DES MOINES — It might not have been the finish Jacob Bair wanted, but it was still a successful end to his high school wrestling career here at the 2014 State Wrestling Tournament, as he advanced to the quarterfinal round.
“Obviously a little disappointing to him to not make the podium, but I thought he wrestled really well,” Clarke head coach Brian Reece said. “He was pretty aggressive in his matches and the thing I told him afterward is he has nothing to be ashamed of. He has a lot to still be proud of.”
The senior 170-pounder opened his first career appearance in the state tournament by pinning Sioux Center’s Mitchell Sandbulte in 2:21 to advance to the quarterfinal round.
In the quarterfinals, Bair ran into a tough opponent in second-ranked Trevor Frain, who would go on to place sixth. Frain won an 8-1 decision over Bair to send him into the consolation bracket.
“He just never could get his offense going,” Reece said about the match against Frain. “Trevor’s really hard to get out of position and score on. He’s a strong wrestler. Jacob Knew that. Knowing that Trevor is really difficult to score on kind of got in our head a little bit.”
Needing just one win on the consolation side to guarantee himself a spot on the podium, Bair ran into a stroke of bad luck in his match against Wahlert Dubuque’s Weslee Haynes in a 5-4 decision.
“He turned him with 22 seconds left to tie the match 4-4 and then went out of bounds,” Reece said. “Had a couple more restarts and the last restart with 10 seconds left, he wrestled him and heard a whistle and stopped wrestling on the whistle and the kid got an escape to win 5-4.
“I know he’s upset about that. That’s one of those things, this being his first time down there, that’ll happen sometimes the first time there. I thought he wrestled well again, just one of those things where he was about three seconds away from being in overtime.”
Even though his career ended without a state medal, it’s still been a successful career for Bair, who has topped 100 wins and will go down as one of the winningest wrestlers in school history.
“Now that the season is over and his career is over, we can look back and reflect on what sort of career he had,” Reece said. “I know he’s in the top three or four in terms of program wins for a career. He’s meant a lot to the wrestling program over the last four years. He’s been a good voice for us and a good recruiter. He’s going to be hard to replace next year for sure.”