McNary defeats McKay 42-34 in their first dual of the season

McNary’s Jordan Orr (blue singlet) takes down his opponent in the 132-pound bout (KEIZERTIMES/Matt Rawlings)

McNary’s first dual meet in nearly a year-and-a-half came down to the final match. Fortunately for the Celtics, junior heavyweight Layne Runyan was prepared for the moment.

After a scoreless first round, Runyan earned a takedown early in the second round and eventually worked his way to get the pin moments later, giving McNary the 42-34 victory against McKay.

“The pressure is a lot, but that is what I love about it. Wrestling isn’t just a team sport, it’s an individual-team sport. Everything I do reflects my team and vice versa. That is why I love it so much,” Runyan said.

Regardless of the result, McNary head coach Sam Martin was thrilled that his kids could finally compete in front of the hometown fans.

“We are so excited to be back. I was almost in disbelief before the first whistle blew. It was awesome,” Martin said.

The Celtics took the early lead on the scoreboard thanks to forfeits from McKay in three of the first four matches. In the 132-pound bout, McNary junior Jordan Orr proved to be in midseason form as he earned a pin over his opponent, Jaryd Clifton, in under a minute after putting him in an arm-bar.

“I just looked at his stance. Once the match started I saw that his feet were super close together so I just went after him,” Orr said. “I have been working all offseason hoping that we would be able to compete. It is a blessing to be here.”

“Jordan put in a lot of work in the offseason. He is one of the hardest workers in our room. It was good to see immediate success on the mat for him,” Martin added.

After surrendering forfeits in the 138 and 145-pound matches, McKay rattled off six straight victories and cut the Celtics lead to 36-34.

But with the final result hanging in the balance, Runyan did what he needed to do to put the Celtics over the top.

“Layne is a slow starter. He likes easing into matches, but he is someone when we can count on when it comes down to it,” Martin said. “It was cool to see him perform like that in a high stakes situation.”

Runyan wasn’t overly aggressive in the first round, but in the second round he went into attack mode.

“In the first round I was trying to go for a single-leg grab but he wasn’t pushing back. But once I got the leg grab in the next round I just kept on riding,” Runyan said.

Runyan let out an emotional yell after coming away with the pin that decided the dual.

“It was just pure happiness,” Runyan said. “I just love the feeling of getting out here and doing my job.”

McNary also won three of the five girls matches that took place, led by Alex Stanton, who was victorious in both of her 120-pound bouts.

“It is a testament to her toughness and the effort she puts in and it is good to see it pay off,” Martin said.

With a season that lasts less than a month, Martin is planning on getting his kids as many repetitions as possible before summer break.

“We are just hoping to get these kids wrestling as much as possible and getting them to appreciate the fact that we get to wrestle and reminding them how great of a sport this is,” Martin said.

Matt Rawlings: [email protected]