Doolittle, Hartnett, Cherry and Lawson all advance to quarters

Rohmiller alive on back side of bracket after 100th win; No. 1 hwt sets school record ahead of quarterfinal showdown

A happy Luke Rohmiller, Webster City’s senior 152-pounder, points towards the Lynx crowd after he knocked off West Burlington Notre Dame’s Caleb LaLonde, 11-6, for his 100th career victory during the consolation first round at yesterday’s state tournament in Des Moines. Rohmiller is one of five WCHS grapplers still in contention for a state medal. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

DES MOINES — Those pearly whites of Luke Rohmiller first made an appearance as the clock dipped under 10 seconds, and they didn’t go back into hiding for quite some time.

His state tournament, his career and, yes, his legacy will live to tell stories for at least one more day.

Rohmiller, Webster City’s senior 152-pounder, became the 18th Lynx wrestler to reach 100 career victories Thursday morning and he couldn’t have scripted it any better. On Mat 3 inside Wells Fargo Arena, as thunderous applause rained down on him, he moved to within one win of a state medal.

A smile and quick point to acknowledge the large WCHS crowd holding up the 100 signs were followed by a hug for coaches Chad Hisler and Joel Kennedy.

“It feels great and getting (the 100th win) down here is pretty cool,” Rohmiller said after he dispatched Caleb LaLonde of West Burlington Notre Dame, 11-6, in a consolation first-round match. “From now on I’m wrestling every match like it could be my last.”

WCHS top-ranked heavyweight Cooper Lawson (facing) blasts into the legs of Washington’s Mitchell Huisenga for a takedown yesterday. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Day 1 of the 2018 Iowa State Wrestling Championships was a mixed bag for fifth-ranked WCHS, which accrued 11 points and sits 10th in the team standings. The Lynx pushed four of their rated grapplers — No. 2 Drake Doolittle (120), No. 7 Carson Hartnett (132), No. 7 James Cherry (220) and No. 1 Cooper Lawson (285) — on to today’s quarterfinal round. Rohmiller’s advancement on the back side kept five alive. But eighth-ranked Zane Williams (170) and Caleb Olson were both eliminated following back-to-back losses.

Top-ranked New Hampton/Turkey Valley, the state duals champion on Wednesday, leads the 2A team race with 23 points. Second-ranked West Liberty follows closely behind with 181⁄2.

Lawson (47-0) set a new single-season record for wins with a 6-1 triumph over Mitchell Huisenga of Washington. It eclipsed the old mark of 46 set by Gavin Dinsdale during his run to the 220-pound state title two years ago.

But that doesn’t mean Lawson was all that thrilled with his outing, which was his 56th consecutive win overall. Huisenga was content to hang out and not force the issue.

“He didn’t really do anything,” Lawson said after he notched three takedowns in a match that was never in doubt. “I tried to plant my foot in the middle of the mat and make him wrestle, but he didn’t want to wrestle me I guess. That makes me mad.”

No. 2-ranked Drake Doolittle scores an early takedown against EBF’s Tyler Landgrebe at 120 pounds at the state tourney yesterday. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

The 2016 state runner-up was quick to move on, however, as he prepared for the battle that many consider the state championship bout this morning against 2017 state silver medalist and No. 2-ranked John McConkey (54-1) of Atlantic.

Quarterfinals or finals, it doesn’t make a bit of difference to Lawson.

“It doesn’t matter,” he said “Every match is a big match at state, so I’m not going to treat it any differently. Who cares when it happens.”

Doolittle (45-3), last year’s state runner-up at 113, will face his own quarterfinal brawl against third-ranked Kaden Anderlik (40-2) of Crestwood.

“I’ve never wrestled (Anderlik) before, but it should be a good match,” Doolittle said. “I’m going to go after him and we’ll see what happens.”

James Cherry (front) bear hugs WCHS head coach Chad Hisler following Cherry’s opening-round win at 220 pounds during yesterday’s state wrestling tournament in Des Moines. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Doolittle breezed out of the first round yesterday. He cranked out a pair of quick takedowns before he put Tyler Landgrebe of Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont out of his misery by fall in 1:20.

“It’s the state tournament, you have to get it over with when you can,” Doolittle said. “You don’t want to risk anything down here.”

Cherry (36-5) was the most excited WCHS quarterfinalist. He leapt into the arms of Hisler after he dumped third-ranked Dakoda Powell of Spirit Lake Park, 9-3.

Cherry hit a throw in the first period that resulted in a 5-1 lead and he added a takedown late.

