Breaking Down the Class 2A, District 8 Wrestling Meet

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Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

Class 2A District 8

When: Saturday, Noon

Where: Washington  

Teams (Number of qualifiers): Davenport Assumption (11); Solon (8); Washington (5); Mount Pleasant (5); Columbus (4); Camanche (4); West Liberty (4); Davis County (4); Fairfield (4); Tipton (3); Central DeWitt (2); Keokuk (2)

Ranked Teams: No. 8 Solon; No. 10 West Liberty

Area Qualifiers

145: Hayden Taylor (Solon) Soph. 46-0

152: Zeb Gnida (Solon) Sr. 43-5

160: Caleb Ebert (Solon) Jr. 19-13

170: Jax Flynn (Solon) Sr. 43-7

182: Seamus Poynton (Solon) Sr. 27-9  

195: Gage Marty (Solon) Soph. 36-9

220: Erich Karstens (Solon) Jr. 26-18

285: Nash Altman (Solon) Jr. 18-18

What to Watch

Solon hasn’t had the dual success of the past several seasons but with four ranked wrestlers, including two ranked in the top three, the Spartans are built for a strong finish to the season at the traditional state meet.

The drive for another top-five finish at the Class 2A state meet starts on Saturday as the Spartans attempt to push as many qualifiers as possible through to the state meet.

Defending state champion Hayden Taylor (46-0), two-time medalist Zeb Gnida (43-5) and senior Jax Flynn (43-7) are all postseason veterans and favorites to secure state meet spots.

Senior Seamus Poynton (27-9) and sophomore Gage Marty (36-9) are both coming off sectional titles along with junior 160-pounder Caleb Ebert (19-13).

Last season Solon sent six wrestlers to the state meet while finishing fifth, its second top-five finish in three seasons.

Matching last year’s six qualifiers would be a great day for the Spartans who have eight district qualifiers, the second most behind Davenport Assumption (11) among District 8 teams.

Who to Watch

Already a two-time state medalist Solon senior Zeb Gnida knows what it takes to win matches at the state meet.

Gnida could get a state meet type match in the 152-pound district final on Saturday.

Third-ranked Gnida (43-5) and top-ranked Will Esmoil (36-0) of West Liberty appear to be on a collision course for the marquee finals matchup at District 8.

Gnida was sixth at the 2A state meet at 132 pounds last season and is seeking a third consecutive state medal.

All four losses to in-state competition for Gnida have come top-two ranked wrestlers. Gnida dropped a pair of decisions to 1A No. 2 Marshall Hauck of Lisbon along with losses to 2A No. 2 Jack Gaukel of Sergeant Bluff Luton and 3A top-ranked Eli Lloyd of Pleasant Valley.

Esmoil finished runner-up at 145 at the state meet last season and has had just two matches last all six minutes this season, a 13-4 major decision and an 8-2 decision over Hauck.

Weight Class to Watch

A ranked wrestler will be watching the state tournament next week from the stands as three of the top nine 182 pounders in 2A land in the District 8 bracket.

Solon senior Seamus Poynton (27-9) is seeking his first state meet appearance and will need to navigate a challenging bracket that features three other wrestlers with e at least 27 victories including fourth-ranked Keokuk senior Dylan Jeffers (29-5) and sixth-ranked Logan Waltz (30-7) of Camanche.

Poynton put himself in the best position possible with a pin of Jeffers in the sectional title match last week and will face Davenport Assumption sophomore John Argo (27-12) in the semifinals.

A win gets Poynton a third match with Jeffers, the two split a pair of matches this season with each winning by fall, or a shot at Waltz in the final.

Expect the two state meet berths at 182 to be hard fought and well-earned with the possibility of a battle in a wrestle back for the second spot.

Ranked Wrestlers

106:     No. 3 Derrick Bass (Davenport Assumption) Fr.

            No. 8 Lane Scorpil (Columbus) Soph.  

113:     No. 3 Keaton Zeimet (Central DeWitt) Jr.  

132:     No. 2 Eric Kinkaid (Camanche) Soph.

138:     No. 6 Michael Macias (Davenport Assumption) Fr.

145:     No. 1 Hayden Taylor (Solon) Soph.

152:     No. 1 Will Esmoil (West Liberty) Sr.

            No. 3 Zeb Gnida (Solon) Sr.

170:     No. 7 Jax Flynn (Solon) Sr.

182:     No. 4 Dylan Jeffers (Keokuk) Sr.

            No. 6 Logan Waltz (Camanche) Jr.

            No. 9 Seamus Poynton (Solon) Sr.

220:     No. 2 Kobe Simon (West Liberty) Jr.

            No. 3 Seth Adrian (Davenport Assumption) Sr.

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