FORT DODGE - Always a bridesmaid.
For the third consecutive season, the Webster City wrestling team came home from the Don Miller Invitational with second-place honors on Saturday after piling up 171 team points on the strength of four silver medalists and 13 top-8 results.
Host Fort Dodge (203 points) sat atop three of the weight classes and captured the team title for the first time in 18 years. Clarinda (147) was third, followed by No. 3-ranked (Class 1A) Emmetsburg (140) and Sioux City East (121).
WCHS was the only top-five finisher to be shutout in the championship round.
"Anytime you put four guys in the finals and don't bring home a champion, that's a little disappointing. But on the other side of that, second as a team is a pretty good day," WCHS head coach Ted Larson said. "And Fort Dodge, I commend them; they had a good day. (Dodgers' head coach Bobby) Thompson had them ready to go and they got it done."
Sophomore Freddie Seeley (113 pounds), and juniors Tanner Hild (138), Connor Larson (160) and Dylan Fielder (182) were all second for the Lynx after compiling 2-1 records.
(Number of individual champions)
1. Fort Dodge (3) 203; 2. Webster City (0) 171; 3. Clarinda (1) 147; 4. Emmetsburg (3) 140; 5. Sioux City East (1) 121; 6. Newton (0) 117; 7. Bondurant-Farrar (3) 115; 8. Ames (2) 92; 9. Council Bluffs Lewis Central (1) 82; 10. Storm Lake (0) 70; 11. Nevada (0) 32.
106 - Erik Birnbaum (FD) dec. Koby Hull (NEWT), 8-7; 113 - Cole Detmering (FD) dec. Freddie Seeley (WC), 4-1; 120 - Caleb Coleman (B-F) dec. Blake Luna (CLAR), 6-4; 126 - Cole Race (CLAR) pinned Cameron Hicks (FD), 3:53. 132 - Nathan Twito (AME) dec. Dakota Dawson (NEWT), 5-1; 138 - Sam Peterson (AME) dec. Tanner Hild (WC), 7-4; 145 - Patrick Rooney (B-F) dec. Luke Strong (CLAR), 6-5; 152 - Tucker Ksaisek (B-F) dec. Brady Bailey (EBURG), 2-1; 160 - Mitchell Otto (SCE) dec. Connor Larson (WC), 6-1; 170 - Duke Egli (FD) dec. Nick Schany (EBURG), 4-3; 182 - Andrew Wellick (EBURG) pinned Dylan Fielder (WC), 4:46; 195 - Austin McCartan (EBURG) pinned Riley Prescott (FD), 3:13; 220 - Tayler Wegner (EBURG) pinned Hunter Girling (B-F), 0:59; 285 - Zach Renshaw (CBLC) injury def. Chad Pohlmeier (B-F).
Webster City Results
106 - Cole Nokes 0-1, 5th; 113 - Freddie Seeley 2-1, 2nd; 120 - Andrew Straw 0-2, 7th; 126 - Collin Oswald 0-1, 5th; 132 - Tanner Hoveland 1-2, 7th; 138 - Tanner Hild 2-1, 2nd; 145 - Jake Powers 2-1, 3rd; 152 - Alex Oswald 2-1, 3rd; 160 - Connor Larson 2-1, 2nd; 170 - Brandon Patten 2-1, 3rd; 182 - Dylan Fielder 2-1, 2nd; 195 - Gus Gasca 1-2, 4th; 220 - Jared Thome 0-2, DNP; 285 - Landon Johnson 1-2, 4th.
Fielder, ranked No. 2 (3A), dropped the marquee match of the tournament - it was his first loss of the season - when he was pinned by top-ranked (1A) Andrew Wellick of Emmetsburg in the gold-medal round. Fielder attempted a fireman's carry, but got caught underneath and the experienced Wellick put him to his back midway through the third period.
"This was a great measuring stick for Dylan to see where he's at against someone of that caliber, and this shows him what we need to work on," Ted Larson said. "We're going for a state title here and he's got to understand that we've got to keep position at all times against kids of that caliber."
Seeley, making his first-ever finals appearance, dropped a narrow 4-1 decision to Fort Dodge's Cole Detmering.
"To have Freddie make the finals for the first time ever, that's a big deal," Ted Larson said. "It's really going to help his confidence."
Hild fell to Ames' Sam Peterson, 7-4, and Connor Larson was defeated by Sioux City East's Mitchell Otto, 6-1.
"Neither one of those guys (Hild and Connor Larson) were happy," Ted Larson said. "They both got in scrambles, but came out on the wrong side, so that's something we've got to work on."
Bronze medals went to Jake Powers (145), Alex Oswald (152) and Brandon Patten (170). Gus Gasca (195) and 10th-ranked Landon Johnson (285) were both fourth.
"I thought Alex Oswald wrestled so tough against some good kids, and Brandon Patten had a great day coming back to get third, too," Ted Larson said.