116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DES MOINES — Jack Cochrane and Tristan Wirfs have played sports together since they were young kids.
In the fall, Wirfs regularly led the way, blocking for Cochrane on the Mustangs' football field. This time, however, it was Wirfs' turn to follow Cochrane.
The Mount Vernon duo advanced to the quarterfinals of the Iowa High School Athletic Association Class 2A state wrestling tournament Thursday night at Wells Fargo Arena. The Mustangs had three quarterfinalists, including 10th-ranked Tony Garcia at 132.
Wirfs and Cochrane have been baseball, football, track and wrestling teammates for a long time and recorded state meet victories within minutes of each other.
'It's way cool,' Wirfs said. 'We've been friends since we were like two years old. Always playing sports.
'We've basically done everything together.'
Wirfs (36-7) warmed up in the tunnel, awaiting to take the mat and catching glimpses of Cochrane's bout. He received a boost from Cochrane's 8-5 decision over Clarion-Goldfield-Dows' Zach Pogge at 195 pounds.
'I saw him get his hand raised,' Wirfs said. 'It pumped me up a little bit. He came down the tunnel and gave me a high-five and said, 'Let's go,' so I got kind of hyped up there.'
Fifth-ranked Wirfs punched his ticket to the next round, beating Charles City's No. 10 Brody Tupy, 8-3. The junior heavyweight earned his first victory at state, going 0-2 here last year.
'My goal was that I wanted to make it to Friday,' Wirfs said. 'I didn't get to do that last year.
'I got that so now I have to get to Saturday.'
Cochrane (33-9) won in his state debut. He didn't make it out of a tough district last season. Cochrane has steadily improved, learning to dictate match action better.
'A big part is wrestling where I'm comfortable or where I can score points,' Cochrane said. 'I need to get to where I'm comfortable.'
Garcia (26-6) recorded the Mustangs' first win, dropping Perry's No. 8 Kade VanKirk, 6-4.
Hard working is paying dividends for Mount Vernon.
'I'm biased but I think our team works as hard as any team in the state,' Cochrane said. 'It shows at this point.'
South Tama produced one of the top area showings, boasting five quarterfinalists and sitting in fourth place with 17 points. The Trojans won all but one first-round match, getting pins from Tanner Probasco (126), Colton Vest at 132 and 152-pounder Isaac Judge. Bailey Chyma, ranked seventh at 170, added a 10-0 major decision over Davis County's Dylan Henderson.
'We go out and try to win our first match,' South Tama Coach Nathan Van Dyke said. 'That is kind of the goal. We don't talk about scoring bonus points.'
Brady Fritz started the Trojans' round with a 5-4 decision over Webster City's top-ranked Drake Doolittle. The 10th-ranked Fritz wasn't certain who his opponent would be. Doolittle didn't qualify initially, losing a district semifinal by disqualification and placing third. When Greene County's Kane Borgeson couldn't return from injury, Doolittle took his spot against Fritz, who didn't find out until Wednesday night.
'We didn't know who we were going to wrestle,' Van Dyke said. 'We knew the situation. It was kind of nice we didn't have to sit around and worry wrestling one guy or another guy.'
Solon advanced three wrestlers to the quarterfinals and have all four qualifiers remaining. Ben Carr (126), Cole Fritz (145) and fourth-ranked 160-pounder Trevor Nelson all posted first-round decisions.
'It's good,' Solon Coach Blake Williams said. 'Down here, it's just about winning and sometimes it might not be pretty or the best. A win is a win down here.
'You win and move on,' Williams said. 'For those three, it's great to get them through day one, but there's a lot of work (Friday).'
Cole Fritz scored a takedown in overtime to gut out a 3-1 win over South Tama's Jaret Probasco.
'He's gutty as they can be,' Williams said. 'He doesn't wrestle his best at times, but he makes up for it with his heart. If he can put all that together the next couple days he could definitely be in contention.'
Center Point-Urbana's Brock Rathbun improved to 45-0, increasing his win streak to 141 matches. Rathbun dominated Mount Vernon's Justin Light, 16-0. Rathbun is attempting to become the 53rd four-time finalist in state history and the 81st three-time state champion.
'I feel like I have more confidence,' Rathbun said. 'This is my last time. I'm never going to get this back. I'm just leaving everything out on the mat.'
Independence duo Jake Juhl (160) and Nick Holt (170) advanced to the quarterfinals. West Liberty's Joe Kelly (152) and Bryce Esmoil (195) also advanced. Kelly won with a takedown in overtime, while Esmoil scored a fall.
North Fayette Valley state finalist and top-ranked 182-pounder Nick Baumler advanced with a pin and was joined in the quarterfinals by 145-pounder Jared Kerr.
l Comments: (319) 368-8679; firstname.lastname@example.org