Lynx crown 2 champs, take 2nd at Mustang Invite
Doolittle roughs up the 120-pound bracket, Lawson makes his return to mat and schools heavyweights
GRIMES — Cooper Lawson had the wild eyes of an attack dog off his leash as he stomped around the Dallas Center-Grimes High School gymnasium as evening set in on Saturday. If he would have found a brick wall, he may have tried to run through it.
It had been 352 days since Webster City’s behemoth heavyweight wrestler had stepped in the circle in competition and to say he was chomping at the bit would be an understatement. There were moments where the rust was evident, but there were plenty of moments where he resembled the nearly unbeatable force he was prior to a shoulder injury that brought his junior season to an abrupt end a winter ago.
Lawson, ranked No. 2 (Class 2A) by iawrestle.com, was back to his quick, aggressive style by the end of the 71⁄2-hour marathon Dallas Center-Grimes Mustang Invitational and he capped his 4-0 day by decking seventh-ranked (1A) Jake Hutton of Interstate-35 in 3:31 in the championship round.
Webster City crowned two champions — second-ranked 120-pounder Drake Doolittle played surgeon as he dissected his bracket — and had 12 grapplers place. The Lynx scored 199 points, which was good enough for second behind champion Ankeny Centennial (2141⁄2).
Lawson scored at will against Hutton. He hit a pair of takedowns in the first period and two more in the second, the last one a single-leg that put Hutton on his back for good.
If he would have been asked to wrestle 10 more times, Lawson would have been ready.
“What you saw right there, that was fun. I love it,” he said just minutes after his gold-medal brawl. “I’m the best if I do that. Nothing is holding me back.”
Lawson was still irritated about a 1-0 quarterfinal win over Creston/Orient-Macksburg’s Blake Sevier after his title bout. But he shrugged that off and stuck Keegan Mitts-Butler of Oskaloosa after putting on a takedown clinic in the semifinals.
“What I want to do is I want to wrestle heavyweight and look like a 113-pounder,” Lawson, who had three pins on the day, said. “It’s easier said than done, but I think I did that in the last two matches.”
The team title was there for the taking, but a below-average final round dashed the Lynx chances. They led Ankeny Centennial by 51⁄2 points after the semifinals, but then went 4-8 in their placing matches. The Cougars turned it on late and won 10 of their 13 placing bouts, five of them by fall, to vault into the top spot.
“There were some really good things that happened, but I think there were probably six or seven matches that could have gone the other way,” WCHS head coach Chad Hisler said. “So we left a lot of points out there and could have had a run for the title.”
Lawson was a little more blunt.
“Our team wrestled well, but I’m mad that we’re going home with the second-place trophy,” he said. “We’ve got some things to work on.”
The Lynx were without 10th-ranked 220-pounder James Cherry. Caleb Olson, the eighth-place state medalist at 195 a season ago, didn’t make his season debut either.
Doolittle’s status as one of the best pound-for-pound wrestlers in the field was never in question. He pinned his way to his third consecutive Mustang Invite title — Lawson is also a three-time champ — and was never seriously challenged.
Doolittle notched three takedowns on seventh-ranked Casey Baker of I-35 in the final and racked up six near-fall points. It was 13-2 in Doolittle’s favor when he put Baker out of his misery at the 3:56 mark.
“Drake did his thing and wrestled smart all day,” Hisler said. “He’s like another coach in the gym for us.”
Reece Sadler (106), fifth-ranked Carson Hartnett (138) and eighth-ranked Zane Williams (182) all finished second.
In his first-ever varsity tournament, Sadler pinned his way into the finals before he lost to PCM’s Landon Fenton.
Hartnett was in control of his title match against I-35s Zac Willey, ahead 4-1 with less than a minute remaining. But a third caution cost him a point and he was also dinged for stalling to make it 4-3. Willey was able to escape to force sudden-victory where he won it, 6-4, on a controversial takedown call that had the WCHS coaches scratching their heads afterwards.
