DES MOINES — Creston/Orient-Macksburg started day one of Class 2A action at the state wrestling tournament with six entered in the field.
When the sun rises today for day two, there will still be six Panthers in the tournament.
All six Panther wrestlers remain alive after first round and first-round consolation action at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
Mitchel Swank (145), Chase Shiltz (182), Jackson Mikkelsen (195) and Kadon Hulett (220) all won their opening round matches. Trevor Marlin (138) and Cody Tanner (285) stayed alive with consolation round wins.
Creston/O-M sits in fourth in the team standings with 19.5 points. Solon leads with 27 points. Ballard is second with 22 points. New Hampton, which won the Class 2A state dual team tournament Wednesday, is third with 20 points.
“When you go through the bracket, everything went to form,” said Creston/O-M coach Darrell Frain. “Hopefully we can say the same thing tomorrow night. If we do that, I’ll be real happy.”
Creston/O-M senior Jackson Mikkelsen takes wins any way they can come.
Typically he doesn’t win them by pin, but rather by a decision or a major decision.
Thursday, he did something that’s been rare in his senior season.
Mikkelsen finished off his first-round match early, pinning Crestwood’s Trevor Tende in 3:49 at 195 pounds.
“Jackson getting bonus points is big,” Frain said. “It doesn’t matter the level the kid, a big win is a major decision. Even if he won by three points, he thinks it’s a big win.”
Mikkelsen was left smiling after a rare pin.
“I don’t usually pin a lot of people,” Mikkelsen said. “That felt pretty good opening state that way.”
Mikkelsen didn’t show many nerves in his first state experience.
They were calmed Wednesday at the state duals, in warming up.
“I knew coming in I had a pretty good shot of winning it,” Mikkelsen said. “I prepared good all day for it. I knew coming down here before the match that I needed to take a big breath. Coming out and seeing how many people were around was good.”
Chase Shiltz’s quest for a perfect season moved right along in Shiltz-like fashion.
The Panther senior overpowered Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont’s Austin Angle on his way to a pin in 59 seconds.
“He was pretty strong,” Shiltz said. “A lot of kids I wrestle are stronger than me.”
Shiltz kept focused in his quest for a third straight state title.
“Getting that first one is always big,” Shiltz said. “Just go out there and take care of business.”
As focused as he was, he still relished the start of his final state tournament run.
“I’m just taking everything in, soaking it in. It’s my last time, last go-around,” Shiltz said. “I realize how much of an accomplishment it is.”
Few wrestlers have been able to match the size and length Kadon Hulett has.
MOC-Floyd Valley’s Tim Te Grotenhuis was nearly equal to Hulett’s stature.
Hulett showed he was head and shoulders above his Northwest Iowa foe, winning by technical fall 19-4 in 5:35.
“You see that kid? He was huge,” Frain said. “It was good for him.”
Mitchel Swank survived a scary few final seconds of his opening-round match at 145 pounds.
West Delaware's Mitchel Mangold tried to throw Swank in the final four seconds. While he was given credit for the takedown, time expired as Swank held on for a 9-6 win.
“That was something different,” Swank said. “I didn’t know what to think. There was four seconds left — either flee or go after him. I guess he set up that throw and I walked into it.”
Swank nearly ended the match in the first 30 seconds, scoring a quick takedown and three near fall points.
“I knew going in do to my stuff, my style,” Swank said.
For Swank, the win was redemption after he could not complete a 5-1 lead in a first-round loss against PCM’s Xavier Miller. Swank led 5-1, but could not hold it in losing 9-7 in sudden victory.
“I knew I didn’t want that to happen again,” Swank said. “That was pretty disappointing.”
The win brought a sense of joy for Swank and his family in what’s been a very trying time for his family.
Swank was at the funeral of his great aunt and uncle, the Haley's of Benton, who were killed in a house fire last Friday.
It left him visibly drained, and it showed in the match.
Still, Swank won.
“He was tired,” Frain said. “The first thing I told him was I could care less how he got it. He’s through.”
