DES MOINES — Creston/O-M stayed on track for some historic accomplishments in the 2013 State Wrestling Tournament in Thursday night’s opening round.
Panther senior Jake Marlin’s quest for a fourth state championship moved forward with a quick 37-second pin of Humboldt junior Thaylan Bowman. Fellow University of Iowa signee Brandon Sorensen of Denver-Tripoli likewise passed the first test with a 12-3 major decision.
Marlin and Sorensen are bidding to become the 22nd and 23rd four-time champions in Iowa history. It would be the fourth time that two join the list in the same season.
Also, Marlin moved within one of the state’s career pin record of 146 by former Williamsburg heavyweight Austin Blythe. Marlin is 201-6 for his career and 53-1 this season.
Still in pursuit of state championships as well are 195-pound senior Keaton Hulett, ranked No.1, and fifth-ranked junior Trevor Frain at 160 pounds. Both advanced with solid decision wins Thursday night and were scheduled for stiff quarterfinal challenges this afternoon.
“We’re right where we want to be with those three,” said Panther coach Darrell Frain, whose team was sitting 10th in the 2A team race after Thursday’s action with 11 points. Davenport Assumption amassed 30 points for a seven-point margin over West Delaware for the 2A lead. Charles City was next at 22.5 and Mediapolis fourth at 20.
A fourth Panther stayed in contention for a place Thursday. Heavyweight Nate Robinson (42-20) lost by fall to third-ranked Chad Pohlmeier of Bondurant-Farrar in the first round, but came back to pin 10th-ranked Michael Rosewall of Cherokee in the consolation round.
“I wanted to stay alive one more day,” Robinson said, after locking up Rosewall in a head-and-arm pinning combination at the 1:04 mark after nearly flattening the Cherokee junior earlier in the match.
“That is so exciting,” Frain said. “He was a part-time (varsity) wrestler and football player until this year, and now he’s one match from being a placewinner.”
For Marlin, it was business as usual Thursday, although Bowman had him lifted in the air and nearly scored only the second takedown all year against the three-time champ.
“He was close,” Marlin said. “I kind of did a standing grandby (roll) and caught him.”
The only wrestler to take Marlin down this year was Daniel Lewis of Blue Springs, Mo., who caught him in a cradle for a pin at the Kansas City Stampede finals. That weight class included six state champions.
Prior to the tournament, there was anticipation of a quarterfinal match between Marlin and undefeated Drew Foster of Mediapolis. However, Marlin will instead face unrated Brett Marcum of Missouri Valley (33-7) today after Marcum edged Foster, 6-5.
At the John J. Harris Invitational in Corning, Marcum and Marlin met in the finals. Marlin put on a takedown clinic with a 14-5 lead before earning the victory by fall.
“You know what, Marcum came out and got after him,” Frain said. “We won by a pin, but he wasn’t going to take a back seat to Jake, and this win (over Foster) proves that. He’s good enough to place here.”
One of the feature matches of the day today, regardless of class, could be the 195-pound quarterfinal between Hulett and Sioux City Heelan junior Christian Brobst.
In the past two weeks, Brobst twice beat then-No. 2 ranked Reed Dreyer of Humboldt. Now 51-1, Brobst racked up a 10-0 lead before winning by fall in 3:01 Thursday over Nearoth Peterschmidt of Mid-Prairie.
Hulett, less spectacular but rock-solid in his 5-0 win over Atlantic rival Tyler Stork of Atlantic, remained unintimidated.
“I win 5-0 and he wins on a pin. That has no bearing on our matchup,” Hulett said, calmly. “You just have to be ready and come out and wrestle your hardest. You’ve got to beat everyone to win it. It’s all a mental game, you know? If you play the mental game right, you know you always have a chance.”
Brobst lost 7-4 to Chet Willer of Akron-Westfield in December. Willer had only six losses this season, but two were at districts and he did not qualify for state.
Brobst has 35 pins, one technical fall, three major decisions, nine forfeits and only two wins by decision.
Hulett, meanwhile, improved to 51-1 Thursday and has not lost in Iowa. His lone defeat was a 3-0 decision against Joel Dixon of Edmond North (Okla.) in the Kansas City Stampede finals.
