After an emotional and exhausting night winning and dominating the South Central Conference Tournament on Thursday, Coach Dave Wenger decided to take eight scoring wrestlers to the Dan Christensen Invitational (Central Decatur) on Friday.
“It was really an up and down evening as we started off really strong,” said Coach Wenger, “then, as we started the semi-finals round, it became pretty apparent that we were running out of gas a little bit. We can attribute a little bit of the fatigue to the consecutive night weigh-ins, but the guys responded well on the backside of their brackets, winning every match in their placing rounds.”
Albia finished fourth on the night, a point out of third with two champions and two third place winners.
At 106 Wyatt Stewart (7-0) won the title beating 1A second ranked Drew Ehlen (9-2) of Mt. Ayr in the finals 14-9 in sudden victory. He pinned Jasmine Luedtke (10-3) of Ottumwa in 2:14.
“Wyatt went out and took it to the #2 ranked kid right off the bat, scoring a takedown and a two-point near fall to take a 4-0,” said Coach Wenger. “The match tightened in the second and third periods and in the final few seconds of the match, an apparent winning reversal by Wyatt was wiped out to send the match to overtime. Wyatt then went out and took his opponent feet-to-back to seal the deal. His wrestling right now is really at a high level.”
Carter Anderson (10-0), wrestling at 113, won the championship pinning Brogan West, Davis County, in 1:13, scoring a tech fall 17-2 over Christian Choate, M-St. M, scoring a 3-1 decision over Payton Harger (11-2) of Van Meter and scoring a 5-3 decision over Corbin Grace (9-3), Ottumwa.
“We chose to wrestle Carter up a weight class so we could get Stewart in our lineup at 106,” said Coach Wenger. “Wrestling at 113 presents many challenges for Carter, which he absolutely needs at this point to get better. Nothing really came easy all night long for him, but he showed a lot of guts to pull out wins in both the semifinals and in the championship match.”
At 138 Justin Keller (8-3) placed third beating Devin Adams (9-4), Central Decatur 8-3, losing to Nathaniel Genobana (11-0), Centerville, by fall in 1:19, pinning Sampson Henson (4-8), M-St. M in 1:15 and scoring a major decision over Cooper Paxton (7-3), West Waterloo, 14-3.
(Cooper Paxton is the great-nephew of Dave and Jan Paxton of Albia.)
At 220, freshman Paul Ballard (6-3) placed third beating Henry Tromba (2-2), Winterset, 7-4, losing by pin to Gavin McCall (6-2), Davis County in :44, pinning John Hardin (4-9), Ottumwa in 2:00 and pinning Tromba in 2:38.
Albia had three fifth place finishes.
Brodie Conner (7-3) beat Dawson Goodwin, (11-3), Ottumwa 7-2 and pinned Joshua West (5-5), Mt. Ayer in :18. In the consolation round Riley Harger (12-2 and ranked 8th in Class 2A) scored a major decision over Conner 14-3. Connor beat Conor Cassady (6-4), M-St. M, 3-2 to finish fifth.
“Brodie was arguably in the toughest bracket of the whole tournament,” said Coach Wenger. “As with Carter, Brodie is giving up a bit of size wrestling up a weight, but it was good to see him go out and battle with some of the area’s best 120 pounders.”
Dawson Bonnett (7-3) placed 5th scoring a fall over Colton Halterman, SE Warren in :59; beating Preston Fleharty (5-7), Mt. Ayer 7-1; losing 4-3 to Braylon Griffiths (11-2); losing to Deken Sorenson (6-6), Davis County, by pin in 5:08 and beating Reese Talaska (8-4), Waterloo West in 5-0.
At 145 Eli Zanoni (10-3) pinned Cayden VanVeer (6-5), Panorama in 2:58; decisioned Austin Payne (11-5), Davis County 10-4; lost to Eduardo Garcia (10-4), Winterset by fall in 3:15; lost by fall to Jakson Cobb (5-3), Wayne and pinned Devin Schall (10-3), M-St. M in sudden victory in 6:29.
At 152, Stephen Conley (7-3) pinned Evahn Wallace (5-4), Central Decatur, in 3:03; lost to Zach Shoemaker (11-1), Ottumwa by decision 8-5; lost by fall to Ryan Fees (8-6), Panorama, in 3:03 and scored a major decision over Johnnie Cassady (7-6), M-St. M, 12-4.
At 120, Konner Karp (0-2) did not place, losing by major decision to Zeke Hoven (8-7), Winterset 16-3 (Hoven is the grandson of Jim and Lora Hoven and Paul and Nikki Ammons of Albia); and was pinned by Chris Luedtke (3-2), Ottumwa, in 2:56
“We finished strong and that’s what matters the most at this point,” said Coach Wenger. “These guys have a lot of fight in them. To finish 1.5 points out of third in this tournament with eight scoring wrestlers is definitely something that we can build off of heading into this week.”
1. Winterset 265.5; 2. Ottumwa 160; 3. Mt Ayr 126; 4. Albia 124.5; 5. Davis County 110.5; 6. Centerville 105.5; 6. Panorama 105.5; 8. Central Decatur 100; 9. Van Meter 80; 9. Waterloo West 80; 11. M-St. J 73.5; 12. Southeast Warren 48; 13. Wayne 34