WINTERSET — Creston/O-M’s fifth-ranked wrestling team advanced 11 wrestlers — including seven champions — to this week’s Class 2A District Tournament in Knoxville.
Near-misses for the Panthers by placing third in the Sectional Tournament Saturday at Winterset were 170-pounder Adam Baker and 220-pounder Cole Tanner. Stone Hammons placed fifth at 106 pounds.
Creston/O-M hosts Class 2A Dual Team Regional action at 6 p.m. Tuesday, and the Panthers advance as sectional champion with 266.5 points. Also advancing is runner-up ADM with 221 points, to finish 31 points ahead of the host Huskies.
Semifinal regional dual pairings Tuesday pit Creston/O-M vs. Clarinda, and Atlantic vs. ADM. The championship match follows with the winner advancing to the Dual State Tournament on Feb. 13. (Pairings are determined by dual team ratings and head-to-head competition, not their finish in the sectional tournament.)
From the other sectional in the Knoxville district, Grinnell was sectional champion with 196 points and five qualifiers, while seventh-ranked Albia advanced seven wrestlers to districts with 190 points in second place.
From that standpoint, Creston/O-M is the dominant team heading into the district tourney and dual team regional. But, stuck in coach Darrell Frain’s craw at the end of the day Saturday was how close he came to taking 13 wrestlers to districts.
“Those are the ones you think about at this point — Adam Baker and Cole Tanner,” Frain said. “Both kids at 220 are going to walk through to state next week. We had to have that semifinal match.”
Tanner, seeded third, met ninth-ranked Dylan Nelson of ADM in the semifinals and lost 8-4. Nelson was then defeated by sixth-ranked Blake Glenn of Winterset in the finals, 6-1, eliminating Tanner’s hopes for a wrestleback for second place.
“Cole got turned in the second period for three nearfall points, and then had to scramble to catch up,” Frain said. “He almost got away before we got turned.”
Tanner remains a vital part of the dual team lineup with a 32-8 record after winning by fall in Saturday’s third-place match.
Likewise for Baker, who lost an ultimate tiebreaker match in his key semifinal match against Trenton Wells of Central Decatur, 8-7. The winning point was awarded for a locked-hands violation as Wells was escaping in the final 30-second tiebreaker period.
“A couple of close calls didn’t go our way,” Frain said. “We had a takedown at the edge of the mat in overtime that would have ended the match. Both of them got reversals in the double-overtime (30-second) periods. We still have duals, so hopefully everybody will step up.”
Sectional champions for the Panthers were Wyatt Thompson (120 pounds), Gage Cheers (126), Jake Marlin (138), Jacob Johnston (145), Trevor Frain (160), Keaton Hulett (195) and Nathan Robinson (285).
Advancing as runners-up were Kruz Adamson (113), Joey Huntington (132), Gavin Leith (152) and Seth Maitlen (182).
Marlin stayed on track for his historic march with a pair of pins. He now has 141 career victories by fall, which is five short of the state record of 146. If he would happen to get two each at the dual regional and district tourney, he would enter the state tournament not only chasing a fourth state championship, but one pin from the all-time record.
Marlin has 37 pins this season, 10 short of the school record of 47 set last year by heavyweight state champ Collin Bevins. Through state duals and the state tournament, Marlin could have as many as 11 matches left. Frain said he is uncertain of the state single-season pin record, after repeated efforts to obtain that information.
Marlin (45-1) also has 191 career victories, just nine short of his goal of 200. T.J. Sebolt of Centerville set the state record of 207, but that may be broken this year by Underwood 126-pounder Andrew Foutch.
“He (Foutch) already broke 200 last week,” Frain said. “He won’t be in the duals, but he’ll wrestle at state.”
Hulett (43-1) was similarly dominant at 195, winning in two first-period falls.
“He’ll have a tough one next week with the Centerville kid (fourth-ranked Riley Denny),” Frain said. “We beat him 4-0 over there at their tournament. The kid struggled to score on Keaton, and Keaton scored on a good takedown and reversal.”
Likewise, Trevor Frain rolled through the sectional with two first-period pins, but the going will be tougher at districts. Waiting are No. 2-ranked Brett Leshen of Albia and Grinnell running back Bryce Lidtka, who was ranked earlier this season. Frain (45-2) is ranked fifth.
“Trev and Leshen have never wrestled, but we know he’s good,” coach Frain said. “Lidtka is a very physical kid.”
Maitlen will join a star-studded freshman field in the 182-pound district tourney, led by 10th-ranked Chariton’s Carter Isley, who beat No. 8 Colton Spaur of Knoxville in the Albia sectional finals, 11-3. Maitlen advanced by beating state qualifier Ethan Jones of I-35, 5-2.