It was a bit of redemption for Cherry, who lost a big lead and, eventually, the match to Powell, 15-13, when they met in December.

WCHS 132-pounder Carson Hartnett (top) puts the squeeze on Dyersville Beckman’s Grant Hoeger during a first-round match at the state tournament yesterday in Des Moines. Hartnett advanced with a 12-7 victory. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

“That was sweet,” Cherry said. “I wanted to prove that I can compete with the best. He’s (ranked) No. 3, so I think I did that.”

Cherry will have to climb Mount Everest this morning when he locks up with top-ranked Boone McDermott (42-1) of Dubuque Wahlert. McDermott placed third at 182 a season ago.

But Cherry being Cherry, he seemed unfazed by the task at hand.

“This is where you’ve got to let loose,” he said. “There’s nothing to say before, this is it.”

Like Cherry, Hartnett (41-5) had his first-round opponent, Dyersville Beckman’s Grant Hoeger, on his back for much of the first period on his way to a 12-7 victory. The headlock was tight, but Hoeger was able to avoid the fall.

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

“I thought he was pinned for sure, but I knew I wore the hell out of him,” Hartnett said. “It kind of broke him.”

Hartnett led 5-0 after one period and 9-5 going into the third. He’ll now face eighth-ranked Jack West (40-3) of Winterset in the quarters. West pulled a mild upset when he downed third-ranked Gable Sieperda of Central Lyon/George-Little Rock, 7-6.

Hartnett knows he’s just one win away from a medal, but that’s not good enough for him.

“It’s a goal that I want to accomplish sure, but I want something bigger than that,” he said.

Rohmiller (30-8) dropped his first-round bout to fourth-ranked Mitchel Mangold of West Delaware, 6-2. Rohmiller scored an early takedown and led 2-1 after two minutes, but a two-point near-fall in the second and a late takedown in the third swung the match in Mangold’s favor.

Rohmiller ripped off three takedowns and put LaLonde on his back in the second period of the consolation match.

Williams (41-9) concluded his career with 126 victories, the sixth-most all-time at WCHS. He suffered a technical fall loss to top-ranked Lucas Roland of PCM in his opener and then got caught in a headlock and was pinned by Charles City’s Jack Sindlinger in the consolation round.

Olson (20-14) came within one second of upsetting fourth-ranked Nick Smith of Central DeWitt in the first round. Smith held on, 5-4, as an Olson roll and reversal came just after time had expired.

Eighth-ranked Blake Anderson of OA-BCIG pinned Olson in 1:12 in the consolation round.

The 2A quarterfinals will get underway at 9 a.m. this morning. The consolation second round will follow the 3A quarters.

The 2A semifinal round will take place this afternoon.

State Wrestling Tournament

Thursday at Des Moines

First Round

(Webster City matches only)

120 — Drake Doolittle (WC) pinned Tyler Landgrebe (EBF), 1:20.

132 — Carson Hartnett (WC) dec. Grant Hoeger (Beckman), 12-7.

152 — Mitchel Mangold (W. Delaware) dec. Luke Rohmiller (WC), 6-2.

170 — Lucas Roland (PCM) tech fall Zane Williams (WC), 18-3, 5:56.

195 — Nick Smith (C. DeWitt) dec. Caleb Olson (WC), 5-4.

220 — James Cherry (WC) dec. Dakoda Powell (Spirt Lake Park), 9-3.

285 — Cooper Lawson (WC) dec. Mitchell Huisenga (Washington), 6-1.

Consolation First Round

152 — Luke Rohmiller (WC) dec. Caleb LaLonde (WB Notre Dame), 11-6.

170 — Jack Singlinger (Charles City) pinned Zane Williams (WC), 2:45.

195 — Blake Anderson (OA-BCIG) pinned Caleb Olson (WC), 1:12.

Friday at Des Moines

Quarterfinal Round

120 — Drake Doolittle (WC), 45-3 vs. Kaden Anderlik (Crestwood), 40-2.

132 — Carson Hartnett (WC), 41-5 vs. Jack West (Winterset), 40-3.

220 — James Cherry (WC), 36-5 vs. Boone McDermott (Dubuque Wahlert), 42-1.

285 — Cooper Lawson (WC), 47-0 vs. John McConkey (Atlantic), 54-1.

Consolation Second Round

152 — Luke Rohmiller (WC), 30-8 vs. Dylan Koresh (Charles City), 31-7 OR Isaac Judge (S. Tama County), 45-2.

DFJ photo/Troy Banning