RED OAK – The Hawkeye 10 Conference Wrestling title is staying in Creston for another year.
A banner day for the Panthers saw them claim their 11th title in Hawkeye 10 Conference Tournament history and their second in a row, scoring 257.5 points.
It’s the first time the Panthers have won the tournament in back-to-back seasons since ’15-16, which was the back end of a five-peat of Conference titles.
Every Panther who laced up Saturday found a podium spot, seven of which wrestled for first-place. Creston/O-M head coach Cody Downing said it’s been some time since the Panthers have had that much success in putting that quantity of wrestlers on a podium.
“I don’t remember the last time we did that. It’s been five or six years, at least,” said Downing. “Two years ago we were fifth in the conference. It’s just been a build up of grinding it out, getting better every day, bringing some young guys in who can push the pace. Our depth showed a little bit (Saturday). We got all 14 in and we’ll be ready to go next week.”
Christian Ahrens (113), Keaton Street (145), Andy Weis (182) and Chris Wilson (285) wrestled in gold singlets, but fell in their respective final for second-place. The four combined for eight wins, four of which were pins, and scored a combined 81 points.
For Ahrens, his slot was filled by Lincoln Keeler last week, but due to injury, he was put back into the lineup.
“(Ahrens) picked up a lot of team points for us and bailed us out where we didn’t have to open a weight or only bring 13 guys,” said Downing. “You put a quality guy in there [and you’re fine]. I think Lincoln is going to be okay, but it’s good to have that type of depth.”
Of those who placed, only three were on top of the podium.
Class 2A No. 2 at 195 Jackson Kinsella continued his torrid season for the Panthers, claiming his third consecutive Hawkeye 10 title with a major decision win in the 195 final. A pin in 39 seconds on Kuemper Catholic’s Connor Hays and a pin in the final minute of the third period on Clarinda’s Cole Rindour (Class 2A No. 8 at 195) led to a 21-8 major decision in the 195 final over Harlan’s Jesse Schwery.
The production from Kinsella in the conference tournament was a good push for him, said Downing, and that his level of success is not as easy as he makes it out to look.
“He makes it look way easier [than it looks]. He needed those matches today to get pushed,” said Downing. “Rindour pushed him in the semis, ... the score was lopsided but he went six (minutes). That’s huge for him. ... Everyone expects it to happen, but it’s not as easy as it seems.”
Triston Barncastle grinded out a 9-6 decision win at 132, taking down John Helton of St. Albert.
After trailing by one through the first period at 4-3, Barncastle gained ground on points and got insurance on a near-fall to lock up his first conference title. Before the final decision, Barncastle pinned Michael Mayer of Clarinda in the semifinals and Jackson Edwards of Lewis Central in the quarterfinals to get a shot at first.
At 152, Kaden Bolton’s work paid off for him with a first-period pin on Glenwood’s Tate Mayberry at 1:55. Entering Saturday, Bolton had wrestled to the finals in each of the last three conference tournaments, but ended as runner-up in each one.
Downing acknowledged the big win for Bolton, saying he’s catching fire at just the right time and is chasing big goals.
“Kaden Bolton, a four time conference finalist, got his first (Saturday),” said Downing. “I’ve never seen him wrestle better than where he’s at right now. I like where he’s at.”
Prior to the first-place finish, Bolton got a major decision win on Clarinda’s Tyler Raybourn and back-to-back pins on Logan Koch of Lewis Central and Carter Weiland of Kuemper Catholic.
With 62 points from the first-place finishers and 81 from the runner-up finishers, the seven would have tied for sixth with Lewis Central in the team points race (143) had they wrestled as a separate team.
“I thought our final round was really good. Half of them went to the finals, so I can’t complain,” said Downing.
Falling into consolation and battling back for a third-place finish was Justin Parsons (106), Austin Evans (120), Brandon Briley (126) and Briley Hayes (160).
Out of the four, Evans and Hayes were able to win and finish third. Parsons fell in sudden victory to Kuemper Catholic’s Riley Parkis and Briley was on the losing end of a 13-5 major decision by Lewis Central’s Tabor Dominguez, who won the conference title at 126 in 2020.
