Your Prep Sports
MOUNT PLEASANT – Two of the heaviest hitters in the West High lineup took care of business early at the Class 3A, District 4 meet on Saturday.
It was how two other Trojans finished late in the meet that had West High walking off on a high note.
Top-ranked Nelson Brands and Francis Duggan secured district titles with impressive wins over top-five opponents and Keaton Speicher and Enutifia Gamia won wrestle back matches to secure state tournament berths as West High qualified nine wrestlers for next week’s state tournament.
“Nine is a bonus,” West High coach Mark Reiland “I don’t know that nine was the plan. That was a surprise.”
Nine of the 11 West High wrestlers that competed on Saturday secured spots at the state meet as the Trojans finished runner-up to City High in the team standings.
There was a mix of expectation and excitement among the nine quarters.
Top-ranked Brands and Duggan were predictable dominating in reaching the state meet.
Brands (51-1) needed less than five minutes to pick up two wins and advance to state for the third straight season.
The two-time defending state champion won by fall in 11 seconds in the semifinal earned a 29-8 tech fall over fourth-ranked Wilfred Kadohou of City High in the 160-pound title match.
“It’s just another stepping stone like we say all the time,” Brands said. “It’s the step to state so I have to do it and it’s the third time around and I want to do it better than I did the second time and I want to do it better than I did the first time.”
Duggan (9-2) was equally impressive, pinning his way to the 220-pound title.
A three-time state medalist in Pennsylvania, Duggan earned his first trip to the Iowa state tournament with a 30 second pin of fifth-ranked Mason Hartman of Burlington.
“It’s exciting,” Duggan said. “I came here with the goal of winning a state championship and this was what I had to do to put myself in a spot to do that.”
West High had seven finalists and went 4-3 in title matches.
Fifth-ranked freshman Graham Gambrall (44-16) knocked off No. 7 Lance Bormann of City High 5-1 to win the 132-pound title and senior Ashton Stumpf (36-23) won the 170-pound crown with a first-period pin of City High junior Brandon Lalla.
Seniors Hans vonRabenau and Guy Snow and sophomore Will Hoeft all advanced to the state tournament with runner-up finishes.
The surprises for West High came late as Speicher and Gamia both bounced back from semifinal losses to secure trips to state.
Speicher (26-29) held off City High sophomore Reece Caven 12-7 in a 126-pound consolation match to give himself a shot at a state berth.
The junior then two late takedowns to edge Nathanael Shoemaker of Ottumwa 8-4 to secure his first trip to state.
Gamia (26-25) followed the same route to his first state meet appearance.
The senior won a 6-3 decision over Kaleb Dietze of Pella and then brought an eruption from the West High contingent when he survived a late surge from Mount Pleasant junior Zach Beason to earn an 8-7 decision in the 195-pound wrestle back finale.
“They wrestled well,” Reiland said. “When it was on the line they had it figured out and they just kept battling and gave themselves opportunities to win.”
The four champions for West High on Saturday matched City High for the most and nine qualifiers were tops in District 4.
Team scores – 1. City High 232.5; 2. West High 196.5; 3. Fort Madison 164.5; 4. Mount Pleasant 131; 5. Ottumwa 106.5; 6. Burlington 94; 7. Pella 92; 8. Oskaloosa 85.
106 – 1. Ethan Wood-Finley (ICH) pinned Corbin Broeker (MP) 1:57
113 – 1. Ryan Hancock (PEL) dec. Hans von Rabenau (ICW) 5-1; 3. Garrett Bormann (ICH)
120 – 1. Duncan Delzell (BUR) major dec. Dayne Cordray (FM) 10-0; 4. Michael Santoro (ICH)
126 – 1. Ryan Steffensmeier (FM). 2. Keaton Speicher (ICW); 4. Reece Caven (ICH)
132 – 1. Graham Gambrall (ICW) dec. Lance Bormann (ICH) 5-1
138 – 1. Joey Harney (ICH) dec. Vincent Vass (OTT) 7-4; 5. Collin Leavy (ICW)
145 – 1. Aaron Steffensmeier (FM) dec. Nate Wallace (MP) 4-2; 4. Jack Anson (ICH)
152 – 1. Harlan Steffensmeier (FM) pinned Kyle Hefley (ICH) 2:53; 5. Jo Dixon (ICW)
160 – 1. Nelson Brands (ICW) tech. fall Wilfred Kadohou (ICH) 29-8
170 – 1. Ashton Stumpf (ICW) pinned Brandon Lalla (ICH) 2:00
182 – 1. Joey Mitchell (OTT) dec. Will Hoeft (ICW) 4-2 SV-1; 5. Joe Ring (ICH)
195 – 1. Jacob Dykes (ICH). 2. Enutifia Gamia (ICW).
220 – 1. Francis Duggan (ICW). 2. Danen Settles (FM); 4. Jason Lemus (ICH)
285 – 1. Jacob Murry (ICH) dec. Guy Snow (ICW) 3-2 UTB.