LE MARS, Iowa — Sam Jameson has been part of small Glenwood trips to the Iowa state wrestling tournament. Good times.
But this year's group of qualifiers will need a lot more space.
Two Rams won their weights and five more stayed alive as runners-up during Saturday's Class 3-A district meet at Le Mars High School. Sioux City North advanced six, while no other school qualified more than four for this week's state tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
“It was a lot of fun with just those few guys,” Jameson said. “Now having seven, I think it's going to be a blast.”
In a rare matchup of ranked wrestlers Saturday, No. 9 Jameson decisioned 10th-ranked Dalton Hanson of Sioux City North 9-2 at 126 pounds. Cole Peckham (113) also earned a district title, while Chase Evans (106), Jesse Bendt (138) and Hunter Hoffmann (182) moved on to state despite losing their finals matches. Matt Malcom (120) and Alex Killpack (285) won true-second wrestlebacks to advance for Glenwood.
“We honestly thought we were the best team here, and they thought they were the best wrestlers here,” Rams coach Brad Asche said. “That's the attitude they came in here with, and they're walking out ready to go get hardware down at Wells Fargo.”
Class 3-A state action begins Thursday at 2 p.m.
Sioux City North won the team title with 216 points. Glenwood (197 points), Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson (151) and Sioux City East (124.5) followed in the eight-team meet. Council Bluffs Lewis Central (109.5) was fifth, snapping a three-year run of district titles.
Making return state trips for Sioux City North will be Hanson, No. 9 Shane Gill (120 pounds), No. 2 Dustin Fuller (170) and Gage Martin (160). Also going are district champ Alberto Jurado (132), ranked 10th, and runner-up Deion Clayborne (145).
“Not that winning the district is the end-all, tell-all, but it just gives you some momentum to come into the state meet with,” North coach John Torno said. “Everybody knows that momentum at the state meet is what it takes to place or not place.”
Thomas Jefferson had four qualifiers — all of whom finished the day unbeaten. Ninth-rated sophomore Jason Wallace (138) and senior Charles Weaver (145) cruised to their second straight state berths. Sixth-rated freshman Colton Clingenpeel (106) will join them along with senior Kenny Rhodd (195), who clinched a back-and-forth match with Le Mars' Chris Hiserote after a second-period pin.
“You can't ask for much more out of those four,” T.J. coach August Manz said. “They did what they needed to do today, and all four looked pretty good. It's a good thing going into the state tournament wrestling like that.”
Lewis Central advanced three to state. C.B. Abraham Lincoln managed one.
No. 8 Austin Lear (182) and No. 10 Zach Renshaw (285) won district crowns for the Titans. No. 8 Ethan Ruby (152) shook off a finals upset — Sioux City East's Drake Swedlund turned a late deficit into a pin — by later winning his wrestleback 10-1.
Renshaw beat Killpack in the finals 5-2 two weeks after losing to the Glenwood senior at their conference meet.
“I definitely wanted to see him again,” Renshaw said. “I want nothing less than a state title, and that's what I'm going for this year.”
Lynx senior Jordan Peterson (113) — his team's lone qualifier — finished second and will head to state for a second consecutive year. Heavyweight Jordan Bywater, who joined Peterson last season, fell to Killpack 5-2 in a semifinal.
“It was disappointing,” A.L. coach Mat Daniels said. “I think wrestling is all about confidence — we've wrestled these guys before and they have beaten us. We just weren't ready to go today.”
Team scoring: 1, Sioux City North 216; 2, Glenwood 197; 3, CB Thomas Jefferson 151; 4, Sioux City East 124.5; 5, CB Lewis Central 109.5; 6, Sioux City West 99; 7, Le Mars 96; 8, CB Abraham Lincoln 86.
Championship matches: 106 pounds: Colton Clingenpeel, TJ, major dec. Chase Evans, Glen, 13-0. 113: Cole Peckham, Glen, dec. Jordan Peterson, AL, 5-0. 120: Shane Gill, North, dec. Matt Malcom, Glen, 11-5. 126: Sam Jameson, Glen, dec. Dalton Hanson, North, 9-2. 132: Alberto Jurado, North, major dec. Seth Warren, 10-2. 138: Jason Wallace, TJ, dec. Jesse Bendt, Glen, 8-2. 145: Charles Weaver, TJ, pinned Deion Clayborne, North, 1:46. 152: Drake Swedlund, East, pinned Ethan Ruby, LC, 5:39. 160: Mitchell Otto, East, dec. Ryan Nightser, LC, 10-6. 170: Dustin Fuller, North, pinned Calvin Buchanan, 0:30. 182: Austin Lear, LC, dec. Hunter Hoffmann, Glen, 4-2. 195: Kenny Rhodd, TJ, pinned Chris Hiserote, LM, 4:00. 220: Anthony Combs, West, pinned Tyler Drey, North, 3:43. 285: Zach Renshaw, LC, dec. Alex Killpack, Glen, 5-2.
True-second wrestlebacks: 120: Malcom, Glen, pinned Robbie Finch, AL, 5:03. 132: Marco Rojas, West, pinned Warren, Glen, 1:21. 152: Ruby, LC, major dec. Taron Flemister, West, 10-1. 160: Gage Martin, North, pinned Nightser, LC, 2:53. 170: Buchanan, East, pinned Kris Donner, West, 1:31. 195: Hiserote, LM, dec. Logan Ruth, Glen, 3-2. 220: Brandon Cabney, East, major dec. Drey, North, 14-3. 285: Killpack, Glen, pinned Max Stewart, North, 2:58.