Burke/Gregory's Owen Hansen rebounds from last year's late loss to win 126-pound crown

Nick Sabato, The Daily Republic, Mitchell, S.D.
·2 min read

Feb. 28—RAPID CITY — Owen Hansen has been a favorite. He's been an underdog. Now he's a champion.

On Saturday, the Burke/Gregory sophomore avenged a last-second loss in the state finals last season with a 6-2 decision over Philip Area's Jadyn Collier in the Class B 126-pound championship match.

Last season, Hansen was the top seed at 120 pounds, leading in the waning seconds, only to fall to Parkston's Riley Weber. Hansen has been seething over the loss for a year, and after a takedown of Collier 26 seconds into the match, his victory was rarely in question.

"It's the best feeling in the world. It's crazy," Hansen said. "... I've been thinking about the state tournament ever since I lost last year heartbreakingly. I've been wrestling all summer. It's all I could think about. I love wrestling."

Prior to Saturday, Hansen's state tournaments have typically been filled with frustration. On top of his state final loss last season, Hansen dropped a 3-2 decision to Redfield Area's Riley Whitley in the 2019 106-pound semifinals.

Collier, this year's top seed in the 126-pound bracket, was responsible for two of Hansen's three losses this season and Hansen gave Collier his lone regular-season loss. Hansen (39-3) wanted to avoid grappling on the mat with Collier, and aside from a reversal in the third period, he controlled most of the match.

"We've always taken (Collier) down, but on bottom, we've got caught in cradles and it ended up costing us," Burke/Gregory assistant coach Seth Webster said. "We wanted to stay on our feet as much as possible and not go down as much as we could. It got a little scary in the third period, but we ended up coming out on top."