DES MOINES — The Creston/Orient-Macksburg wrestlers didn’t need any extra motivation entering Thursday’s state tournament.
But then the Panthers on Wednesday came a whisker short of beating eventual Class 2-A state dual champion Davenport Assumption in the semifinals. Coach Darrell Frain was asked if that perhaps sharpened their focus.
“Definitely,” he said. “They were disappointed. You probably don’t turn the page completely. It does fuel the fire. We had kids who won today that lost yesterday who came back and had some great wins.”
After day one of the three-day traditional tournament, Creston/O-M leads the 2-A team chase with 19 points, just ahead of New Hampton (18.5), Assumption (18) and South Tama County (17).
Creston/O-M sent six of its eight qualifiers into the quarterfinals: junior Jacob Goodson (113), No. 2 senior Wyatt Thompson (138), No. 7 senior Cameron Leith (160), No. 1 junior Chase Shiltz (170), No. 3 senior Seth Maitlen (195) and No. 3 junior Kadon Hulett (220). Sophomore Mitchel Swank (145) stayed alive with a consolation win.
“As a coach you tell them, ‘We’re here to win, so it doesn’t matter who you have first round,’” Frain said. “But we had some really tough matches. For the most part we did really well.”
Western Iowa sent 17 of its 33 wrestlers into Friday’s quarterfinals. Nine of the 16 first-round losers stayed alive with consolation wins. In addition to Creston, Atlantic and Sergeant Bluff-Luton moved three each to the quarterfinals, Glenwood and Clarinda added two apiece and Harlan advanced one.
Thompson and Maitlen provided Creston’s most dramatic wins.
After a scoreless six minutes, Thompson took down No. 5 Kirk Mommsen of Davenport Assumption in the sudden-victory period to win 2-0.
Maitlen scored a reversal with 14 seconds left in the ultimate tiebreaker period for a 4-2 win over No. 5 Matt McMillan of Independence. They had met in Des Moines the last two years, splitting those matches.
“I’ve been in that situation before in other tournaments and it turned against me,” Maitlen said. “This time it turned out.”
Said Frain: “That Seth Maitlen, he’s got guts. He’s a leader for a reason, because everybody sees him fight like that.”
At 132, Clarinda’s No. 6 Austin Gutknecht squeezed out a 2-1 tiebreaker victory over No. 4 Chase Lienhard of Crestwood, after Lienhard was penalized a point for stalling.
No. 2 J.J. Clark (182) also advanced for Clarinda.
Unrated Glenwood sophomore Trevor Anderson had one of the biggest wins from WI in 2-A, rallying from deficits of 3-0 and 5-1 to upset No. 5 Nate Lasher of Charles City 7-6.
Glenwood’s other quarterfinalist is No. 1 Matt Malcom (152). Atlantic’s three first-round winners were No. 8 Kole Hansen (106), No. 7 Carter Cox (113) and No. 8 Zac Stork (182).
Sergeant Bluff-Luton advanced No. 4 Rhyker Sims (120), No. 2 Brayden Curry (126) and No. 6 Preston Dunn (152). Harlan moved Jacob Wingert (160) into the quarterfinals.
Team scoring: 1, Creston/Orient-Macksburg 19; 2, New Hampton 18.5; 3, Davenport Assumption 18; 4, South Tama 17; 5, Mediapolis 15.5.
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