DES MOINES — It was a classic Keaton Hulett match.
Notorious for winning close shutout decisions, the Creston/O-M senior was in a familiar position in a repeat trip to the 195 championship match Saturday night.
Points were not only scarce in his third meeting of the year with Centerville’s Riley Denny, they were nonexistent. Hulett had ridden out Denny in the second period, and the match stayed 0-0 well into the third as Hulett was unable to escape Denny’s ride.
Then, suddenly, with only 18 seconds left, Hulett found an opening as he rose to his feat, and quickly reversed Denny. He held on tight for the 2-0 victory, and then jumped into a primal scream of excitement.
One year ago, Hulett had suffered disappointment on the same stage, dropping a 3-2 decision to West Delaware’s Adam Reth, who claimed the 220 crown Saturday. He won his semifinal match Friday night, 1-0.
“He doesn’t lose because he doesn’t get scored on,” said Panther coach Darrell Frain. “He wins 2-0, 3-0. Keat just kept coming to his feet. You have to keep doing that. He got a little separation on that final one, and that’s all it took. He gets his hips away. He’s pretty athletic for a 195-pounder.”
Hulett, also patient in reversing Sioux City Heelan’s Christian Brobst to his back late in a quarterfinal victory after trailing 1-0 in the third period, said he finally seized an opportunity.
“I got a quick reversal when he tried to put the legs in,” Hulett said. “The opportunity was there. He figured me out. He rode me a lot better this time. I wish I’d had a better match, but you know what, 2-0 is a win and a state championship.”
Hulett finished his senior season 51-1, with his only loss to an Oklahoma wrestler at the Kansas City Stampede, 3-0. He was not taken down by any Iowa wrestler this year, matching the feat of teammate Jake Marlin.
For his career, the Northwest Missouri State University football recruit was 178-31 with 87 pins.
“It’s amazing,” Hulett said after the match. “It won’t hit me until I go up there and see my parents, see them crying. This is the last time I’ll be wearing the gold singlet. I’m going to miss it.”
Creston/O-M finished fifth in the 2A standings with 70 points. West Delaware won with 151, followed by Davenport Assumption (113.5), Mediapolis (100) and Union, LaPorte City (81).
Junior 160-pounder Trevor Frain placed fourth in his second trip to state. He was defeated by Sawyer Anderson of New Hampton, 4-2, in the third-place match. Anderson, coached by former Panther assistant Nick Hemann, had derailed Frain in the quarterfinals by a fall in 5:47.
After the much closer placing match, Frain (55-6) was second-guessing his decision to choose the down position in the third period, trailing by two points.
“I was breaking him on my feet, I don’t know why I took down,” he said. “I felt I could get away.”
“They’re very similar kids, good at football and athletic,” said Hemann, Frain’s first-grade teacher in Creston. “We have a lot of respect for Trevor. It was a tough match.”
New Hampton finished 4th with 37.5 points.
“A good part of my coaching foundation comes from coach Frain and coach Long,” Hemann said. “I have a lot of respect for them. We got them on their (nearfall) tilt. They call it the New Hampton tilt up in our part of the state.”
Frain, who placed one spot higher than his No. 5 rating, ended his 2013 season with a determined outlook toward 2014.
“I’m going to win it next year,” he said quietly.
Panther senior heavyweight Nate Robinson was eliminated Friday afternoon after advancing to the second-round consolations with a victory Thursday night.
Mario Pena, a strong, stocky sophomore from Hampton-Dumont, got a first-period takedown and third-period escape to defeat Robinson, 3-0. In his only varsity season, Robinson went 42-21.
“We thought he had a chance, but he gave up that early takedown,” Frain said. “We needed to score first, or keep it scoreless until late. It was a great year for Nate. He makes it to state and three points from being a placer. He proved that he belonged here.”
Class 2A team scoring — 1. West Delaware 151; 2. Davenport Assumption 113.5; 3. Mediapolis 100; 4. Union, LaPorte City 81; 5. Creston/O-M 70; 6. Sergeant Bluff-Luton 62; 7. Charles City 56.5; 8. Clear Lake 50; 9. Denver-Tripoli 49; 10. Bondurant-Farrar 44.
138 — Jake Marlin (Creston/O-M) pinned Brett Marcum (Missouri Valley), 1:14.
160 — Sawyer Anderson (New Hampton) pinned Trevor Frain (Creston/O-M), 5:47.
182 — Nikko Wheeler (Humboldt) dec. Cole Bonde (Bedford/Lenox), 5-1.
195 — Keaton Hulett (Creston/O-M) pinned Christian Brobst (Sioux City Heelan), 4:31.
Consolation second round
160 — Trevor Frain (Creston/O-M) dec. Jake Sherman (Saydel), 7-2.
182 — Colton Spaur (Knoxville) major dec. Cole Bonde (Bedford/Lenox), 14-2.
285 — Mario Pena (Hampton-Dumont) dec. Nate Robinson (Creston/O-M), 3-0.
138 — Jake Marlin (Creston/O-M) major dec. Alan Perry (Bondurant-Farrar), 23-9.
195 — Keaton Hulett (Creston/O-M) dec. Luke Johnson (Charles City), 1-0.
Consolation third round
160 — Trevor Frain (Creston/O-M) dec. Collin Barker (Osage), 5-0.
160 — Trevor Frain (Creston/O-M) pinned Jacob Van Ginkel (Western Christian/Unity Christian), 3:04.
160 — Sawyer Anderson (New Hampton) dec. Trevor Frain (Creston/O-M), 4-2.
138 — Jake Marlin (Creston/O-M) pinned Adam Staudt (Charles City), 2:55.
195 — Keaton Hulett (Creston/O-M) dec. Riley Denny (Centerville), 2-0.