Down 11-0, Olson rallies and hits favorite move to pull upset
Doolittle decks first-round foe to reach 2A? quarters, Nelson alive on backside of 106 bracket
DES MOINES — Caleb Olson didn’t count the number of lights on the ceiling of Wells Fargo Arena, but he had plenty of time to at least attempt it as he struggled to get out of a cradle in his Class 2A 195-pound first-round match last night.
Finally coming out of the cradle, the Webster City sophomore trailed 11-0 with less than 20 seconds left in the second period. But then he taught himself and every other wrestler a valuable lesson.
Never. Say. Never.
Olson roared back against Ballard’s Seth Moore — the eighth-ranked grappler in the weight class, according to the website iawrestle.com — and got the fall in the third period to advance to today’s quarterfinals at the 2017 state tournament. He’ll be joined in the round of eight by second-ranked 113-pounder Drake Doolittle, who put on a clinic before winning by fall in his opener.
“I never give up because you never know what can happen,” a still winded Olson said moments after his upset win. “I was thinking about this all week and I knew I could get him.”
Trey Nelson, the Lynx senior 106-pounder, stayed alive with a rally of his own against another Ballard opponent, Alex Bangs, in the consolation round. Carson Hartnett (132) and Zane Williams (170), both WCHS juniors, were eliminated from the tournament following a pair of losses.
Olson hit a granby roll in the waning seconds of the second period to trim his deficit against Moore to 11-5 and then he went to work. Moore, who pinned Olson in the first period at last week’s regional duals in Creston, hung his far arm for just a second and that was all Olson needed early in the third period.
“That’s basically the only move I have, the butcher,” Olson said after he caught Moore in it and got the fall in 4:59. “It’s my favorite move and it got me to the next round of state.”
Moore twice put Olson in a cradle to build the big lead. But the five-point move by Olson changed the landscape of a bout that looked like a mismatch for nearly four minutes.
“That was awesome,” WCHS head coach Chad Hisler said of Olson’s win. “When he hit that granby, I think that made (Moore) think a little bit and then Caleb went to work on top after that.”
Olson (23-6) will be an underdog again today when he ties up with fifth-ranked Zac Stork (42-7) of Atlantic in the quarters.
Doolittle (41-2) showed no mercy in his dissection of Estherville-Lincoln Central’s Jason Peta. Doolittle turned Peta four times and led 14-1 when he ended it with the fall in 2:45. It sets up a quarterfinal date with two-time Illinois state qualifier Ashton Meyers (28-2) of Keokuk. Meyers ended the regular season ranked No. 10 at 120.
“I liked how I was turning (Peta), so I just kept doing it,” Doolittle said. “We’re all just here to push ourselves to the limits and try to get on the medals podium.”
Nelson (34-11) suffered a 15-0 technical fall loss to top-ranked Grayson Kesterson of Williamsburg in the opening round and he trailed Bangs 10-6 after two periods. Bangs scored on a pair of takedowns and reversals, and also put Nelson on his back. But a quick switch off the whistle gave Nelson a reversal early in the third and he quickly put Bangs on his back for the fall in 4:20.
Hisler was happy to see Nelson advance, but he wasn’t necessarily pleased with his performance.
“I got on Trey because I didn’t think he wrestled well until the fall,” he said. “He pinned that kid last week (at regional duals) and he kept trying for the same move instead of just setting things up and getting takedowns. Hopefully he’ll learn from that.”
Hartnett (27-6), who entered the tournament on a 16-match winning streak, dropped a pair of tight decisions. Charles City’s Nate Lasher clipped him in the first round, 11-9, and Perry’s Zach Stewart held on for a 7-4 victory.
Trailing Lasher 7-2 in the second period, Hartnett rallied back to within two points. But an ill-advised throw attempt late sealed his fate.
“That was a learning experience for Carson,” Hisler said. “I don’t think he knew he was only down two points and he didn’t need to go for that.”
Williams (35-10) was pinned by Harlan’s Jacob Wingert in the second period of his first-round match and then could never get to his offense in an 11-2 major decision loss to Davenport Assumption’s Brock Timmons in the consolation round.
WCHS accumulated 11 team points and finds itself tied for 11th place. Solon leads the field with 271⁄2 points.
The 2A quarterfinals will get underway today at 2:30 p.m.
2017 State Tournament
Thursday at Wells Fargo Arena
106 — Grayson Kesterson, Williamsburg tech fall Trey Nelson, Webster City, 15-0, 2:39.
113 — Drake Doolittle, Webster City pinned Jason Peta, Estherville-LC, 2:45.
132 — Nate Lasher, Charles City dec. Carson Hartnett, Webster City, 11-9.
170 — Jacob Wingert, Harlan pinned Zane Williams, Webster City, 2:47.
195 — Caleb Olson, Webster City pinned Seth Moore, Ballard, 4:59.
Consolation First Round
106 — Trey Nelson, Webster City pinned Alex Bangs, Ballard, 4:20.
132 — Zach Stewart, Perry dec. Carson Hartnett, Webster City, 7-4.
170 — Brock Timmons, Davenport Assumption, maj dec. Zane Williams, Webster City, 11-2.
113 — Drake Doolittle (41-2), Webster City vs. Ashton Meyers (28-2), Keokuk.
195 — Caleb Olson (23-6), Webster City vs. Zac Stork (42-7), Atlantic.
Consolation Second Round
106 — Trey Nelson (34-11), Webster City vs. Carter Weeks (35-7), Vinton-Shellsburg or Brock Beck (41-6), Grinnell.