HARLAN – Creston /O-M wrestling will be represented in two different weight brackets at the Wells Fargo Arena Thursday for the Tradition State Wrestling Tournament.
Jackson Kinsella and Beau Barncastle punched their ticket to state Saturday placing first and second in the 170 and 182 brackets, respectively.
Kinsella’s road to a state bid was tough, not only for him but for all others in the bracket as well.
Kinsella had his weight class boast a combined 131-48 record and showed that all qualified wrestlers had no clear advantage when it came to looking at the bracket outlook.
However, that changed as Class 2A No. 4 Kinsella took the mat. Kinsella breezed through the 170 bracket, pinning Greene County’s Brock Wuebker before beating Harlan’s Carter Bendorf in a 13-5 major decision for the 170 championship.
Kinsella’s dual versus Wuebker almost ran one period, but Wuebker could not hold off a powerful Kinsella long enough to get the whistle, falling by pin in 1:54.
“A lot of kids had some really good records, but they hadn’t seen the competition I had all year with going to Kansas City and every tournament we went to on the weekends,” said Kinsella. “I was confident.”
Kinsella’s first place match saw him get five takedowns and a near fall over Bendorf, with Bendorf’s only points coming from escapes.
“I was kind of nervous out there in the finals. It wasn’t one of my best offensive showings but I still got it done,” said Kinsella.
Creston/O-M head coach Cody Downing knew it was a tough bracket to come out of, but had faith in his man.
“It was a deep bracket, so we had to show up and wrestle and he did,” said Downing. “I thought we (Kinsella) looked really good on our feet and we really controlled both matches. It was a good day for him and he should have a lot of momentum going into state.”
For Barncastle, the route to state in 182 was not as easy.
Barncastle picked up a pin in 5:12 in the semifinals, but faced a tough opponent in Jakob Childs of Clarinda in the finals. A 6-2 match loss for Barncastle was closer than scoring dictated, with Childs creating separation in the final minute.
A match that had half a dozen stoppages due to blood time, it seemed to have iced Barncastle from getting any momentum against Childs early in the match.
Barncastle saw Childs pull away after escaping his control in the final 30 seconds, getting smothered by Childs as time expired to keep him from gaining any opportunity to get points.
A frustrated Barncastle came out in the wrestleback and faced Sergeant Bluff-Luton’s Tristan Navrkal.
The action did not kick off until the final minute, with Barncastle nearly pinning Navrkal. Navrkal reversed, causing Barncastle to get rolled into a nearfall, but Navrkal lost control and Barncastle reversed back into being on top.
However, with 30 seconds on the clock Navrkal managed to escape, to go ahead at 8-7.
Barncastle, with his eye on the clock, went after Navrkal for a takedown and got him to the mat with 13 seconds left.
On top of his opponent, seconds away from a state bid, there was only one thing going through Barncastle’s head as Navrkal tried to force himself out from underneath.
“(I knew I had) To ride him out the best I could and to trust my training and everything,” said Barncastle. “With as hard as I go in practice, I knew I could grind him out in practice the second I got my takedown.”
In only his second year wrestling, the process to have an opportunity to wrestle at the state championship level has been challenging for Barncastle.
“It’s definitely been a grind. It’s been a challenge not only physically, but mentally,” said Barncastle. “Finally being here it’s the greatest feeling in the world.”
“You can tell he beats people with his conditioning and he’s really explosive,” said Downing on Barncastle. “He still has some stuff that hurts him at times because he’s doesn’t have that experience, but he’s earned this trip.”
The Panther wrestlers as a team placed seventh with 51.0 points, finishing ahead of Greene County (37.0), Kuemper Catholic (18.0) and Southwest Iowa (0.0).
The class 2A District 4 front runner was Sergeant Bluff-Luton with 124.5 points.
Outside of the Kinsella and Barncastle, the C/O-M boys had another strong outing from Garon Wurster.
Wurster (132) fell by pin to Sergeant Bluff-Luton’s No. 2 Jack Gaukel by pin, giving him an opportunity to work his way back in the wrestleback.
A pin on Harlan’s Wyatt Obrecht had Wurster face Winterset’s No. 4 Kruise Kiburz for second place.
Kiburz out wrestled Wurster, winning by technical fall at the conclusion of the second period.
“That’s probably two guys that have a legit shot to be finalists next week,” said Downing in reference to Gaukel and Kiburz. “Yeah, he’s not a qualifier, but that is maybe one of the toughest districts in the state at any weight class. I think those guys can meet in the finals next week.”
Creston/O-M saw only one match win outside of Kinsella, Barncastle and Wurster. Kaden Bolton fell by major decision to Atlantic’s Joe Weaver (9-1), winning the third place match against Winterset’s Jensen Kaldenberg in a 9-3 decision. He did not receive a wrestleback.
