Eight area wrestlers advance to state tourney
Storm Lake sends 3 wrestlers to state; Wildcats qualify 2.
FORT DODGE - Dylan Wagener, Pete Harder and Jared Ponsor all qualified for the state wrestling tournament after finishing second at their respective weight classes in a Class 3A district tournament Saturday at Fort Dodge.
Wagener, who wrestles at 130 pounds, finished runner-up to Jered Burma of Boone. Burma won by pin in 3 minutes, 58 seconds. Wagener won in the semifinals by pin in 2:48.
Harder was a runner-up to Andrew Pritchard of Boone at 135 pounds. He lost by decision 12-5 in the finals, won by decision 14-7 in the first round and won by decision 12-7 in the semifinals.
Ponsor, who was sidelined earlier this season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee, finished runner-up to T.J. Pratt of Spencer at 171 pounds. Ponsor won his first-round match by decision 4-2, lost in the semifinals 6-4, won the third-place match 7-3 and won a wrestleback for second place by decision 5-2.
"We felt that all three of them had a good shot along with some other kids," Storm Lake coach Ty Seaman said. " They wrestled really well all day. Jared had to do it the hard way, but he came through and wrestled three great matches. He had a good tournament."
"A couple of other kids had a shot, but it just didn't work out," Seaman added. "We were happy to get three kids there."
The state tournament gets underway this Thursday at Vets Auditorium in Des Moines with first-round matches beginning at 10 a.m.
Wagener, now 27-10, will wrestle Eric Van Deusen of Cedar Rapids Kennedy, who is 25-15.
Harder, who fashions a 27-14 record, will meet Pat Allibone of Sioux City Heelan, who is 38-1. Ponsor, 16-5 overall, will take on Kory Morrow of Oskaloosa, who is 34-2.
Nick Wiley finished fourth at 125. Justin Koeppe placed fifth at 140, as did George Romualdo at 145. Jake Droessler was sixth at 275 pounds.
Class 2A at Cherokee
Brian Borchers advanced to the state tournament after capturing first place at 275 pounds in a Class 2A district tournament Saturday at Cherokee.
Borchers beat Brian Hinds of Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn in the finals.
The first round of the Class 2A state matches begins at 6:30 p.m. Borchers, who owns a 36-2 record, will wrestle Ted Drees of Dyersville Beckman, who is 31-3, in the first round.
Class 1A at Pocahontas
Schaller-Crestland's Kelly Rydberg will be making his third consecutive trip to the state tournament after finishing first at 140 pounds in a Class 1A district tournament Saturday at Pocahontas.
Rydberg, who finished sixth in last year's state meet, defeated Luke Reiland of Eagle Grove in the finals. Rydberg, who is 39-2 on the season, will wrestle David Dodson of Wilton, who is 26-10, in the first round at state.
Schaller-Crestland's Nelson Weber also qualified for state at 275 pounds after finishing second to Andy Kabonough of Southern Calhoun. Weber, 30-10 overall, will meet Nick Sander of North Cedar, who is 34-4, in a first-round state match.
Sioux Central's Richie Thacker will be making a return trip to state as he finished first at 112 pounds. Thacker beat Blake Lindstrom of Eagle Grove in the finals. Thacker, who fashions a 40-1 record, will meet Travis Stangle of Nora Springs-Rock Falls, who is 36-3, in the first round at state.
LM-ACT's David Winkler qualified for the state meet after finishing second at 145 pounds. He was runner-up to Brook Beisell of Eagle Grove. Winkler, 34-2 overall, will face Wyatt Yates of Sidney, who is 36-6, in a first-round state match.