Wrestling for fifth was Garon Wurster (138), who is still in the process of getting his legs back under him after breaking an orbital bone earlier in the season. After having the decisive points in a 9-7 loss to Lewis Central’s David Helton put him in consolation, Wurster technical falled and pinned opponents before losing to Clarinda’s Kale Downey to put him in the fifth-place match.
Wurster then won a 9-5 decision over Glenwood’s Kellan Scott.
“We’re still not quite there yet. This week will be big,” said Downing on Wurster, who was the 2019 Hawkeye 10 title holder for the 138 weight. “I think you’ll see the best of what he’s got Saturday (at Sectionals). ... He had Downey, had him beat towards the end of the match and just the gas tank is not quite full yet.”
Also wrestling for fifth was Kaden Street (170) and Max Chapman (220), both of whom lost in decisions. Street fell in a 10-5 decision, finishing the day 1-3, and Chapman fell in a 13-9 decision, also closing the day at 1-3.
With Sectionals now on the horizon next weekend, the Panthers go back to the wrestling room without any distractions to gear up for a state push.
“We feel good. We have another week of no meets, no interruptions, can lock in and fix a few things for Saturday,” said Downing. “Our goal is to bring our best the next week or the week after. I like where we’re at and have another week to get better.”
UP NEXT – Creston/O-M wrestles their leg of Sectionals at Glenwood, in Class 2A Sectional 5. Also headed to Glenwood are Clarinda, Red Oak, Shenandoah, Southwest Iowa and Glenwood. Sectionals kick off at noon Saturday.
Team scores – 1. Creston/O-M 257.5; 2. Clarinda 185.5; 3. Atlantic 182. 5; 4. Glenwood 177; 5. Harlan 162; 6. Lewis Central 143; 7. Kuemper Catholic 90; 8. St. Albert 85; 9. Red Oak 70.5; 10. Denison-Schleswig 46; 11. Shenandoah 32.
106 – 1. Vincent Mayberry (Glenwood) pinned Kaden Whipp (Clarinda) 1:32; 3. Riley Parkis (Kuemper Catholic, Carroll) dec. Justin Parsons (Creston Orient Macksburg) SV-1 6-4; 5. Josh Hass (Atlantic) tech. fall Ava McNeal (Lewis Central, Council Bluffs) TF-1.5 5:56 (16-0).
113 – 1. Luke Freund (Harlan) pinned Christian Ahrens (Creston Orient Macksburg) 2:46; 3. Brandon Erp (Red Oak) pinned Cruz Weaver (Atlantic) 1:17; 5. Briten Maxwell (Glenwood) pinned Hailey Williams (Lewis Central, Council Bluffs) 1:27.
120 – 1. Tanner Wink (Lewis Central, Council Bluffs) dec. Ethan Follmann (Atlantic) 4-1; 3. Austin Evans (Creston Orient Macksburg) pinned Hugo Medina (Denison) 0:35; 5. Tytan Frohlich (Harlan) dec. Joshua LeRette (Red Oak) 10-4; 7. Ayden Sunderman (Clarinda) pinned Jake Hausman (Kuemper Catholic, Carroll) 3:35.
126 – 1. Joe Weaver (Atlantic) dec. Luke Musich (Harlan) 9-8; 3. Taber Dominguez (Lewis Central, Council Bluffs) maj. dec. Brandon Briley (Creston Orient Macksburg) 13-5; 5. Chase Sandholm (Red Oak) pinned Leland Woodruff (Clarinda) 1:17; 7. Mathew Crawley (St Albert, Council Bluffs) pinned Thaine Williamson (Glenwood) 5:29.
132 – 1. Triston Barncastle (Creston Orient Macksburg) dec. John Helton (St Albert, Council Bluffs) 9-6; 3. Jaxson Bell (Atlantic) dec. Michael Mayer (Clarinda) 9-4; 5. Owen Laughlin (Shenandoah) dec. Trevor Hargens (Glenwood) 9-7; 7. Jackson Edwards (Lewis Central, Council Bluffs) dec. Tanner Higby (Kuemper Catholic, Carroll) 7-0.
