Sunday feature: Miguel Lujan qualifies for state when no one was really looking

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Thank you for your input. +27 Vote up Vote down Trey Coulter · 285 weeks ago Can’t tell you how proud I am of Miguel! He’s one of the hardest working athletes I know, when he has the motivation. I know he’ll do great at State! Report Reply 0 replies · active 285 weeks ago +17 Vote up Vote down JustMe · 285 weeks ago Not a sports follower, but this story is kind of inspirational! Great job Miguel! Report Reply 0 replies · active 285 weeks ago +3 Vote up Vote down maria · 285 weeks ago glad to see that someone else is in the spotlight for his sports abilities. we often let some of the good ones not have the spotlight because they are not “a name” here in wellington. I am impressed that we are putting others in the spotlight now. there are many excellent athletes that don’t get the honorable mention they should. Miguel is an inspiration to many! Report Reply 0 replies · active 285 weeks ago +8 Vote up Vote down Crusader Pride · 285 weeks ago Great job Miguel. Good luck to you. Trey Coulter you set a great example for Miguel. Nice to see your post. Report Reply 0 replies · active 285 weeks ago +5 Vote up Vote down Lonnie Burnett · 285 weeks ago Go into Beast mode Miguel, leave everything you’ve got on the mats! Good luck, go Miguel – go Crusaders!!! Report Reply 0 replies · active 285 weeks ago +6 Vote up Vote down elisa gonzalez · 285 weeks ago Miguel has worked hard to be where he’s at now!!! Couldn’t be more proud to call him my Brother!!! Good luck at State Miguel Report Reply 0 replies · active 285 weeks ago +1 Vote up Vote down Celia Lujan · 285 weeks ago He has worked very very hard, it’s inspirational to see what he’s done. Like they say, good things don’t come to those who wait, good things come to those who work their butts off and never give up. It feels really good to have the town behind him! thanks guys #getematstatemiguel #teamwellington Report Reply 0 replies · active 285 weeks ago +1 Vote up Vote down Kyle Hea**** · 285 weeks ago I have been watching Miguel wrestle over the the last few weeks and his speed and strength for his size is impressive! Get em at state Miguel and the other wrestlers also!! Report Reply 0 replies · active 285 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Sometimes you never know in sports.One day, a reporter is looking for a roster, any roster, just to learn to spell your name. The next day he’s writing a Sunday feature on you.Miguel Lujan will be wrestling for Wellington next week in the Class 4A State Wrestling tournament in Salina as a heavyweight. He will be joining Skylar Brand at 220 pounds, Joey Haydon at 182 pounds and Andrew Pelkey at 152 pounds. He will be this year’s only underclassman in Salina wrestling for the Dukes.Miguel Lujan pins Mulvane wrestler to qualify for state.While there is a very nice lengthy list of those who have worn Wellington red and silver at the state’s premiere high school wrestling tournament, it may not be too much of a stretch to say Lujan may be Wellington’s least known state qualifier in its history.But there he was Saturday afternoon standing on the podium – a third place finisher in the Class 4A Regional in Pratt after going 4-1, and pinning his last three opponents.  Forgive the average Wellington wrestling fan (and a reporter) for not knowing much about the junior. But here’s the excuse.Lujan was 3-1 for his varsity career going into the regional. He only became weight eligible last week at the Remington Tournament — an event not even originally scheduled if it hadn’t been for Wellington pulling out of another tournament because of a spreading case of impetigo.Wellington head coach Mitch McComb just laughed and shook his head when analyzing Lujan’s rise to the state tournament-hood.“A lot of things had to happen for Miguel to reach this point,” he said.And his story is what makes sports great – the element of surprise.The domino effectThe Wellington wrestling program as of late has been a pretty heavy-laden group – no pun intended. Wellington has flourished on the upper weight tier where most of the state Crusader qualifiers have been in recent years.Last year, Tyson Hodson was a heavyweight. Dalton Holt and Taylan Lamkin were at 220 and 195 – the second highest weight classes.This year, when Wellington started its season, the Crusaders were weak in the lower ranks – begging people in the halls to go out. But not at heavyweight. There were four heavyweight wrestlers in the weight room, and that didn’t include Trey Coulter, the probable starter who decided not to go out.Of those kids, Lujan was third or fourth on the depth chart, and pretty much unrecognizable for those who may not have had a deft eye for the WHS program.“But Miguel has always been a dedicated wrestler,” McComb said. “He has been going to practice faithfully since his freshman year. Never complaining, just working out to make the other wrestlers in his weight class better.”Part of the issue is Lujan’s weight. The roster at the beginning of the year said Lujan was 313.6 pounds. In Kansas wrestling you have to get down to 285 pounds to compete.Lujan was happy with that. Jace Lowe, who weighed in at 239 pounds, was the designated heavyweight for the division. He got injured and could not complete the season.So then McComb went with his son Matt McComb, a freshman.“I finally told Miguel, ‘Hey, why don’t you lose the weight and get down to 285 and we’ll see what you can do – you could be a potential state qualifier,” McComb said. “He looked at me and shrugged his shoulders and said ‘I’ll try coach.’”Lujan decided to take McComb’s advice and shredded 28 pounds in the last few weeks. He finally made weight at 285 for the Remington tournament – weighing in at a razor thin 284.9 pounds. McComb took him as one of the “part x” team members – meaning he was listed as a junior varsity wrestler. In his first varsity action, he would go 3-1, losing to a wrestler from Southeast of Saline 10-8.Still, just getting to the regional was not a guarantee. He had to wrestle Matt McComb in a face-off on Monday to determine if he was going to represent Wellington at heavyweight. He won.The Pratt RegionalThen came the tournament.Lujan would beat Trenton Ging of Winfield 3-0 in the first round. That set up a second round match with Austin Ochoa of Ulysses. This was a tough grind em out battle in which the two boys were tied at 3-all. But Ochoa would eventually get a takedown to beat Lujan late 5-4.That would set up Lujan against Brady Helton of Clearwater on Saturday. After a slow start, Lujan would build momentum taking a 3-0 lead into the third before getting a pin.That put him into the “blood” match, the battle for a state tournament berth in the consolation semifinals. His opponent would be Layne Becker of Mulvane with a 17-10 record – the third ranked heavyweight in his division.It was probably fitting that Lujan’s big bout came at a time when Wellington fans were just coming off the dramatic devastating consolation semifinal loss of Aaron Fair at 195. His match with Becker started just as Fair’s match ended. And for awhile went unnoticed.“I had to collect myself, but when I did, I noticed Lujan was holding his own, and had a very good chance of beating this kid,” McComb said.And after two scoreless periods, Lujan would pin Becker 1:38 in the third.Talk about a mood swing for Crusader fans in a matter of minutes.Lujan’s final triumph of the tournament came in the third place match. He was battling Ochoa in a rematch — the same kid who beat him 5-4 the day before.Miguel Lujan dominates Ocheo after losing to him one day earlier.And this showcased the remarkable progress of Lujan in just the regional tournament alone, Lujan was now dominating Ochoa. He would score two takedowns to lead 4-0 going into the third and with the final horn approaching, Lujan would eventually pin Ochoa with just three seconds remaining.And now everyone in Wellington knows Lujan’s name.Follow us on Twitter.last_img

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