Solon Rides The State Wrestling Roller Coaster on Day Two of 2A Meet


Jeff Yoder Photo /

Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

DES MOINES – Every coach that has experienced the state wrestling meet knows the emotional roller coaster that comes with every match.

Solon head coach Blake Williams and his Spartans got all the highs and lows and twists and turns that come with the state tournament roller coaster on Friday afternoon.

Zeb Gnida and Zack Bevans locked up their first state medals on Friday but senior Tyler Linderbaum came up short of a coveted spot in the state title match with a semifinal loss to fifth-ranked Spencer Trenary of Clarion-Goldfield-Dows.

“About every tournament you have, especially the state tournament, it’s always a roller coaster,” Williams said. “There are some highs and some lows and we had them all today.”

The highest points on Friday came from Gnida and Bevans who secured some hardware in their state meet debuts.

Both Bevans and Gnida won a pair of consolation matches on Friday to secure a finish of sixth or better in their first trips to state.

“Zack and Zeb coming through the backside and assuring themselves a top six finish, I’m so proud of those two kids,” Williams said. “They are just fighting.”

Gnida (43-10) bounced back from a 3-1 loss to sixth-ranked Jack Gaukel of Sergeant Bluff-Luton in the 120-pound quarterfinals on Friday morning with a pair of consolation wins.

The seventh-ranked sophomore pinned logged a first-period pin of Joe Jacobs of Osage and then used a late three-point nearfall to upset No. 2 Kaden Anderlik of Crestwood 3-2 in a third-round consolation match.

After losing by fall in the first state match of his career on Thursday, Bevans has won three consecutive consolation matches at 152 pounds to earn a medal.

Tenth-ranked Bevans (34-11) knocked off No. 7 Nolan Harsh of ADM 5-0 and then earned a 5-1 win over Justin McCunn of Red Oak.

“They are fighting every match and you can get on a roll on that backside,” Williams said. “Sometimes it is an advantage to them coming off some guys that lost earlier so. I’m super proud of them.”

Both Bevans and Gnida will get a familiar foe in the consolation semifinals on Saturday morning.

Bevans (34-11) will face third-ranked Joe Kelly (50-6) of West Liberty for the second time this tournament after Kelly pinned Bevans in the opening round.

Gnida gets a fourth matchup with fifth-ranked Caleb Fuessley (42-5) of Center Point-Urbana in the consolation semifinals.

Fuessley won the first two meetings 2-1 and 7-2 before Gnida claimed a 6-4 decision at the district meet.

“Hopefully both of those guys come out and finish it off strong,” Williams said. “I know they will be ready to go.”

The low during Friday’s roller coaster came in the 285-pound semifinals when Trenary used a second-quarter pin to deny Linderbaum (37-3) his first title match trip.

“Tyler what do you say? He fought his butt off,” Williams said. “He was in it and we knew it was a contrast of styles and it was definitely something that we haven’t been used to a lot this year but you can’t fault him and I told him he has to keep his head up.”

Trenary (50-4) advanced to the state title match with his third consecutive pin of the tournament and second win over Linderbaum in three days.

The junior edged Linderbaum 6-4 in a match at the state dual meet on Wednesday  

“He kind of has a Greco background and he tries to get an underhook and an overhook and lock and he’s tough, he’s pinned every person with it this tournament,” Williams said. “We got a feel of it in the duals and you just can’t relax for a second in there."

Linderbaum will face sixth-ranked Brendon Lunsford (40-4) of Fairfield in the 285-pound consolation semifinals on Saturday morning.

“Knowing him he is going to be back tomorrow just like the fierce competitor that he is,” Williams said. “Hopefully he will bounce back strong and I have no doubt he will.”

Class 2A State Meet

Team scores (Top 10; Area Teams) – 1. Dubuque Wahlert 79; 2. South Tama 60; 3. New Hampton 59; 4. Ballard 48.5; 5. Davenport Assumption 48; 5. Centerville 48; 7. Prairie City-Monroe 46.5; 8. West Liberty 42; 9. Atlantic 39.5; 10. Clarion-Goldfield-Dows 38; 20. Solon 26; 68. Clear Creek Amana 1

Quarterfinals (Area Athletes Only)

120 – No. 6 Jack Gaukel (Sergeant Bluff-Luton) dec. No.7 Zeb Gnida (Solon) 3-1

182 – No. 2 Kyler Fisher (Southeast Valley) dec. No. 5 Mike Hoyle (Solon) 11-7

285 – No. 3 Tyler Linderbaum dec. No. 8 Kobe Clayborne (Sioux City Heelan) 3-0

Semifinals (Area Athletes Only)

285 – No. 5 Spencer Trenary (Clarion-Goldfield-Dows) pinned No. 3 Tyler Linderbaum (SOL) 3:38

Second Round Consolation

120 – No. 7 Zeb Gnida (Solon) pinned Joe Jacobs (Osage) 1:57

145 – No. 1 Noah Fye (New Hampton) pinned Andrew Rohret (Clear Creek Amana) :45

152 – No. 10 Zack Bevans (Solon) dec. Nolan Harsh (ADM) 5-0  

182 – No. 9 Dalton Rosenberg (South Tama) No. 5 Mike Hoyle (Solon) 8-5

Third Round Consolation

120 – No. 7 Zeb Gnida (Solon) dec. No. 2 Kaden Anderlik (Crestwood) 3-2

152 – No. 10 Zack Bevans (Solon) dec. Justin McCunn (Red Oak) 5-1