“We were close. This is a really good district,” said Downing. “I thought maybe we could sneak a couple in. ... We’ll build from this. It’s a building team.”
UP NEXT – Kinsella and Barncastle are headed to Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines Thursday to continue their wrestling season in hopes of winning a state title.
Kinsella will see Oelwein’s Bryan Graves (39-6) in the first round and Barncastle will see Washington’s Tristen Westphal (39-0) in his first dual.
For Kinsella, ‘The Well’ is something he’s seen before.
“I made it there and got second there in junior high, so it won’t be my first time there,” said Kinsella. “I just have to do what I’ve done and I think I’ll be fine.”
With another tough bracket ahead of him, Barncastle’s attitude is set on giving 110 percent.
“I’m going to expect the best and nothing less than that and i’m going to give it my best shot,” said Barncastle.
Final team standings
1. Sergeant Bluff-Luton 124.5; 2. Atlantic 85; 3. Harlan 79; 4. Red Oak 69; 5. Winterset 68; 6. Clarinda 54; 7. Creston/O-M 51; 8. Greene County 37; 9. Kuemper Catholic 18; 10. Southwest Iowa (Sidney) 0.
106 — Champ: Garrett McLaren (ATL) dec. Tyler Halloran (CLA) 6-3; Consol: Jake Porter (WINT) tech. fall Braden Gallagher (GC) 5:37, 23-8; Wrestleback: Halloran (CLA) dec. Porter (Winterset) 11-4.
113 — Champ: Brayden Graff (SBL) tech. fall Johnathon Erp (Red Oak) 4:00 17-2; Consol: Benjamin Schmitz (KC) pinned Kyle Kesterson (SIS) 3:04; No wrestleback.
120 — Champ: Nate Curry (SBL) dec. Joe Weaver (ATL) 6-4; Consol: Kaden Bolton (C/O-M) dec. Jensen Kaldenberg (Winterset) 9-3; No wrestleback.
126 — Champ: Bryce Hatten (WINT) dec. Ethan Lemon (Harlan) 8-1; Consol: Shea Parkis (KC) dec. Beau Thompson (C/O-M) 2-1; Wrestleback: Lemon (HAR) pinned Parkis (KC) 5:54.
132 — Champ: Jack Gaukel (SBL) maj. dec. Kruise Kiburz (WINT) 13-5; Consol: Garon Wurster (C/O-M) pinned Wyatt Obrecht (HARL) 3:36; Wrestleback: Kiburz (WINT) tech. fall Wurster (C/O-M) 4:00, 16-1.
138 — Champ: Chase McLaren (ATL) tech. fall Issac Bryan (Sergeant Bluff-Luton) 4:23 17-2; Consol: Cam Vanderhoof (RO) pinned Colton Hauschild (SIS) 1:37; No wrestleback.
145 — Champ: Jack West (WINT) dec. Oscar Olmos (HARL) 9-7; Consol: Kadin Stutzman (ATL) tech. fall Mister McNaughton (SIS) 5:30, 15-0; Wrestleback: Olmos (HARL) dec. Stutzman (ATL) 9-6.
152 — Champ: Easton Graff (SBL) pinned Connor Pellett (ATL) 1:01; Consol: Tyler Brown (WINT) dec. Rylan Luther (C/O-M) 13-6; No wrestleback.
160 — Champ: Justin McCunn (RO) pinned Blake Liebe (SBL) 1:25; Consol: Joel Ward (GC) pinned Brady Barringer (WINT) 2:58; Wrestleback: Liebe (SBL) maj. dec. Ward (Greene County) 13-2.
170 — Champ: Jackson Kinsella (C/O-M) maj. dec. Carter Bendorf (HARL) 13-5; Consol: Brock Wuebker (GC) pinned Kade Forsyth (WINT) 2:11; Wrestleback: Wuebker (GC) pinned Bendorf (HARL) 4:17.
182 — Champ: Jakob Childs (CLAR) dec. Beau Barncastle (C/O-M) 6-2; Consol: Tristan Navrkal (SBL) pinned Clint Dennhardt (GC) 3:45; Wrestleback: Barncastle (C/O-M) dec. Navrkal (SBL) 9-8.
195 — Champ: Thomas Bentley (RO) pinned Bryce Hoyle (GC) 1:02; Consol: Crew Howard (CLAR) pinned Gabe Warren (SBL) 3:50; No wrestleback.
220 — Champ: Joseph Arkfeld (HARL) pinned Cale Roller (ATL) 5:07; Consol: Colton Kinnison (RO) dec. Trevor Kinyon (C/O-M) 2-0; Wrestleback: Roller (ATL) dec. Kinnison (RO) 4-3.
285 — Champ: Derec Weyer (HARL) pinned Storm Howard (CLA) 1:14; Consol: AJ Ellington (SBL) pinned Andy Weis (C/O-M) 0:29; No wrestleback.