It was a busy 3 days at the 2016 State Wrestling Tournament and you heard every exciting second of the action on 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN as Jamie Brockman and Brett Sams brought you over 30 hours of live coverage from Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. When it was all said and done 3 state champions (Bryce Leshen and Carter Isley of Albia and Briar Cochran of Moravia) were crowned and a total of 14 wrestlers earned top eight finishes for medals from the Mahaska Zone Network area, led by Albia with four medalists and Moravia with three.
In Class 2A, all four Albia wrestlers earned medals including two champions, earning Albia a third place team finish. Bryce Leshen at 145 and Carter Isley at heavyweight both earned titles to end their stellar high school careers. For Leshen, it was his first state championship while Isley won his second after winning at 220 pounds last year. After getting upset in the semifinals Friday night losing 6-5 to eventual champion Matthew Randone of Davenport Assumption, freshman Aden Reeves came out strong Saturday and took home a third place medal at 106 and Blake Lawless finished 6th place at 152. Also earning medals in Class 2A were Levi Duwa of Mid-Prairie (who advanced to the finals but lost by fall in overtime to Gavin Dinsdale of Webster City), Lucas Roland of PCM (finished in 7th place at 138), and Tanner Hoffstetter of Grinnell (finished 6th place at heavyweight).
Several area wrestlers earned medals in Class 1A, highlighted by Briar Cochran of Moravia who won his first state championship at 132, beating Lisbon’s Chase McLaughlin 14-11 in the finals to finish his senior season at 56-1. Zach Axmear of English Valleys also advanced to the finals Saturday night but was defeated by Connor Schulista of Alburnett, 6-3, and finished his junior season 55-2. Nicholas Martin of Moravia finished 6th at 126, Kaleb Reeves of Sigourney/Keota finished 7th at 182, and Quinton Casteel of Moravia finished 8th at 220 pounds.
In Class 3A, after being upset in the quarterfinals, Isaiah Cox of Ottumwa finished in 5th place at 182 and ended his senior season at 50-5. Drew Sams of Oskaloosa wrestled tough all tournament to earn a 7th place medal at 132. Sams lost in the opening round to eventual champion Grant Stotts of West Des Moines Valley 3-2, won the first round consolation 10-1, then pulled an upset winning over #5 Keenan Cook of Fort Dodge in 2nd round consolation. The match was scoreless through regulation and two full overtimes and came down to the ultimate tiebreaker 30-second period where Sams won by riding Cook for the full :30. Sams lost in the third round consolations 4-1, then won by medical forfeit over Cameron Sadeghi of Keokuk to earn his first medal in his third trip to the state tournament ending his junior season 38-11. Also in Class 3A Pella’s Keegan Poole finished 6th place at heavyweight.
On March 16th, the Mahaska Zone Network will unveil the All-Area Wrestling Team, consisting of the best wrestler at each weight class. The wrestlers will receive a prize pack, as will our basketball All-Area honorees. That show will be at 6 PM on March 16th on KBOE and KMZN.
Story provided by Jamie Brockman