Palmer returns to states; Hastings* one short
Out of seven there will be only one Golden Horde wrestler at the state championships in Albany. Top-seeded Karl Palmer (140) won a section II title, while Eric Hastings (285) finished second; Brendan Miller (130) finished in third place and Kurt Ehntholt (145) finished sixth.
Palmer made his way back to the New York State wrestling championships the same way he’s stomped through most of this wrestling season – by pinning.
Palmer capped a section champion season, having pinned his way through his last three tournaments, including the Wasaren, the Class Cs and now the Section II Dvision II tournament as the first seed.
Palmer took 4:00 to retain his sectional title, pinning Ravena’s Jesse Maher in the 140- pound championship match. Maher managed what only a handful of wrestlers have done this year and scored two points for a takedown early in the first period Saturday night at the Glens Falls Civic Center. Palmer soon got back on track and Maher just got on his back.
“Not only was a pin in the final nice but it was a pin for letting up and giving up a takedown early in the first period. The guy’s pretty quick; he got a quick one on me but then I got him,” Palmer said.
“Right now it’s just two weeks to practice to the States,” Palmer said after the match.
Karl’s father and Golden Horde Head Coach Steve Palmer was excited after the win and eyeing a second.
“It’s been a spectacular night so far and I’m looking forward to continuing with Hastings in the final,” Coach Palmer said. “It was a real special night to get a pin like that; he’s pinned his way through the last three tournaments. That’s a really great accomplishment,” Palmer said.
In a season of achievements for the Horde, as Karl Palmer moved into first all time for the most wins by any Granville wrestler, the senior added another to his list of accomplishments: most pins in school history. Coach Palmer said his son hit that mark during the Class C tournament at Corinth the week before.
Not all ends were happy ones for the Horde at the sectionals.
In a controversial final, Hastings fell, 2-1, to Luke Albrecht of Hudson Falls at 285. Each wrestler scored one point for an escape during the match, but the deciding point was a penalty point.
When on their feet both wrestlers could be seen coming in hard across the back of the neck with their forearms as the pair tied up. While the contact appeared to be even and going both ways, the official blew the whistle and docked Hastings a point for unsportsmanlike conduct with no warning.
Albrecht’s record going into the tournament was 44-3 and earned him a first seed; Hastings’ record and second place finish could earn him an at-large bid, but coach Palmer said missing tournaments earlier in the season could hurt his wrestler’s chances.
Miller defeated Donny Radliff of Cobleskill to finish higher than he was seeded; Miller had been seeded fourth going into sectionals.
Ehntholt entered the sectionals needing just two wins to reach the 100 wins milestone and got there on his way to a sixth place finish. The state tournament begins on Feb. 25 at the Times Union Center in Albany and finishes with the finals on Feb. 26.
*Wednesday afternoon Section II officials announced Hastings made the state tournament as an ‘At-large’ bid. He will join Palmer in Albany Feb. 25 and 26.