County schools each put wrestler on the podium
DES MOINES — All four of Plymouth County’s wrestling teams had an individual make the podium at the IHSAA state wrestling tournament held Wednesday through Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena.
After Thursday’s Class 3A session, Ayden Hoag was the only Le Mars Community wrestler left standing out of the six the team brought to the state tournament. Hoag entered the 3A-220 field as the No. 5 seed and earned himself an opening round bye. He followed that up with a win Wednesday night, beating Caden Wetherell of Waverly-Shell Rock by a 15-4 major decision score. Thursday’s match was closer, but Hoag was able to win a 6-1 decision over the No. 4 seed, Jaxson Hildebrand of Denison-Schleswig.
On Friday, Hoag faced the tough task of facing off against undefeated and top-seeded Ben Kueter of Iowa City High. Kueter had dominated his first two opponents, winning by fall in times of 14 seconds and 12 seconds. The Le Mars junior was able to last longer than the first two opponents, but ended up still getting pinned in the first period. Kueter scored a takedown 10 seconds into the match which Hoag was able to escape from shortly after. Kueter got another takedown which turned into three back points and eventually a pin in a time of 1:53.
Kueter went on to win the state title by a 19-4 technical fall. He became the 32nd four-time state champion in state history and ended his career unbeaten.
After Hoag’s semifinal loss to Kueter, the Le Mars wrestler dropped to the consolation semifinal round. He was able to earn a win by fall in 5:01 over Rusty VanWetzinga of Pleasant Valley on Saturday.
Hoag advanced to the third place match which was a rematch of his quarterfinal round match. This time Hoag won a 3-0 decision over Hildebrand to take the third place spot on the podium. It was the first podium placing for Hoag who finishes with a 45-2 record. Hildebrand also ends the year with a 45-2 record with both of those losses coming to Hoag.
Along with Morrow bringing home the 1A-113 state title, the Westerners had one other individual reach the podium at the state meet. Ian Blowe ended up bringing home fifth place in the 1A-195 bracket, matching his seed entering the tournament.
After starting with a bye, Blowe won by fall in 3:03 over Jake Cox of Lenox in Wednesday’s action. On Thursday, Blowe faced Ben Saxton of Emmetsburg in the quarterfinal round. The Akron-Westfield junior also won that match by fall, pinning his opponent in 4:35.
In Friday’s semifinal round, Blowe faced off against another northwest Iowa wrestler, top-seeded Jackson Dewald of Westwood. The two had met earlier in the season in the first place match of Akron-Westfield’s Jim Henrich Westerner Invitational. Dewald claimed that meeting by fall in 2:56. The rematch saw Dewald win by an 11-1 major decision. Dewald scored a takedown to begin the scoring before Blowe got an escape point. That would be the only point Blowe would get as Dewald added a first period takedown, an escape, takedown and two back points in the second period, and a final takedown in the third period.
Dewald went on to claim the state title in the bracket, capping off a 47-0 senior season with a 3-1 sudden victory over Josh Glendening of Mediapolis.
Blowe dropped to the consolation semifinals where he lost to Belle Plaine’s Jack Schwenn by fall in 1:51. Slotted into the fifth place match, Blowe faced a rematch with Saxton. After pinning him in the quarterfinals, the fifth place match went down to the wire as Blowe won 7-6. Blowe clinched the match with a three point near-fall in the final period.
Blowe finishes with a 27-7 record in his junior season as he reaches the podium for the first time in his second trip to state.
Akron-Westfield’s other state wrestler, Jadyn Friedrichs, ended up short of the podium. The No. 8 seed opened with a bye but was pinned in his next match in 3:49 by Carson Thomsen of Underwood. Friedrichs won both of his consolation matches on Thursday by fall, pinning BGM’s Sawyer Callahan in 2:59 and Aiden Golston of Moravia in 1:23.
Wilton’s Brody Brisker beat Friedrichs in Friday’s consolation action by a 12-8 score. Brisker went on to finish fourth in the bracket. Friedrichs finishes his junior season with a 41-5 record.
Ethan Sachau was the lone Hinton representative still alive by Friday out of the six the team brought to state. Wrestling in the 1A-126 bracket, Sachau began the tournament with a bye as the No. 7 seed. He won his first contested match by technical fall, 17-1, over Jacob Larson of West Hancock.
Advancing to Thursday’s quarterfinal round, Sachau lost a 9-3 decision to No. 2 seed Kolton Munson of Ogden.
Sachau dropped to the consolation portion of the bracket where he returned to action on Friday. He won a close match in overtime by a 12-8 sudden victory score over Brayden Scheffers of Southeast Warren/Melcher-Dallas. Sachau rallied from a 5-2 deficit at the end of the second period by outscoring Scheffers 6-3 in the third period. A pair of stalling penalties allowed Sachau to tie the match along with a reversal and two point near-fall in the period. The Hinton wrestler scored the takedown and got two back points to clinch the win and guarantee a spot on the podium.
In the next consolation round Sachau lost a 10-1 major decision to Logan-Magnolia’s Corbin Reisz who went on to take third. Sachau slotted into the seventh place match where he faced Carson Thomsen of Underwood. Thomsen won the match by fall in 5:16 to take seventh place.
Sachau ends his junior season with a 28-6 record as he finishes eighth.
Carson Seuntjens ended up placing for the Panthers. The No. 9 seed ended up winning his first two matches on Wednesday, first by fall then by 9-7 decision.
Facing off against the top seed on Thursday, Seuntjens dropped a 19-4 match by technical fall to Underwood’s Gable Porter who went on to win the state title.
Seuntjens resumed action Friday in the consolation bracket and he pinned his first opponent in 1:20, getting the win over Caleb Cook of Pleasantville. The win guaranteed a spot on the podium for Seuntjens.
In the next round, the K-P senior lost an overtime match by 6-4 sudden victory to Gavin Reed of Columbus Catholic. Seuntjens led early in the match, scoring a takedown in the first and earning an escape in the second. Reed got a reversal in the third before Seuntjens scored an escape point to make it 4-2. Reed earned a takedown in the closing seconds of the third period to force overtime and then won with a takedown in the extra period. Reed went on to finish fourth.
Seuntjens slotted into the seventh place match and he was able to quickly win this match by fall in 33 seconds. He pinned Nashua-Plainfield’s Kendrick Huck to finish his high school career on a high note. Seuntjens ends his senior season with a 48-6 record.