The Iowa High School State Wrestling Tournament began Thursday and 35 wrestlers represented the listening area in the first round of action.
Class 3A kicked things off and nine wrestlers were looking to try to punch their ticket into the quarterfinals. It was a rough first round, however, as only three of the nine were able to win in their first matchup.
Oskaloosa’s Drew Sams, ranked #4 in the state at 145 pounds according to IAwrestle, took control after surrendering a quick takedown, pinning Lanny Herzog of Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln in the second period. He’ll take on Boone’s Mason Hulse in the second round Friday morning.
The other two first round winners were at heavyweight, as Pella’s Keegan Poole took care of business against Sioux City West’s Jesse Ramirez, 10-0. Oskaloosa’s Callan Tomlin joined him but upsetting #2 ranked Caleb Sanders of Glenwood, 5-3. They will both be in action Friday morning as well in the quarterfinals.
Losing in the first round but bouncing back with second round victories to stay alive for third place were Ottumwa’s Nathanael Shoemaker (113), Oskaloosa’s Jason Beebe (170), Ottumwa’s Joey Mitchell (170), and Osky’s Kyler Salazar (195). Osky senior Josh Diehl could not survive a tough draw in the first round or the first consolation round, and was eliminated, as was Newton freshman Gage Linahon.
In the afternoon session, Class 1A delivered, with 9 of the 15 area wrestlers winning in the first round to move into the quarterfinals Friday morning. First round victors included three members of the Southeast Warren/Melcher-Dallas wrestling team: Freshman Bryce Hall (113), senior Brady Kyner (120), and senior Blake Bauer (132). Moravia’s Nicholas Martin also punched his ticket at 138 pounds, as did Zach Axmear of English Valleys at 152.
Pleasantville sent two wrestlers to the quarters, as senior Griffin McBride survived at 160 and junior Chaz Clark got in with a convincing win at 220. Sigourney/Keota did well, as two of their wrestlers made it to the quarters. Junior Kaleb Reeves at 195 did so via pin, and senior Noah Boender at 220 won via technical fall, 20-4.
Of the six wrestlers that dropped their first round match, three bounced back to get into the second consolation round. They include Sigourney/Keota freshman Mason Dye at 106, Pleasantville senior Sawyer Phillips at 152, and Pleasantville senior Will Anthony at heavyweight.
Unfortunately, three Class 1A wrestlers saw their state tourney end on Day 1. Southeast Warren/Melcher-Dallas junior TJ Dierking, who came into the tournament ranked #3 in the state at 170 in the latest IAwrestle rankings, got a tough draw and found himself surprisingly bounced with a 2-and-out performance. Moravia senior Quinton Casteel had a difficult draw as well, and he couldn’t duplicate his 8th place performance from last year, falling in two straight matches to be eliminated. Tri-County senior Clay Harper
forced overtime in his consolation match, but couldn’t get the win, as he, too, was eliminated.
In the evening session, Class 2A continued the positive momentum, as 6 of the 11 wrestlers in the area picked up first round wins to get into the quarterfinals. Grinnell’s Brock Beck, a freshman, got a tight win at 106 pounds. Albia sophomore Aden Reeves is the prohibitive favorite at 113, and he started with a bang, getting a quick win in his first round matchup. Also in the quarters is EBF’s Sage Walker, who held on for a tight win at 120.
Joining those three in the next round is Knoxville junior Matthew Landsperger at 195 and a PCM duo. The Mustangs have Xavier Miller into the quarters at 145 after surviving overtime in a tight match, and 170 pounder Jarron Trausch, who looked very strong in a big win.
PCM’s teammate, Lucas Roland, fell in the final seconds of the first round at 160 pounds, but is one of three more wrestlers into the second round of consolation. EBF’s Alex Hanna at 132 got a very tough draw in the first round but was able to respond to get a win in the first consolation round and will see Day 2. Finally, Albia senior Kyle Sinnott fell in the first round in a tough draw but got a quick victory via fall in the first period of the first round of consolation.
The only two wrestlers who were unable to squeeze into the second day of competition were EBF’s Dakota Boyer at 145 and Austin Angle at 182 after very difficult draws.
28 area wrestlers are still alive and 18 are still in play for a state title. You can catch the action starting at 8:45 AM on 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN, radiokmzn.com, and the KMZN mobile app.