Jake Marlin of Creston/Orient-Macksburg and Brandon Sorensen of Denver-Tripoli are looking to become the 22nd and 23rd four-time champions in Iowa high school wrestling history this week.
Marlin (49-1) has only one ranked wrestler on his half of the bracket on his way toward Saturday night’s finals. Fourth-ranked and undefeated Drew Foster of Mediapolis (31-0) is a possible quarterfinal opponent Friday afternoon.
Second-ranked Zach Skopec of Spirit Lake Park (45-2) is on the other half of the bracket along with six other competitors ranked in the top 10.
Another finalist from Creston/O-M last year, Keaton Hulett at 195 pounds, is top-ranked and opens against a familiar opponent in Tyler Stork of Atlantic (35-13). The highest ranked wrestler on his side of the bracket is No. 3 Luke Johnson of Independence (31-5), who would be a semifinal opponent for Hulett (47-1) on Friday night.
Second-ranked Reed Dreyer of Humboldt (35-4) is on the other side of bracket.
After knocking off previously-undefeated and No. 2-ranked Brett Leshen of Albia in the district finals, No. 5 Trevor Frain of Creston/O-M faces a rugged road in the bottom bracket at 160 pounds in Class 2A.
Frain (49-2) opens against Hampton-Dumont junior Grant Lehmann (31-12). Three others ranked in the top six are on his side of the bracket, including No. 1 Trey Ryan of Mount Vernon (39-1), who would be a semifinal opponent Friday night if Frain gets past No. 3 Sawyer Anderson of New Hampton (41-4), coached by former Panther assistant Nick Hemann, in the quarterfinals.
Anderson was No. 1 much of the year before losing to Ryan. Last year Juwan Parrish of Creston/O-M beat Ryan for fifth place at 152.
Albia’s Leshen, who opens against No. 7 Colin Barker of Osage, would have no other ranked wrestlers in his path to Saturday night.
“As I told the guys at practice, everyone there has the same goal, so it really doesn’t matter which ones are on your side of the bracket,” Creston/O-M coach Darrell Frain said. “You just take them one at a time.”
Panther freshman Wyatt Thompson (26-16) opens against No. 3-ranked Charlie Jones of Columbus Catholic at 120 pounds. If Thompson is defeated and Atlantic’s Dillion Cox (26-9) loses to No. 2 Doug Miner of Spirit Lake Park, the two Hawkeye 10 rivals would meet in the first consolation. Or, if both gain upset victories, they would meet in the quarterfinals.
Senior heavyweight Nathan Robinson (40-18) has drawn third-ranked Chad Pohlmeier of Bondurant-Farrar (37-2) in the first round. Either way, he will face a ranked wrestler in his second match, as No. 4 Austin Ashbacher of Decorah (29-5) takes on No. 10 Michael Rosewall of Cherokee (37-2) in the adjacent match on the bracket. Winners and losers face each other.
In Class 1A, sixth-ranked Bryson Kinyon of East Union (42-1) opens against an unranked sophomore from English Valleys, Brennen Grimm (28-18), at 170 pounds but his half of the bracket has four other state-ranked wrestlers.
No. 1 Brendan Schott of North Linn (38-0) and No. 2 Jacob Meehan of MMC (41-1) are in the other half and would meet in the quarterfinals. Class 1A action begins 9 a.m. Thursday.
To view all of the brackets, go to the state individual tournament link on the Iowa High School Athletic Association web site: http://www.iahsaa.org.
7 p.m. Thursday
120 — Wyatt Thompson, Creston/O-M, 26-16, Fr. vs. Charlie Jones (3), Waterloo Columbus Catholic, 45-0, Sr.
138 — Jake Marlin (1), Creston/O-M, 49-1, Sr. vs. Thaylan Bowman, Humboldt, 19-16, Jr.
160 — Trevor Frain (5), Creston/O-M, 49-2, Jr. vs. Grant Lehmann, Hampton-Dumont, 31-12, Jr.; Dylon French, Bedford/Lenox, 40-14, Sr. vs. Logan McQuillen, Monticello, 39-5, Sr.
182 — Cole Bonde, Bedford/Lenox, 40-4, Sr. vs. Phirom Peterschmidt (9), Mid-Prairie, 45-3, Jr.
195 — Keaton Hulett (1), Creston/O-M, 47-1, Sr. vs. Tyler Stork, Atlantic, 35-13, Sr.
285 — Nathan Robinson, Creston/O-M, 40-18, Sr. vs. Chad Pohlmeier (3), Bondurant-Farrar, 37-2, Sr.
9 a.m. Thursday
132 — Erik Freed, Mount Ayr, 43-5, Jr. vs. Zach Bruns, North Fayette, 32-11, So.
152 — Kain Queck (8), Nodaway Valley, 40-5, Sr. vs. Taylor Clough, Prairie Valley, 34-6, Sr.
170 — Bryson Kinyon (6), East Union, 42-1, Brennen Grimm, English Valley, 28-18, So.
182 — Zach Barton, Corning, 42-8, Jr. vs. Jesse Svoboda (6), Audubon, 46-5, Sr.