DES MOINES — The final state match involving a western Iowa wrestler Thursday drew the day’s biggest smile from Creston/Orient-Macksburg coach Darrell Frain.
Unrated senior Cody Tanner pinned district champion Hunter Jesse of Saydel in a consolation match at 285 pounds. Frain said that as a freshman and sophomore, Tanner was buried on the junior varsity team and didn’t have aspirations of going higher.
“He was OK with that,” Frain said.
Tanner eventually found the desire to excel at wrestling, and he’s one of the six Panther qualifiers who remain in medal contention after the first day of the Class 2-A state tournament.
“I’m glad we kept him,” said Frain, still smiling.
Creston and fellow Hawkeye Ten power Atlantic/CAM both won four of their six first-round matches. Both squads kept their other two wrestlers alive after first-round consolation wins.
Bonus points — including Tanner’s pin — allowed Creston to end the first day fourth in the team standings with 17.5 points. Solon leads with 27.5, while Atlantic was 10th with 11.
In many ways, Creston’s day went to form. Its first-round winners were all heavily favored: No. 4 Mitchel Swank (145), No. 1 Chase Shiltz (182), No. 4 Jackson Mikkelsen (195) and No. 2 Kadon Hulett (220). Trevor Marlin (138) and Tanner earned the consolation victories.
“It’s going to come down to tomorrow to see where we can fit in,” Frain said. “If we can keep winning, we’ll have a shot to be in there somewhere.”
Atlantic and the Panthers accounted for eight of the 11 quarterfinalists from The World-Herald’s coverage area. Advancing from Atlantic were No. 10 Kole Hansen (113), No. 8 Chase McLaren (126), No. 5 Zac Stork (195) and No. 3 John McConkey (285).
However, the Trojans lost a pair of tight first-rounders. Fourth-rated Shea Ruffridge of Pocahontas Area edged No. 2 Carter Cox — a state runner-up last year — 1-0 and No. 4 Kyler Fisher of Southeast Valley trimmed No. 6 Drake Roller 7-5.
“You’re going to be in close matches,” Atlantic/CAM coach Tim Duff said. “That’s the state tournament. You’ve got to find a way to win close matches. Stork, Hansen and McLaren won close matches and we lost two close matches.
“I was proud that (Cox and Roller) came back and toughened up and went out there and fought to stay alive in the tournament.”
Hansen trailed unrated Hunter Pfantz of West Marshall 7-1 and was still down 7-3 when he scored five points in the final 10 seconds.
“I’m sure the kid from West Marshall thought he had that match well in hand,” Duff said. “He had outwrestled Kole for five minutes and 45 seconds. I think that kid was kind of in shock, and it’s a good lesson why you wrestle the entire match.”
McLaren edged No. 7 Kyle Anderson of Washington 3-1. McLaren had beaten him 10-4 in Wednesday’s state dual meet.
“It came down to conditioning,” McLaren said. “I think he was a lot more tired than I was. I was just battling inside. I was heavy on his head, and I think I kind of broke him a little bit.”
Western Iowa wrestlers won 11 of their 25 first-round matches. Others securing quarterfinal berths were No. 2 Brayden Curry of Sergeant Bluff-Luton (132), No. 8 Thomas Bentley of Red Oak (160) and unrated Jacob Wingert of Harlan (170). Eight of the 14 first-round losers stayed alive with consolation wins.
Harlan almost had another quarterfinalist, but 10th-rated Nick Foss dropped a 6-4 heartbreaker to No. 3 Visouth Peterschmidt of Mid-Prairie at 182.
“We really thought we had a great shot to win that one,” Harlan coach John Murtaugh said. “It was a 50-50 match. I told him coming down, ‘Don’t pay attention to some of these kids’ records because they haven’t been wrestling the Sherrys (Anthony of Glenwood) and the Shiltzes of the world.”
Team scoring leaders
1, Solon 27.5; 2, Ballard 20; 3, New Hampton 19; 4, Creston/O-M 17.5; 5, Spirit Lake Park 16.5. Also: 10, Atlantic/CAM 11.
113: Kole Hansen, Atlantic/CAM, dec. Hunter Pftlantz, West Marshall, 8-7
120: Shea Ruffridge, Pocahontas Area, dec. Carter Cox, Atlantic, 1-0
126: Drew West, Solon, pinned Lucas Carter, Harlan, :21; Chase McLaren, Atlantic/CAM, dec. Kyle Anderson, Washington, 3-1; Sean Casey, Assumption, dec. Joe Vondrak, Bishop Heelan Catholic, 3-1.
132: Brayden Curry, SB-L, pinned Tanner Probasco, South Tama, 1:14; Noah Frye, New Hampton, major dec. Austin Gutknecht, Clarinda, 11-0.
138: Austin Rozeboom, Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley, dec. Trevor Marlin, Creston, 7-2
145: Paul Ryan, Mount Vernon, dec. Tim Sibbel, Kuemper Catholic, 3-1; Mitchel Swank, Creston, dec. Mitchel Mangold, West Delaware, 9-6
152: Issac Judge, South Tama, pinned Sam McMillin, Bedford/Lenox, 3:36
160: Thomas Bentley, Red Oak, pinned Zach Williams, Osage, 1:56; John Fulk, Ballard, major dec. Kyle Owens, Shenandoah, 10-2.
170: Jacob Wingert, Harlan, pinned Zane Williams, Webster City, 2:47; Kyler Fisher, Souteast Valley, dec. Drake Roller, Atlantic/CAM, 7-5
182: Visouth Peterschmidt, Mid-Prairie, dec. Nick Foss, Harlan, 6-4; Chase Schlitz, Creston, pinned Austin Angle, E-B-F, 1:00; Boone McDermott, Wahlert, pinned Kyle Benson, Sergeant Bluff-Luton, 3:47.
195: Zac Stork, Atlantic, dec. Hunter Crawford, Independence, 4-3; Louis Long, Bondurant-Farrar, major dec. Diego Samaniego, Bishop Heelan Catholic, 13-3; Jackson Mikkelsen, Creston, pinned Trevor Trende, Crestwood, 3:52.
220: Dakota Powell, Spirit Lake Park, tech. fall Chance Strough, Clarinda, 16-1; Kadon Hulett, Creston, tech fall. Travis Te Grotenhuis, MOC-Floyd Valley, 19-4
285: Tristan Wirfs, Mount Vernon, dec. Cody Tanner, Creston, 9-4; John McConkey, Atlantic/CAM, major dec. Blake Bradley, Wahlert, 8-0