrick Allis in the third place bout. Killingsworth went 3-2 on the day, having two bonus point victories along the way. He came in fifth with a no contest advancement over UNL’s Jevon Parrish.
Two classes higher Cunningham reached the finals thanks to a 1:22 fall, a 12-4 major decision and 6-4 decision. In the finals he was bested by UNL’s Clayton Wilson. Next in the Elite, Johnson twice fell to Anthony Scanlin of Fort Hays State but won three other times to place fifth at 157 lbs. He had two tech falls by a combined score of 40-10 to place. Finally top-ranked Matt Malcom (Glenwood, Ia.) won his first two matches at 165 pounds but had to medically forfeit out of the tourney after falling behind 6-0 to South Dakota State’s Tanner Cook. James and Reimers continue to roll along, James going 6-0 with a second round fall in 6:13 and five decisions where he gave up just nine points. He picked up the gold thanks to a 5-2 verdict over Wesley Rayburn of Colorado Mines. At 184 pounds Reimers went 5-0, having two falls and two tech falls before getting past SDSU’s Caleb Orris by a 5-2 score. Select Lopers head to Las Vegas the first weekend of December of the annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invite with the rest of the squad heading to Kansas for the Bob Smith Open at Fort Hays State.