Solon, New Hampton battle for Class 2A state wrestling title

Less than four points separate top two teams entering finals

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DES MOINES — The Class 2A team race between Solon and New Hampton remains tight, heading into the championship matches.

The Spartans reclaimed the lead after the 2A consolation finals of the state wrestling tournament at Wells Fargo Arena. Solon had five medalists and took a 91 1/2-88 lead over New Hampton into Saturday night’s finale.

Solon received a boost from Ben Carr. The ninth-ranked 138-pounder recorded a fall in the third-place match against No. 3 Tanner Abbas, of Clarion CGD.

Heavyweight Tyler Linderbaum finished fifth and Trevor Nelson was sixth at 160 for Solon.

New Hampton faltered in the consolation round Saturday morning, going 0-5. The Chickasaws have three finalists in Michael Millage (126), 138-pounder Keaton Geerts and Ryan Gorman at 160.

Solon counters with Bryce and Drew West in the finals at 120 and 126, respectively. The team title could be decided in the 126 final that features two former state champions. Drew West won the Class 1A 106-pound title in 2014 and Millage won the 2A 106 title in 2015.

West Liberty has a shot at a top-five finish. The Comets are in sixth place with 61 points, five shy of fifth-place Ballard, and have top-ranked 195-pounder Bryce Esmoil in the finals. Will Esmoil, Bryce’s brother, and Joe Kelly placed third at 106 and 152, respectively, for West Liberty.

Washington (Iowa) also tripled up on medals, including Kyle Anderson and Tristin Westphal-Edwards. Anderson was sixth at 126 and Westphal-Edwards was seventh at 160. The Demons were in 10th with 43 points with 152-pounder Trey Van Weelden in the finals.

The Gazette area had a trio of state medalists at three weights. Vinton-Shellsburg’s Carter Weeks and Union's Jack Thomsen joined Will Esmoil on the podium at 106. Weeks finished fifth, while Thomsen came in seventh.

South Tama’s Colton Vest was fifth at 138, while Dyersville Beckman’s Jake Recker was eighth, joining Carr.

At 145 pounds, unranked Mitchell Mangold matched Will Esmoil, winning five straight matches after an opening-round loss. Mangold battled back to place third. Austin Hazelett, of Washington (Iowa) was fifth. Mount Vernon’s Paul Ryan finished eighth

Ryan was one of two Mustangs to place, beside heavyweight finalist Tristan Wirfs. Sam Moore reached the semifinals Friday and placed sixth at 195.

The Wamac Conference had 12 wrestlers place third through eighth.

Benton Community’s Blade Durbala reached the podium with a fourth-place finish at 220. South Tama had three medalists overall, including seventh-place 126-pounder Brady Fritz. Center Point-Urbana’s Caleb Fuessley (113) and Beckman’s Cody Feldman (152) were eighth.

Monticello sophomore Chase Luensman forged his way to the 113-pound semifinals. He finished the state tournament with a winning mark and placed fifth.

Mid-Prairie’s lone qualifier made the awards stand. Visouth Peterschmidt finish fourth at 182.

North Fayette Valley boasted two medalists. In addition to 220-pound finalist Jordan Baumler, heavyweight Ethan Lape was fourth.

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