WAPELLO, Iowa – The Willard Howell Invitational came down to another close fight between Fort Madison and Columbus Community on Saturday afternoon.
This time, the Wildcats prevailed.
A year after Fort Madison edged Columbus by a half point, the Wildcats won three matches by fall in the championship round to upend the Bloodhounds and win the wrestling tournament, 199-189.
“It’s good to get back on top,” Columbus coach Bill Plein said afterward. “Like I told the kids, it is great to win, but we want to be successful individuals. The kids didn’t wrestle as well as they would have liked in the finals. There are some things we need to work on and we know where to go from there.”
Jake Keller (130 pounds) earned a first-period fall and second-ranked Seth Noble pinned Wilton’s Nick Becker in 5 minutes, 17 seconds at 140. Columbus junior Brady Milder made quick work of Wapello’s Jacob Walker in 32 seconds at 145.
“I just saw him leading with his left leg,” Milder said of Walker. “I saw the opportunity and once I got the takedown, his arm was wide open for me to hook up and chug it.”
Three other Columbus wrestlers were pinned – two by Fort Madison wrestlers – which made the final team score close. The other final for Columbus saw Wapello’s Craig Carlson posting an 11-2 major decision win over Pedro Nunez at 215.
“Some of our wrestlers are not all in shape yet,” Milder said. “The three that went out and won were in there working hard in the off-season. We went out and got the job done.”
Durant, which finished third in the eight-team field with 160 points, was 5-for-5 in the championship round.
“It’s nice when you are 5-0 in the finals,” Durant coach Jim Weisrock said. “I’m proud of the boys. They scored in the third period. They need to wrestle all six minutes and they did that today.”
The closest match for Durant was at 119 pounds. Konner Krummel rallied from a 4-1 deficit to score five near fall points in the third period to win by an 8-4 decision.
He also had to battle several stoppages for blood time as blood continued to pour out of his nose.
“I just think adrenaline kept me going,” Krummel said. “I was of the mindset that I wasn’t going to lose the match because of my blood.”
Krummel, however, nearly did lose the match because of blood time. He was 20 seconds away from running out of time to get the situation under control. Krummel said he was aware of how close time was.
“The last time my nose piece came out my coaches were ready for me at the corner to shove another (piece) up there,” Krummel said. “I needed to get back on the mat fast.”
Aaron Bartenhagen (112), Alex Wright (125), Austin Kessler (152) and Wil Rathjen (285) also won titles for the Wildcats. Wright scored a reversal in the third period to win 8-6, and Rathjen pinned Columbus’ Gil Martinez in 1:28.
Host Wapello finished fifth in the team scoring with 130 points. The Indians scored two titles - 171-pounder Dylan Schrader and Carlson.
“We did all right,” Wapello coach Scott Kirby said. “Dylan does what he does, but he has a long way to go.
“We need to push him because sometimes he is too relaxed out there. He’s set high goals and he needs to work to get there.”
Wapello nearly had another winner in Jacob Kerr, who lost in double overtime to Mount Pleasant’s Jacob Dilks. Kerr had a 4-2 lead going into his 30 seconds of the overtime. Dilks chose down and reversed Kerr and earned two nearfall points just before time expired for a 6-4 score.
“The thing about Kerr,” Kirby said, “is he wrestles his hardest all the time. If he keeps wrestling like that, it will come. He has one of the best work ethics.”
Kyle Paulsen was the lone winner for Wilton in the finals. Paulsen pinned Highland’s Derrick Stewart in 3:13 at 135 pounds.
“We’re young,” Wilton coach Nick Dohrmann said. “Kyle had three matches and three good performances. He does what is expected of him.
“We need to get more mat experience and we’ll keep building.”
Willard Howell Invitational
1. Columbus 199; 2. Fort Madison 189; 3. Durant 160; 4. Mount Pleasant 138; 5. Wapello 130; 6. Wilton 92; 7. Highland 82.5; 8. Camanche 55.
103 – Dakota Gray (FM) pinned Ray Quiroz (Columbus) 1:52; 112 – Aaron Bartenhagen (Durant) major dec. Christian Dunn (FM) 11-0; 119 – Konner Krummel (Dur) dec. Aaron Alpara (MP) 8-4; 125 – Alex Wright (Durant) dec. Zach Frank (Highland) 8-6; 130 – Jake Keller (Columbus) pinned Zach May (MP) 1:50; 135 – Kyle Paulsen (Wilton) pinned Derrick Stewart (Highland) 3:13; 140 – Seth Noble (Columbus) pinned Nick Becker (Wilton) 5:17; 145 – Brady Milder (Columbus) pinned Jacob Walker (Wapello) 0:32; 152 – Austin Kessler (Durant) dec. Tyler Thye (Wapello) 15-10; 160 – Andrew Cartwright (FM) pinned Randy Quiroz (Columbus) 0:45; 171 – Dylan Schrader (Wapello) pinned Kyle Nichting (MP) 3:45; 189 – Jacob Dilks (MP) dec. Jacob Kerr (Wapello) 6-4, 2OT; 215 – Craig Carlson (Wap) major dec. Pedro Nunez (Columbus) 11-2; 285 – Wil Rathjen (Durant) pinned Gil Martinez (Columbus) 1:28.
103 – Chase Exline (Durant) major dec. Cole Hinkhouse (Wilton) 13-4; 112 – Jesus Amigon (Columbus) pinned Trenton Krebill (MP) 0:48; 119 – Luke Snodgrass (Cam) pinned Mitchell Roush (Columbus) 0:43; 125 – Clayton Hocker (FM) pinned Kurt Paulsen (Wilton) 0:48; 130 – Brady Petry (FM) dec. Donny Sheese (Durant) 9-3; 135 – Derek Movall (MP) pinned Kyler Vermazen (FM) 3:52; 140 – Adam Montgomery (Highland) won by default over Ashton Grimm (Wapello); 145 – Tony DiPrima (FM) dec. Brad Drury (Cam) 9-6; 152 – Austin Pauley (FM) pinned Dann Kooi (Cam) 0:57; 160 – Austin Anderson (Wilton) dec. Jayton Phillips (MP) 14-10; 171 – Jared Eichelberger (Columbus) pinned Shane Sheahan (Durant) 2:26; 189 – Ty Sexton (Highland) pinned Alex Metcalf (Durant) 1:41; 215 – Clint Richers (FM) pinned Ryan Herr (MP) 3:10; 285 – Zach Fincher (FM) pinned Roger Pross (MP) 1:07.