“He got a quick reversal to set the tone, and three nearfall points on a tilt to win it,” Frain said. “That was a huge win for Seth.”
Maitlen has two losses by decision to Isley this season after losing by fall in the first meeting.
Leith, seeded third, reached the finals by pinning second-seeded Dillon Rogers of ADM in the semifinals. He then lost a 3-2 decision to 10th-ranked Zach Moss of Winterset.
“That’s a kid we’ll have to beat next week, because (Griffin) Osing of Albia will probably be the favorite,” Frain said. “Gavin wrestled a good match with Moss, but he’ll have to find a way to score on his feet.”
Also getting big semifinal wins for the Panthers Saturday were Cheers with a pin, and Huntington with a 6-3 decision over Central Decatur’s Colton Ranney, who had beaten him earlier in the season.
Huntington lost by technical fall in the finals to 10th-ranked Ryan Krugler of ADM.
At 113, Winterset’s top-ranked Mason Miller earned a hard-fought 4-1 decision over Panther junior Kruz Adamson, who won a 4-2 semifinal match.
“I think Kruz is good enough to beat him if he wrestles like he did the past two weeks,” Frain said. “We have to get him back into that state of mind.”
Miller is the only rated wrestler in the district field at 113.
Thompson won a 3-1 championship match at 120 over ADM’s Bailey Bettazza. Johnston and Robinson sailed to the 145 and heavyweight titles with two pins each.
For districts, two rated wrestlers advanced from Albia at 145 in No. 10 Brody Beck of Grinnell and No. 7 Dalton Folkerts of Albia. There are no rated wrestlers at heayweight. The 120 field includes No. 4. Shadow Leshan of Albia.
Team scoring — 1. Creston/Orient-Macksburg 266.5; 2. ADM (Adel) 221; 3. Winterset 190; 4. Interstate 35 129.5; 5. Central Decatur 124.5; 6. Osceola Clarke 84. (Creston/O-M and ADM advance to dual regional.)
106 — 1. Austin Pontier (I-35) dec. Britton Gibson (Wint), 5-1. Consolation: Kyle Wilkerson (ADM) pinned Landon Spurgin (Clk), 1:01. 5. Stone Hammons (COM).
113 — 1. Mason Miller (Wint) dec. Kruz Adamson (COM), 4-1. Consolation: Trevor Harsh (ADM) tech fall Austin Penick (Clk), 18-1.
120 — 1. Wyatt Thompson (COM) dec. Bailey Bettazza (ADM), 3-1. Consolation: Derek Koster (Wint), bye.
126 — Gage Cheers (COM) pinned Logan Wendt (ADM), :34. Consolation: Jacob Jenkins (Wint) pinned Paul Queck (I-35), 2:59.
132 — 1. Ryan Krugler (ADM) tech fall Joey Huntington (COM), 15-0 (2:54). Consolation: Colton Ranney (CD) pinned Mitchell Holcomb (Wint), 1:15.
138 — 1. Jake Marlin (COM) pinned Zach Johnston (ADM), 1:31. Consolation: Brennon Short (CD) tech fall CW Gordon (Wint), 16-0.
145 — 1. Jacob Johnston (COM) pinned Wyman Reed (CD), :47. Consolation: Justin Wong (ADM) dec. Logan Adair (I-35), 7-6. Wrestleback for 2nd: Reed (CD) major dec. Wong (ADM), 17-6.
152 — 1. Zach Moss (Wint) dec. Gavin Leith (COM), 3-2. Consolation: Dillon Rogers (ADM) pinned Darin Martin (CD), 5:49.
160 — 1. Trevor Frain (COM) pinned Sam Plagman (ADM), 1:11. Consolation: Trenton Carson (CD) pinned Zach Beem (I-35), 4:37.
170 — 1. Jacob Bair (Clk) by injury default over Trenton Wells (CD). Consolation: Adam Baker (COM) major dec. Russell Phillips (Wint), 4:34.
182 — 1. Jordan Grove (ADM) pinned Seth Maitlen (COM), 1:12. Consolation: Ethan Jones (I-35) pinned Joey Blakely (Wint), :38.
195 — 1. Keaton Hulett (COM) pinned Tyler Lester (I-35), 1:38. Consolation: Darold Baker (ADM) pinned Nick Tank (Wint), 5:37.
220 — 1. Blake Glenn (Wint) dec. Dylan Nelson (ADM), 6-1. Consolation: Cole Tanner (COM) pinned Jacob Roach (CD), 1:12.
285 — 1. Nathan Robinson (COM) pinned Roberto Ventura (Clk), :43. Consolation: Bobby Heilman (I-35) pinned Trystan Pitsenbarger (ADM), 3:27.