DES MOINES — Rogan Pforts wasn’t going to let a tough loss ruin his day.
The Wapello junior gave up a late reversal in the final minute of his Class 1A 160-pound quarterfinal Friday at the Iowa state wrestling tournament to drop a heartbreaker, 3-2, to Missouri Valley’s Nathan Hayes.
Pforts bounced right back, though, winning his next two matches in the consolation bracket, including a 9-6 decision victory over AHSTW’s Dustin Engel, to give himself the opportunity to wrestle for third on tomorrow's third and final day of the tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
"I knew I had to wrestle to my full potential as I had the other match," Pforts said, referring to his opening-round victory Thursday. "I can’t ever get that match back. You can’t dwell on the past. I know I have to move forward to get the next best thing."
He did just that, giving himself the chance to come out victorious in the consolation bracket with two victories Saturday, one of three area wrestlers who earned that opportunity Friday.
Pforts, Wapello teammate Devon Meeker — the only area 1A wrestler to advance to a semifinal — and Wilton’s Trey Brisker will wrestle in consolation semifinals Saturday morning, which was a strong response for Pforts after a tough start to the day in his quarterfinal match.
"[Hayes] got in better position than I was. I wasn’t moving my feet as well," Pforts said. "I tried to scramble out of it, but once he was on top I just couldn’t get out of it in time."
Pforts followed that with a 4-1 victory over West Fork’s Jarel Arbegast and the win against Engel, where he got a third-period escape and takedown to break a 6-all tie.
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"I kept pounding on him as much as I could," Pforts said. "He started to get tired and that got me a little more motivation to keep going and going."
Meeker, meanwhile, claimed his second straight 15-0 tech fall victory to open the tournament against Guthrie Center’s Blaine Beeler to advance to the 106 semifinals, where he ran to into third-ranked Donny Schmit of Wapsie Valley. Schmit built a 7-1 lead and Meeker couldn’t rally all the way back in the 9-5 loss.
“We knew going in they were winnable matches and that as long as he stayed in good position and wrestled aggressively, it would take care of itself,” Wapello wrestling Rocky Hamilton said of Meeker’s start, adding of the semifinal: “He was nervous going into his semi match. We’ll see what happens on the back side. There’s nothing to be nervous about. Once you get on the award stand, everything from there is gravy.”
Joining the Wapello duo in the consolation semifinals Saturday is Brisker, who has followed a one-point loss in the first round with three straight wins at 145, including a 9-3 victory over Luke Stortenbecker of East Mills and a 1 minutes, 39-second pinfall against Pleasantville’s Griffen McBride.
Two other area wrestlers will wrestle for seventh after splitting their consolation matches.
Louisa-Muscatine’s Austin Leopard won his first 132-pound consolation, an 8-4 decision victory over Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont’s Alex Hanna, before dropping his second, while Durant’s Brandon Dykes pinned Pleasantville’s Chaz Clark in 1:02 at 195 before losing to Tipton’s Jordan Challis.
Two wrestlers saw their season come to end Friday, however, as Wilton’s Tanner Greenwald (152 pounds) and Bryce Oveson (182) each lost their quarterfinal and first consolation match.