Swank’s teammates have been and continue to be a source of strength and comfort.
“Now he’s back with his teammates. Everything can take care of itself,” Frain said.
Trevor Marlin had been to state twice previously.
He’d left both times in search of a victory.
The Panthers senior took the long road Thursday, but a huge weight was lifted off his shoulders.
Marlin held on for a 7-2 win over East Buchanan's Dawson Riemenschneider in the first-round consolation match.
“It took long enough,” Marlin said. “It feels good to finally get one.”
Cody Tanner’s strength showed at the start of the second period in his first round consolation match against Saydel’s Hunter Jesse.
The Panthers senior overpowered Jesse, pulling Jesse’s shoulders down to the mat to complete the fall in 2:19 to advance.
Tanner took his share of lumps behind some more talented Panther heavyweights as a freshman and a sophomore.
He took care of business in his opportunity in the spotlight.
Tanner now stands one win away from earning a state tournament medal.
Cody Tanner kept his season alive with a first-round consolation pin of Saydel’s Hunter Jesse at 285 pounds.
Tanner is making the most of his time in the spotlight after a couple years on JV.
“We had pretty good heavyweights so he got to be the JV kid. He was OK with that,” Frain said. “Last year we had five heavyweights. He fought all his way through and was the guy.”
Tanner wrenched Jesse down to the mat 18 seconds into the second period to complete the fall.
“Strength-wise we know he can take on anybody,” Frain said. “He wrestled hard.”
Bedford/Lenox senior Sam McMillin had not experienced the atmosphere of the state wrestling tournament before Thursday’s opening round.
He saw first hand just how intense the wrestling is and how slim the margin for error is.
McMillin bowed out of the tournament with a pair of losses at 152 pounds.
“It’s a different atmosphere,” McMillin said. “You’ve got to come back with the same intensity. It’s a lot higher stage of wrestling. There’s nothing easy about it.”
A couple little errors in both matches cost him.
“You’ve got to come out here, don’t make mistakes,” McMillin said. “I made too many mistakes."
McMillin finished his renaissance season at 27-9.
“It was a great run, great experience for me to take back to the community,” McMillin said.
The toughness of the tournament showed.
“It’s hard matches,” said Bedford/Lenox coach Derek Weller. “That’s just the way it works with the draw. But he’s done a great job.”
Creston/Orient-Macksburg results —
First round — 138 — Austin Rozeboom (BHRV) dec. Trevor Marlin (C/O-M) 7-2; 145 — Mitchel Swank (C/O-M) dec. Mitchel Mangold (WD) 9-6; 182 — Chase Shiltz (C/O-M) pinned Austin Angle (EBF) 1:00; 195 — Jackson Mikkelsen (C/O-M) pinned Trevor Tende (Crest) 3:52; 220 — Kadon Hulett (C/O-M) pinned Travis Te Grotenhuis (MOC-FV) 19-4, 5:35; 285 — Tristan Wirfs (MV) dec. Cody Tanner (C/O-M) 9-4.
First round consolation — 138 — Trevor Marlin (C/O-M) dec. Dawson Riemenschneider (EM/GMG) 7-4); 285 — Cody Tanner (C/O-M) pinned Hunter Jesse (SAY) 2:19.
First round — 152 — Isaac Judge (STC) pinned Sam McMillin 3:36. First round consolation — Trae Pecinovsky (CREST) pinned Sam McMillin 3:27.
Top-10 teams — 1. Solon 27.5; 2. Ballard, Huxley 20; 3. New Hampton 19; 4. Creston/Orient-Macksburg 17.5; 5. Spirit Lake Park 16.5; 6. Assumption, Davenport 16; 7. Denver-Tripoli 13; 8. Osage 12; 8. Washington 12; 10. Atlantic 11; 10. Mount Vernon 11.Hawkeye 10 teams — 16. Harlan 8; 72. Clarinda 1; 73. Shenandoah 0. 73. Kuemper Catholic 0.