“I’ll have to watch the video, but I didn’t see the takedown,” Hisler said. “I thought it looked like (Hartnett) had the takedown. But he was in on shots and didn’t finish, so hopefully he’ll use this as a learning experience and it will keep him motivated.”
Williams, who is ranked at 170, knew he had to pull off a big move against Centennial’s 10th-ranked Colin Honderd, but it was Honderd who hit a throw to break up a scoreless match and he eventually got the fall in 2:33.
“We knew coming in that kid was going to try to throw. Zane’s good at those things too and he almost rolled through,” Hisler said. “But he went out and tried to give us a chance as a team, so you can’t fault that effort.”
Williams pinned his first two opponents in the first period.
Harrison Hayes (152), seventh-ranked Luke Rohmiller (160) and Alex Wolfgram (220) all reached the semifinals and placed fourth. Rohmiller was forced to injury default out of his consolation final.
Nick Gasca (126) rebounded from a quarterfinal loss to win three consecutive matches for fifth. Chase Rattenborg (113) took sixth, Carter Bedford (170) seventh and Hunter Collicott (195) eighth.
WCHS went 29-20 on the mats.
The Lynx will travel back to Grimes Thursday night for a difficult quadrangular that will also include DCG, Ballard and Indianola. Their opening dual will be against Ballard at 5 p.m.
DCG Mustang Invitational
Saturday at Grimes
(Number of individual champions)
1. Ankeny Centennial (3) 214 1⁄2; 2. Webster City (2) 199; 3. Interstate 35 (1) 1811⁄2; 4. Prairie City-Monroe (2) 162; 5. Creston/Orient-Macksburg 120; 6. Dallas Center-Grimes (1) 115; 7. ADM (3) 113; 8. Urbandale 89; 9. Des Moines East (2) 801⁄2; 10. Carlisle 601⁄2; 11. Carroll 55; 12. (tie) Oskaloosa and West Marshall 47; 14. (tie) Greene County and Nevada 41.
106 — Landon Fenton (PCM) pinned Reece Sadler (WC), 5:32. 113 — Andrew Flora (ADM) dec. Payton Drake (PCM), 3-1. 120 — Drake Doolittle (WC) pinned Casey Baker (I35) 3:56. 126 — Ben Monroe (AC) dec. Hunter Pfantz (WM), 15-11. 132 — Matthew Jordan (DME) major dec. Cal Baethke (URB) 13-3. 138 — Zac Willey (I35) dec. Carson Hartnett (WC), 6-4, SV-1. 145 — Deville Dentis (DME) dec. Mitchell Swank (C/OM), 3-0. 152 — Nolan Harsh (ADM) dec. Brayden Egle (I35), 4-2. 160 — Zane Mulder (DCG) dec. Wes Cummings (PCM), 6-1. 170 — Lucas Roland (PCM) pinned Nic Leo (AC), 2:29. 182 — Colin Honderd (AC) pinned Zane Williams (WC), 2:33. 195 — Noah Stober (AC) dec. Adam Fraher (URB), 7-4. 220 — Kaden Sutton (ADM) dec. Luke Durkop (NEV), 9-4. 285 — Cooper Lawson (WC) pinned Jake Hutton (I35), 3:31.
Webster City Results
106 — Reece Sadler 2-1, 2nd. 113 — Chase Rattenborg 2-2, 6th. 120 — Drake Doolittle 3-0, 1st. 126 — Nick Gasca 3-1, 5th. 132 — Brady Auderer 1-2, DNP. 138 — Carson Hartnett 2-1, 2nd. 145 — Daltyn Peck 0-2, DNP. 152 — Harrison Hayes 2-2, 4th. 160 — Luke Rohmiller 2-2, 4th. 170 — Carter Bedford 2-2, 7th. 182 — Zane Williams 2-1, 2nd. 195 — Hunter Collicott 2-3, 8th. 220 — Alex Wolfgram 2-2, 4th. 285 — Cooper Lawson 4-0, 1st.