“Keaton’s kid is a head-hunter,” Frain said. “He’s really aggressive and looks like he’s trying to pin you from the first whistle. Keaton and Trevor (Frain) both have front headlock guys, but that’s not a bad matchup for their style.”
Trevor Frain came back after a 9-8 loss in the state duals match for fifth place Wednesday, as the Panthers were defeated 36-33 by Union, LaPorte City. Less than 24 hours later, the Creston/O-M junior was back to his old self, dominant in improving to 52-3 with a 5-1 victory over Grant Lehmann of Hampton-Dumont.
“My dad gave me a talk after I lost,” Trevor said. “He said this doesn’t affect the dream at all, of winning it all.”
Former Panther three-time state champion and NCAA runner-up Andrew Long also called Trevor after Wednesday’s loss.
“He gave me some motivation,” Trevor said. “He said, ‘Don’t worry about it. Don’t let it get to you tomorrow.’ “
Today, Frain takes on 42-4 Sawyer Anderson of New Hampton, coached by former Panther assistant coach Nick Hemann.
There isn’t much turnaround, regardless if those three Panthers are victorious or not in the quarterfinals. Those who lose in that round come right back for second-round consolation matches to stay alive for placing contention.
Quarterfinal winners wrestle again tonight in the 2A semifinals at 9:35 p.m.
Possible semifinal opponents include No. 1 Trey Ryan of Mount Vernon for Frain in the 160 bracket; third-ranked Luke Johnson of Charles City for Hulett at 195; and returning placewinner Alan Perry of Bondurant-Farrar for Marlin at 138 Hulett defeated Johnson 2-0 during the state dual tourney Wednesday.
The lone Creston/O-M wrestler eliminated Thursday was freshman Wyatt Thompson at 120 pounds. He was pinned by 2012 113-pound state champ Charlie Jones of Waterloo Columbus Catholic, and then dropped at 3-1 decision against conference rival Dillion Cox of Atlantic.
Thompson (27-20) showed improvement against Cox, Frain said.
“I think at first Wyatt doubted himself a little, because Cox beat him pretty good the first time,” Frain said. “But he realized tonight he can wrestle with him.”
Unrated Cole Bonde of Bedford/Lenox defeated ninth-ranked Phirom Peterschmidt of Mid-Prairie, 4-3, to reach today’s quarterfinals at 182 pounds. Today he faces unrated Humboldt junior Nikko Wheeler (39-9).
“He looked good and moved well,” said Bedford/Lenox co-coach Lynn Christensen “I think he matches up pretty well with the next kid.”
Senior Dylon French had a tough draw in the 160 bracket. He lost a 7-1 decision to unrated Logan McQuillen of Monticello. In the consolation first round he took on seventh-ranked Colin Barker of Osage, who opened with a 1-0 loss to No. 2 Brett Leshen of Albia.
Barker rebounded well, eliminating French with a pin in 2:51.
Team scoring — 1. Davenport Assumption 30; 2. West Delaware 23.0; 3. Charles City 22.5; 4. Mediapolis 20; 5. Union, LaPorte City 13.5; 6. Bondurant-Farrar 13; 7. (tie) Hampton-Dumont and Spencer 12; 9. Sergeant Bluff-Luton 11.5; 10. Creston/Orient-Macksburg 11.
120 — Charlie Jones (Columbus Catholic) pinned Wyatt Thompson (Creston/O-M), :58.
138 — Jake Marlin (Creston/O-M) pinned Thaylon Bowman (Humboldt), 0:37.
160 — Logan McQuillen (Monticello) dec. Dylon French (Bedford/Lenox), 7-1; Trevor Frain (Creston/O-M) dec. Grant Lehmann (Hampton-Dumont), 5-1.
182 — Cole Bonde (Bedford/Lenox) dec. Phirom Peterschmidt (Mid-Prairie), 4-3.
195 — Keaton Hulett (Creston/O-M) dec. Tyler Stork (Atlantic), 5-0.
285 — Chad Pohlmeier (Bondurant-Farrar) pinned Nathan Robinson (Creston/O-M), 1:14.
Consolation first round
120 — Dillion Cox (Atlantic) dec. Wyatt Thompson (Creston/O-M), 3-1.
160 — Collin Barker (Osage) pinned Dylon French (Bedford/Lenox), 2:51.
285 — Nate Robinson (Creston/O-M) pinned Michael Rosewall (Cherokee), 1:04.