WINTERSET — Six area wrestlers advanced out of the sectional wrestling meet here on Feb. 2, moving on to the district meet in Knoxville on Saturday.
Clarke’s Jacob Bair (170 pounds) and Interstate 35’s Austin Pontier (106) both won sectional championships.
Bair pinned Winterset’s Russell Phillips 1:25 into their semifinal match at 170 pounds, advancing the the finals where he awaited the winner of the semifinal match featuring Creston/Orient-Macksburg’s Adam Baker and Central Decatur’s Trenton Wells.
Baker and Wells were embroiled in one of the most exciting matches of the day, as Baker got out to an early lead and Wells battled back the entire match, mostly from the bottom side, with occasional bursts to score the needed points to force overtime.
The match ended up going into double overtime, where Wells came away with an 8-7 win after Baker was assessed a one-point locked-hands violation as Wells was escaping.
The win came at a cost, though, as Wells aggravated an injury from football and injury defaulted the final match against Bair.
Baker won the third-place match, so Wells did not need to compete in a wrestleback match.
“Jacob Bair had no problem in the semis, winning easily by pin,” Clarke head coach Brian Reece said. “He received a medical forfeit in the finals. Jacob has a goal of getting to state, so for him, this was a step in achieving that goal. Next week at districts will be the true test for him.”
Pontier, a freshman 106-pounder, received a bye in the first round and then met Clarke’s Landon Spurgin in the semifinals.
Spurgin advanced after defeating Creston/O-M’s Stone Hammons with a 10-6 decision.
Pontier pinned Spurgin in 3:45, and then picked up a 5-1 decision over Winterset’s Britton Gibson.
Spurgin finished fourth.
Clarke sophomore 285-pounder Roberto Ventura, who entered the sectional meet with a record of 11-13 and was seeded sixth in the sectional meet, pinned his way to the finals match.
Ventura pinned Winterset’s Cort Lauer in the first round, winning in 1:44. He then met Interstate 35’s second-seeded Bobby Heilman in the semifinals, where Ventura pinned Heilman in 1:10 to earn a spot in the finals against top-seeded Nathan Robinson of Creston/O-M.
Robinson pinned Ventura in :43, and Heilman won the third-place match, which meant there was no wrestleback and Ventura advanced out of the sectional meet to districts.
“I am extremely proud of Roberto Ventura for placing second at 285,” Reece said. “He was seeded sixth and was able to pin the number two seed in the semifinals. I think he surprised a lot of people. Hopefully this is something he can build on for the next two years.”
Central Decatur’s Wyman Reed won his opening round match at 145 pounds by fall in 5:14 over Winterset’s Jarret Fairholm, advancing to meet Interstate 35’s Logan Adair in the semifinals.
Reed picked up a pin in 1:23 over Adair, and then lost by fall to Creston/O-M’s Jacob Johnston in the finals.
ADM’s Justin Wong won a 7-6 decision over Adair in the third-place match, earning a wrestleback opportunity against Reed.
Reed easily won the wrestleback match with a 17-6 major decision over Wong.
Interstate 35 senior Tyler Lester rolled into the semifinals at 195 pounds with a bye in the first round and a pin over ADM’s Darold Baker in just :40 in the semifinals.
But, Lester ran into a buzzsaw in the finals, meeting up with Creston/O-M’s top-ranked Keaton Hulett, who pinned Lester in 1:28 in the finals.
Baker won the third-place match, so Lester did not have a wrestleback.
Central Decatur’s Marcus Foltz pinned Clarke’s Ty Ryan in the fifth-place match at 195 pounds.
Along with Heilman at 285, there were several other near-misses.
Central Decatur sophomore Colton Ranney lost a 6-3 decision in the semifinals at 132 pounds to Creston/O-M’s Joey Huntington.
Ranney won the third-place match against Winterset’s Mitchell Holcomb by fall, but did not get a wrestleback opportunity as Huntington lost in the finals.
Interstate 35 senior Ethan Jones, seeded second at 182 pounds, lost a 5-2 decision to Creston/O-M’s Seth Maitlen in the semifinals.
After Jones pinned Winterset’s Joey Blakely in the third-place match, Maitlen lost to ADM’s Jordan Grove by fall in the finals, eliminating any hopes of a wrestleback opportunity for Jones.
For Reece, he felt his team accomplished its goal of being better at the end of the season than at the beginning.
“I thought we wrestled very well,” Reece said. “Our goal all season is to be better at the end of the season than we were at the beginning. I think most of our wrestlers can make that claim. Chasen Selsor was able to end his career with a victory, which is always sweet.”
Team scores — 1. Creston/Orient-Macksburg 266.5, 2. ADM 221, 3. Winterset 180, 4. Interstate 35 129.5, 5. Central Decatur 124.5, 6. Clarke 84.