SHELDON - Four of Estherville Lincoln Central's eight district qualifiers earned a trip to the state tournament with two champions and two runnersup on Saturday.
Making the trip are Zackary Snyder (106), Oscar Ramirez (132), Blake Gjerde (152) and Chase Bonner (220).
"We knew we had five wrestlers that had a great chance to go," said ELC coach Dan Hewitt. "I'll take the four that I got. They worked hard to get this far.
The body language of the ELC coaching staff reacts as freshman Zach Snyder earns back points on his way to winning his 106-pound wrestleback at the Class 2A District meet in Sheldon last Saturday. See more photos at cu.esthervillenews.net.
Photo by David Swartz
The Midget highlights of the day were definitely the two wrestleback matches for second place.
At 106 pounds, freshman Snyder started the day with a loss by fall in 15 seconds to eventual champion Brayden Curry (18-1) of Sergeant Bluff-Luton.
But in the consolation bracket, Snyder came back with an 8-1 decision over Bishop Heelan's Alex Anson.
In the wrestleback, Snyder faced Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley's Devin Van Beek. Van Beek had defeated Gifford 2-0 at the sectional meet a week earlier. This time Snyder dominated the match, winning an 8-0 major decision.
"Zack turned the match around," said Hewitt. "Sometimes, one you see a kid you get an idea of how he wrestlers. Zack went after him more aggressively."
At 152 pounds, Gjerde started the day against fifth-ranked Bret Tomoson of Sergeant Bluff-Luton. Tomoson (45-3) caught Gjerde in the first period and won by fall in 1:22. Tomoson went on to pin Spirit Lake Park's Kenten Murray int eh finalin 3:37.
Meanwhile Gjerde dominated Bishop Heelan's Bo Rus in the consolation bracket with a 19-0 technical fall to earn the wrestleback against Murray.
The two wrestlers had faced each other three previous times this season with Murray winning each in dramatic fashion. In their first meeting in December, Gjerde was leading when he lost his balance and Murray took him down to earn the pin in the final 10 seconds. At the Lakes Conference meet, Murray won with a takedown, 4-2, in sudden victory. At last week's sectional meet, Gjerde again held a lead late in the match when Murray came up with a reversal.
This time, Gjerde came out on top with a 3-2 decision.
"If this is the only match Blake wins against Murray, this is the time to do it," said Hewitt. "Blake stuck to the game plan."
"It was a lot harder," said Gjerde. "It makes you feel good that you can beat a better wrestler."
Meanwhile Ramirez and Bonner simply took care of business. Ramirez, ranked first at 132 pounds, pinned Sergeant Bluff-Luton's Hunter Heckert in 2:50. In the finals, he faced fifth-ranked Hunter Morrow of Cherokee. Ramirez had faced Morrow twice this season, winning by fall in their first match and winning a 7-4 decision at the Lakes Conference meet.
This time, Ramirez repeated his first performance with the pin in 2:18.
Bonner, ranked fifth at 220, spent less than 4 minutes on the math. He pinned Sioux Central's Jacob Pottebaum in 1:45. Against Sergeant Bluff-Luton's Taylor Christensen, Bonner made a quick throw near the end of the first period and came up with the pin in 2 minutes.
For ELC senior Jake Bortvit, his season came to an end with a 1-1 record on the day as he finishes 31-17 overall.
Bortvit lost to MOC-Floyd Valley's Stefan Kinsinger by fall in 4:57 in the semifinals. While Bortvit won the third place match, 14-4, against Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley's Marcus Jones, he did not get a wrestleback as Odebolt-Arthur/Battle Creek-Ida Groves' Cash Wilcke (44-1) won the bracket with a pin over Kinsinger in 53 seconds.
ELC's other three district qualifiers finished fourth.
At 113 pounds, Juan Castor lost 13-6 to Sergeant Bluff-Luton's Devin Phalsy. He then lost by fall to OABCIG's Jake Wulf in 3:39.
At 126, Myles McDonald lost by fall in 55 seconds to MOC-Floyd Valley's Efrain Anzua and then lost by fall to Sioux Central's Jordan Gunnarson in 5:42 in the third-place match.
At 138, Brenden Duer lost by fall in 47 seconds to MOC-Floyd Valley's Elijah Dahl. He then lost 8-4 to Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley's Jesse Vander Bush.