Six area wrestlers qualify for state
ADEL — Six area wrestlers placed either first or second at the Class 2A District 1 Tournament here Saturday, advancing to the 2014 State Wrestling Tournament.
Interstate 35 advanced three wrestlers to state, while Central Decatur sends two and Clarke will have one representative.
Highlighting the field of area competitors advancing to state is Clarke senior 170-pounder Jacob Bair.
Bair lost his opening round match Saturday to 10th-ranked Saydel senior Jake Sherman by a 9-4 decision. Bair then pinned Carlisle's Travis Johnston in 1:40 in the third place match.
With Sherman winning a 4-3 decision over Grinnell's Bryce Lidtka in the championship match, Bair earned a wrestleback match.
With his first state trip on the line, Bair pinned Lidtka in 1:41.
"I'm very happy for Jacob," Clarke head coach Brian Reece said. "He has worked so hard for four years and been close to qualifying a couple of times. It looked pretty bleak as we needed Sherman from Saydel to win in the finals to earn the wrestleback for true second.
"Sherman was losing for most of the match, but got a takedown with two seconds to secure to win. Jacob took full advantage of the opportunity. The match for true second was as aggressive as I have seen Jacob wrestle against a quality opponent. Hopefully he can build on this and end up on the podium Saturday night."
Bair (34-9) opens the state tournament in Thursday's Class 2A session at 9 a.m. Thursday. His opening round match will be against Sioux Center junior Mitchell Sandbulte (35-7).
His next opponent would either be second-ranked Trevor Frain (49-3) of Creston/O-M or Kolton Smith (21-7) of South Tama. Also on Bair's side of the bracket is third-ranked Dalton Folkerts (54-4) of Albia and fourth-ranked Brent Lammers (39-4) of West Delaware.
Roadrunner sophomore Austin Pontier earned his second trip to the state tournament by placing second at 113 pounds Saturday at the district tournament.
Also advancing for Interstate 35 were seniors Lonnie Harper (195) and Bobby Heilman (285).
Pontier lost an 11-2 major decision to seventh-ranked Brady Kyner of Carlisle in the 113-pound finals, but bounced back to win a 4-1 decision over Saydel junior Justin Roepsch in the wrestleback match.
With the win, Pontier (44-10) gets a family reunion in the first round at the state tournament, as he squares off against cousin Kruz Adamson (37-6) of Creston/O-M in the opening round.
Adamson is unranked, but has lost only one match this season since dropping down from 120 pounds to 113 pounds.
The second round matchup for Pontier would be either Clear Lake freshman Ryan Leisure (34-3), ranked fourth in the state, or ninth-ranked BHRV senior Samuel Klarenbeek (40-2).
Third-ranked Brandon Mayer (37-2) of Cresco, fifth-ranked Shea Swafford (38-8) of Mediapolis and sixth-ranked Jacob Fenske (31-7) of Davenport Assumption are also in Pontier's half of the bracket.
Harper lost by fall to Grinnell's Jared Keenan in the finals at 195 pounds on Saturday, but pinned Winterset's Nick Tank in the wrestleback match.
The 10th-ranked senior opens up against Davenport Assumption junior Chase Hager (17-11), but would likely face second-ranked Carter Isley (53-1) of Albia in the second round.
Heilman also picked up a win in a wrestleback match for the Roadrunners. The senior pinned Van Meter's Cole Ridgley in the third-place match in 3:51.
He then decked North Polk's TJ Krehbeil in the wrestleback match to earn a trip to state.
Heilman (40-12) faces third-ranked Hampton-Dumont junior Mario Pena (38-5) in the first round at 285 pounds. His second round opponent would be either Darrian Tillman (40-14) of Sergeant Bluff-Luton or Atlantic's Jezidiah Phippen (35-21).
A pair of Central Decatur juniors also found their way to the state tournament, as Colton Ranney (160) and Trenton Wells (182) both placed second.
Neither had to compete in a wrestleback match.
Ranney lost a 6-2 decision to North Polk's Landon Schuessler in the finals, while Wells dropped a 7-5 decision to Grinnell's Julio Sanchez in the finals.
Ranney (43-13) starts his state tournament against Clarinda sophomore JJ Clark (41-6). Awaiting in the second round would be either eighth-ranked Alex Oswald (34-5) of Webster City or David Trucksess (28-9) of Spirit Lake Park.
Wells (45-6) opens against fourth-ranked Phirom Peterschmidt of Mid Prairie. His second round opponent would be either top-ranked Cash Wilcke (44-1) of OA-BCIG or Chase Reising (26-4) of Oelwein.