As Campus senior Dalton Miller remembered it, his right leg straightened up and he fell backward during the third period of his Class 6A 112-pound semifinal match on Friday at Intrust Bank Arena. His leg then straightened out hard and he felt a pop in the back of his knee while his hamstring pulled.
It was extremely painful, and he hobbled around the mat, visibly hurt. He held on, and the match went into overtime where he finished it with a great move against Junction City's Isaac Ruiz.
Miller (37-0) will face Lawrence's Hunter Haralson (31-9) in today's final.
"I used a move that I kind of patented in our practice room," Miller said. "It's a move I learned at camp and I used it a lot last year. But not this year. I've been saving it up for when I really needed it.
"I knew I had him in the tie-up I needed... It's an inside trip, where I just take a leg and hook the inside of his left leg and give him a little push."
And the leg he had to use was his right leg. Yes, the injured leg.
"I can't do it with my left leg. Just something I can't do," Miller said. "I kind of triggered (the pain) out of my mind for a little bit. Just enough so I could hit the move."
Miller had to be helped off the mat.
"It was pretty crazy," Campus coach Tracy Bourne said. "He just showed a lot of heart and guts.... I told him during his injury time, you've come too far, you're undefeated."
Right after Miller's match, teammate Cody Beasley earned a major decision over Goddard's Lincoln Lemon to advance to the 119 final.
"I'm stoked," Beasley said. "We've been working so hard, to get into the finals, both of us, it's awesome. When I saw him get hurt, I knew he was just going to be working harder. Basically, I used all the momentum from his match, and I was ready for my match."
Beasley advanced to the semifinals last season but finished sixth.
He will face Maize's Colby Witten, an 11-2 winner over SM South's Tre Humphrey.
"You know, Colby beat the defending state champion (Manhattan's Dane Norris) in the quarters, then he beat a No. 1-ranked kid.... So he's a good wrestler, but he has his work cut out for him," Maize coach Roy Oeser said.
Beasley has beaten Witten twice this season.
Maize also advanced Chase Locke at 130 pounds, which surprised Oeser.
"If you would have said he'd be in the finals at the beginning of the year, I would have said no way," Oeser said. "Not that he doesn't have the talent or the skills, I just felt like he's a little small for his weight class to begin with."
Locke wrestles at his normal weight, so he usually faces much stronger wrestlers.
"He's worked hard," Oeser said. "And he's learned to position himself well."
Get him in a suit
Wichita Southeast coach David Tawater is a jeans-wearing kind of guy. But he made a deal with senior Alex Chaparro that if the 189-pounder advanced to the finals, Tawater would wear a suit during the match.
"That's my reward for him being such a good coach, to get him in a suit for the finals," said Chaparro, who beat Dodge City's Jace Banner 8-2 in four overtimes.
"This is sweet, very sweet."
Banner was undefeated, but Chaparro wore him down.
"I knew it wouldn't be easy, but I knew I could hurt him with conditioning, and that's what I did," Chaparro said. "Eventually, he got tired. We were pretty equally matched up, but I had the edge on him in conditioning."
Tawater had warned him that a moment's break would help Banner.
"So it was pressure, pressure, pressure," Tawater said.
Looking for three
Even though Wichita Northwest's Kyle Caylor already has two state titles, he knew the path to competing for his third would be rough.
He defeated Olathe North's Jake Carroll 4-1 and will face Goddard's Josh Hicks today.
"The match was all I expected," said Caylor (31-1). "When you're the two-time champ, it's like that. You're the one they're going after. You have to wrestle your best every time, and they're coming out wrestling their best because their goal is to beat the two-time champ."
Teammate Trey Page advanced to the 285-pound finals.
Heading into the state tournament, there were six former champs. Four have a chance to add to their total. BV North's Zack Tanenbaum, a winner at 119 in 2009, is in the 135-pound final, while Heights' Daniel Deshazer, a winner at 112 in 2008, is in the 125 final. Blue Valley's Parker Madl, a winner at 140 in 2009 is in the 171-pound final. Northwest's Caylor is in the 215- pound final.