138 – 1. Shea Parkis (Kuemper Catholic, Carroll) dec. Brian Paul (Lewis Central, Council Bluffs) 1-0; 3. Kale Downey (Clarinda) dec. David Helton (St Albert, Council Bluffs) 7-0; 5. Garon Wurster (Creston Orient Macksburg) dec. Kellan Scott (Glenwood) 9-5; 7. Landon Newquist (Shenandoah) pinned Luis Mendoza (Denison) 3:49.
145 – 1. Dawson Bond (Red Oak) maj. dec. Keaton Street (Creston Orient Macksburg) 13-4; 3. Karson Downey (Clarinda) pinned Dalton McKinley (Harlan) 3:29; 5. Brian South (Atlantic) pinned Zack Winslow (Lewis Central, Council Bluffs) 4:24; 7. Gavin Connell (Glenwood) pinned Andrew Crawley (St Albert, Council Bluffs) 1:45.
152 – 1. Kaden Bolton (Creston Orient Macksburg) pinned Tate Mayberry (Glenwood) 1:55; 3. Tanner O`Brien (Atlantic) dec. Tyler Raybourn (Clarinda) 2-0; 5. Camren Mardesen (St Albert, Council Bluffs) pinned Keith Archibald (Red Oak) 3:24; 7. Logan Koch (Lewis Central, Council Bluffs) pinned Carter Wieland (Kuemper Catholic, Carroll) 4:41.
160 – 1. Braylon Kammrad (Lewis Central, Council Bluffs) maj. dec. Zander Hayes (Glenwood) 13-4; 3. Briley Hayes (Creston Orient Macksburg) pinned Jarrett Armstrong (Atlantic) 1:03; 5. Hayden Stout (Kuemper Catholic, Carroll) maj. dec. Reece Schwery (Harlan) 10-2; 7. Bryan Erp (Red Oak) pinned Dillan Hunter (Clarinda) 5:39.
170 – 1. Cael McLaren (St Albert, Council Bluffs) dec. Zane Bendorf (Harlan) 7-1; 3. Tyler Boldra (Glenwood) dec. Logan Dickerson (Shenandoah) 4-2; 5. Payton Ludington (Lewis Central, Council Bluffs) dec. Kaden Street (Creston Orient Macksburg) 10-5; 7. Bryce Wiskus (Kuemper Catholic, Carroll) pinned Cole Park (Atlantic) 1:06.
182 – Mitch Mayberry (Glenwood) pinned Andy Weis (Creston Orient Macksburg) 0:29; 3. Matt Schwery (Harlan) pinned Jase Wilmes (Clarinda) 1:47; 5. Payton Fewson (Atlantic) maj. dec. Leo Araujo (Denison) 10-2; 7. Jacob Rystrom (Shenandoah) pinned Christian Jasek (Lewis Central, Council Bluffs) 3:12.
195 – 1. Jackson Kinsella (Creston Orient Macksburg) maj. dec. Jesse Schwery (Harlan) 21-8; 3. CJ Carter (Glenwood) dec. Cole Ridnour (Clarinda) 8-7; 5. Jaxson Hildebrand (Denison) dec. Ben O`Neill (St Albert, Council Bluffs) 7-0; 7. Brenden Casey (Atlantic) pinned Connor Hays (Kuemper Catholic, Carroll) 1:40.
220 – 1. Crew Howard (Clarinda) pinned Cal Wanninger (Kuemper Catholic, Carroll) 5:16; 3. Jeremiah Davis (Harlan) over Devin McKay (Atlantic) TB-1 2-1; 5. Javier Gonzales (Denison) dec. Max Chapman (Creston Orient Macksburg) 13-9; 7. Sully Woods (Glenwood) dec. Dillon Woods (Lewis Central, Council Bluffs) 6-5.
285 – 1. Logan Green (Clarinda) pinned Chris Wilson (Creston Orient Macksburg) 5:56; 3. Tristan Dorscher (Atlantic) pinned Hunter Waldstein (Lewis Central, Council Bluffs) 5:45; 5. Richard Gaul (Harlan) pinned Kaden Flott (Glenwood) 5:44; 7. Garrett Plagge (Denison) pinned Hunter Portales (Red Oak) 2:29.