Photo by Jeff Yoder / Click here to view the 2A state wrestling photo gallery.
Your Prep Sports
DES MOINES – Jax Flynn emerged from his opening-round match at the Class 2A state wrestling meet bruised, bloody and sporting a black eye.
Like the rest of his Solon teammates Flynn was still alive and in the hunt for a state title.
Flynn shook off a series of bumps and bruises that included a bloody cut to the back of his head to post one of three first-round pins for Solon in an impressive opening day for the Spartans at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
“Black eye here, stiches here and super glued up here,” Flynn said point to the top of his head. “That one gave me a headache but it wasn’t anything major. Nothing that slowed me down at all.”
Solon sent five of its six qualifiers to the quarterfinals, kept all six alive into day two and sit second in the 2A team standings with 18 points.
State dual champion West Delaware leads the 2A team race after one day with 19 points while Prairie City-Monroe is third with 15.5.
“I thought we wrestled really well as a team, I was impressed with our light weight guys,” Flynn said. “Coach told us we had to get bonus points and we were able to do a pretty good job of that.”
Flynn joined freshman Hayden Taylor, junior Zeb Gnida and seniors Zack Bevans and Mike Hoyle as Spartan quarterfinalist.
Taylor and Hoyle each posted first-round pins while advancing.
“I was a little bit nervous going out there but once the whistle blew and I started wrestling I felt fine,” Taylor said. “He got into my leg early but I defended it and got to my shots.”
Despite battling a cut on the top of his head from an early collision Flynn (44-5) racked up five takedowns before pinning Gilbert’s Aiden Carr in 4:25 at 170 pounds.
Flynn led 10-3 when he put Carr on his back 15 seconds into the final period.
“He just tried throwing me and I just landed him and tried to keep a lower base,” Flynn said. “Andy (Brokaw) practice that in the room sometimes just throwing and trying to defend it.”
Flynn was far from the only Solon takedown machine on Thursday.
Bevans had three takedowns of his own in a 13-0 major decision over Cody Wallace of PCM at 152 pounds and Taylor had four takedowns before his second-period pin of Cael Ihle of Gilbert.
“It was a little bit new but for the most part it just felt like another tournament to me,” Taylor said. “I was going out there trying to wrestle the way I wrestle.”
Hoyle needed just one takedown, putting Crestwood’s Wyatt Scheidel straight on his back for a pin in 46 seconds at 220 pounds.
Gnida needed a late rally to avoid an upset at 132.
No. 6 Gnida led Stone Schmitz 3-2 and was looking to add more but got flipped to his back by the Union freshman.
“I’m pretty stocky and he was a real long guy so it probably wasn’t a super smart move on my part,” Gnida said. “I thought I was in really good position and then the next second I was on my back.”
Gnida fought off his back but trailed 4-3 to open the third period where he started on top.
The junior turned Schmitz to his back with for a three-point nearfall with 40 seconds left to take a 6-4 lead and held on for an 8-4 win.
“The first match at state you have a little bit of nerves running through you but that was a whole new level,” Gnida said. “When I get really nervous my hands hurt and I can’t feel my hands right now.”
Team scores (Top 10; Area Teams) – 1. West Delaware 19; 2. Solon 18; 3. PCM 15.5; 4. Independence 15; 5. Union 14.5; 6. Spirit Lake Park 13.5; 7. Sergeant Bluff-Luton 12.5; 8. New Hampton 12; 8. West Liberty 12; 10. Clear Lake 11.5
126 – No. 3 Hayden Taylor (Solon) pinned Cael Ihle (Gilbert) 3:27
132 – No. 6 Zeb Gnida (Solon) dec. Stone Schmitz (Union) 8-4
152 – No. 4 Zack Bevans (Solon) major dec. Cody Wallace (PCM) 13-0
160 – No. 6 Justin McCunn (Red Oak) major dec. Andy Brokaw (Solon) 9-0
170 – No. 9 Jax Flynn (Solon) pinned Aiden Carr (Gilbert) 4:25
220 – No. 3 Mike Hoyle (Solon) pinned Wyatt Scheidel (Crestwood) :46
160 – Andy Brokaw (Solon) dec. Nate Cornwall (Spirit Lake Park) 4-0
126 – No. 3 Hayden Taylor (48-2) Fr., Solon vs. No. 7 Eric Kinkaid (37-6) Fr., Camanche
132 – No. 6 Zeb Gnida (38-9) Jr., Solon vs. No. 4 Kruise Kiburz (44-4) Jr., Winterset
152 – No. 4 Zack Bevans (45-5) Sr., Solon vs. No. 2 Easton Graff (45-3) Sr., Sergeant Bluff-Luton
170 – No. 9 Jax Flynn (44-5) Jr., Solon vs. No. 3 Colter Bye (44-1) Sr., Crestwood
220 – No. 3 Mike Hoyle (44-1) Sr., Solon vs. No. 6 Seth Adrian (49-2) Jr., Davenport Assumption
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