GLENWOOD, Iowa — It’s important not to bury the lead, and from a western Iowa perspective, there’s nothing wrong with 11 wrestlers advancing from the Class 3-A district meet here on Saturday.
But many of those second-place finishers from WI believed they should have been first, and many of those third- and fourth-place finishers believed they should have been second and advancing to state.
So there weren’t many raucous celebrations among the five WI schools who competed at Glenwood High School. The three central Iowa schools — Waukee, Dallas Center-Grimes and Indianola — combined to win 11 of the 14 weight classes.
Waukee won the meet with 253 points and sent 10 wrestlers to next week’s state tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. From western Iowa, Council Bluffs Lewis Central qualified four, followed by Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson and Glenwood with three each and Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln with one.
The three WI district champions were third-rated senior Brett Mower (45-2) of Glenwood at 182 pounds, unrated senior Noah Carter (22-4) of Glenwood at 195, and top-rated senior Cameron Baker (45-1) of Thomas Jefferson at 220.
Lewis Central finished fourth with 146.5 and also advanced three runners-up: sophomore Tanner Wink at 106, sophomore Brian Paul at 132 and junior Tanner Higgins at 138.
The most bitter pill to swallow for the Titans was Tanner’s older brother, senior Ryan, who lost in a wrestleback for true second, 10-4, to Waukee freshman Griffin Gammell.
The elder Higgins also lost in a wrestleback last year.
“Last year I was disappointed for him, and this year it’s even worse,’’ L.C. coach Doug Kjeldgaard said. “He’s a team captain. … Everybody was rooting for him this year.
“It takes a lot to believe that you can do this, and believe with everything you have. And then when you don’t make it, it’s pretty emotional.’’
Juniors Nick Wolf (145) and Jake Lear (152) finished third for the Titans.
“We had a couple more that maybe we thought could have gotten through,’’ Kjeldgaard said. “So a couple disappointments, and you feel for those guys.’’
For sixth-place finisher Thomas Jefferson (135 points), Baker needed 62 seconds to pin his two opponents. Joining him at state for the Yellow Jackets as runners-up are junior Mason Allen at 113 and senior Jacob Byers at 195.
Last year at districts, Byers wrestled for true second and lost by two points.
“That’s been bothering him a long time,’’ T.J. coach August Manz said. “He’s kept it in the back of his head that he wasn’t going to let it happen again.’’
In his wrestleback for true second, Allen spotted Kieran Shawhan two points, then won 6-2.
“He’s a kid that’s just been working at it, working at it, getting better, little by little, and he put it together today,’’ Manz said.
Aiden Keller (132) and Dalton Flibotte (138) both placed third for the Jackets.
“Whenever you get guys going to state, you’ve got to be a little bit happy,’’ Manz said. “And you’re a little sad because not everybody’s going. We had a couple guys that we felt like had a chance, and it didn’t fall their way today, so it was kind of disappointing. But the three guys that did make it, all the time and effort it takes, you’re really happy for them.’’
In addition to Mower and Carter, fifth-place Glenwood (139) advanced runner-up Hunter Haggstrom at 285.
Abraham Lincoln finished seventh with 84 points and advanced runner-up Josh Boots, a senior, at 120.
After pinning quality opponent Taber Dominguez of L.C. in the semifinals, sophomore Jude Ryan of Abraham Lincoln at 126 lost a hard-fought championship match to Trevon Wells of Dallas Center-Grimes. Ryan was forced to wrestle back for second and lost 7-1 to Carter Smith of Waukee.
Also for the Lynx, Keelan Bailey at 285 finished third, but didn’t get the chance to wrestle back.
Team Scoring: Waukee 253, Dallas Center-Grimes 177.5, Indianola 155.5, CB Lewis Central 146.5, Glenwood 139, CB Thomas Jefferson 135, CB Abraham Lincoln 84, Denison-Schleswig 21.
106: Ryder Downey, Ind, dec. Tanner Wink, LC, 7-0. 113: Thurman Christensen, Wau, tech. fall Mason Allen, TJ, 15-0. 120: Nick Miller, Wau, pinned Josh Boots, AL, :50. 126: Trevon Wells, DCG, dec. Jude Ryan, AL, 6-3. 132: Brayden Broderick, DCG, pinned Brian Paul, LC, 1:46. 138: Cody Anderson, Wau, dec. Tanner Higgins, LC, 6-4. 145: Nick Bonanno, Ind, dec. Jermaine Sammler, Wau, 9-6. 152: Mason Seifried, Wau, major dec. Bain Broderick, DCG, 14-2. 160: Luke Fistler, DCG, dec. Caleb Kingery, LC, 5-1. 170: Anthony Zach, Wau, dec. Brennan Meacham, Ind, 3-0. 182: Brett Mower, Glen, dec. Ryan Higgins, LC, 7-2. 195: Noah Carter, Glen, dec. Jacob Byers, TJ, 7-1. 220: Cameron Baker, TJ, pinned Cael Thorson, Wau, :44. 285: Conner Arndt, Wau, pinned Hunter Haggstrom, Glen, 1:19.
106: Tanner Wink, LC, dec. Elijah Hofbauer, Wau, 3-2. 113: Mason Allen, TJ, dec. Kieran Shawhan, DCG, 6-2. 126: Carter Smith, Wau, dec. Jude Ryan, AL, 7-1. 152: Bain Broderick, DCG, pinned Jake Lear, LC, 2:00. 182: Griffin Gammell, Wau, dec. Ryan Higgins, LC, 10-4.