Prep Wrestling

Ashton Stoner-DeGroot helps Cedar Rapids Prairie pin Iowa City High

Junior 195-pounder hits unusual in his second match back from injury

CEDAR RAPIDS — Uncommon. Unorthodox.

Undeniably effective this night for Cedar Rapids Prairie’s 195-pounder Ashton Stoner-DeGroot.

The 6-foot-2 junior used his length for an advantage, cinching up a rare leg cradle for a first-period fall and securing the Hawks’ 44-30 victory over Iowa City High at home Thursday night in a Mississippi Valley Conference prep wrestling dual.

Stoner-DeGroot has tried the move in practice against friends, but this was the first time he executed it in competition, recording one of Prairie’s four falls.

“It was there when I was trying to work a cradle,” Stoner-DeGroot said of his pin of Mohammad Abdallah in 1:52. “It ended up working out.”

Prairie Coach Kane Thompson admitted to being more of a traditionalist, giving wrestlers some leeway in trying moves if they are successful. He said Stoner-DeGroot enjoys wrestling and brought that to the mat, scoring five takedowns and building a 10-4 lead.

“This sport needs some of that fun and that flair,” Thompson said. “He came out and got a lot of takedowns then went to work on top. He saw an opportunity to hit a pretty fun move and took advantage of it.”

The match was just the second for the state medalist. He was sporting a large elbow brace, returning from an injured ulnar collateral ligament during football. He did not like being a spectator for most of the first two weeks.

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“It sucks just watching my teammates out there competing,” Stoner-DeGroot said. “I’m just glad to be back.”

Stoner-DeGroot is one of four ranked Hawks. He continues to adjust to the large brace, improving his ability to hit moves without issue. The goal is to get back to state with hopes of a top-three finish after placing sixth last season.

“He’s only going to get better as the year goes on,” Thompson said, “and he feels stronger.”

Prairie (3-1, 3-1 MVC) opened with a 15-0 lead, getting a fall in 1:55 from 106-pounder Hunter Kalous and a 5-2 decision from Austin Steuhm at 120. Three-time state medalist Conrad Braswell (132) pinned Michael Santoro in 1:21. Logan Andeway set the stage for Stoner-DeGroot, decking Jackson Ernst in 1:44 at 182.

Colton LaGrange, ranked 10th, used five takedowns and six nearfall for an 18-3 technical fall over Kevin Berg at 160 for the Hawks, who had a strong week of practice after a weekend loss to Linn-Mar.

“We’ll just keep getting better,” Thompson said. “I honestly feel that way.

“Our lineup is going to get better and the kids it are going to get better.”

City High (3-5, 1-2) received pins from Garrett Bormann at 126, eighth-ranked Kyle Hefley at 152, Brandon Lalla (160) and No. 4-ranked heavyweight Jacob Murry. The Little Hawks were without state medalist and top-ranked 106-pounder Ethan Wood-Finley.

AT C.R. PRAIRIE

C.R. Prairie 44, Iowa City High 30

(Individual takedowns in parentheses)

106 pounds — Hunter Kalous (CRP) pinned Gavin Lindaman, 1:55 (1,0); 113 — Austin Kegley (CRP) won by forfeit; 120 — Austin Steuhm (CRP) dec. Reese Hayden, 5-2 (2,0); 126 — Garrett Bormann (ICH) pinned Blaine Stepanek, 3:36 (2,0); 132 — Conrad Braswell (CRP) pinned Michael Santoro, 1:21 (1,0); 138 — Johnny Washburn (CRP) won by forfeit; 145 — Ryan Ceynar (ICH) dec. Brady Nicewanner, 7-3 (3,0); 152 — Kyle Hefley (ICH) pinned Bronson Kepner, 1:02 (1,0); 160 — Colton LaGrange (CRP) tech. fall Kevin Berg, 18-3 (5,0); 170 — Brandon Lalla (ICH) pinned Nick Pearson, 5:44 (2,0); 182 — Logan Andeway (CRP) pinned Jackson Ernst, 1:44 (1,0); 195 — Ashton Stoner-DeGroot (CRP) pinned Mohammad Abdallah, 1:52 (5,0); 220 — Jason Lemus (ICH) dec. Jack Halvorson, 5-2 (2,1); Hwt. — Jacob Murry (ICH) pinned Jordan Jacobus, 1:19 (1,0).

MEET STATISTICS

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Takedowns — C.R. Prairie 16, City High 11. Reversals — C.R. Prairie 1, City High 0. Escapes — C.R. Prairie 5, City High 13. Nearfall points — C.R. Prairie 11, City High 5. Penalty points (awarded) — C.R. Prairie 0, City High 0. Total match points — C.R. Prairie 50, City High 40.

l Comments: (319) 368-8679; kj.pilcher@thegazette.com

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