THE JOURNEY TO STATE STARTS NOW
WCHS, Ballard the favorites heading into Saturday’s 2A?sectional
WEBSTER CITY — It didn’t happen overnight, but eventually Carson Hartnett, Luke Rohmiller and Zane Williams all found their weight class comfort zones.
And the results have been staggering.
As confident as they’ve ever been, the Webster City senior trio and the rest of the fifth-ranked Lynx will head to Huxley on Saturday for a Class 2A sectional tournament that will get underway at noon.
WCHS and No. 4-ranked Ballard are expected to be the heavy hitters, as they combine to possess 10 of the 11 ranked individuals in the field. Also competing will be Collins-Maxwell, Gilbert, Nevada and West Marshall.
The top two teams will advance to Tuesday’s regional duals. The top two individuals at each weight will qualify for next Saturday’s district tournament in Webster City.
A state qualifier a season ago, Hartnett (31-5), ranked No. 7, has never wrestled better since he made the move down from 138 pounds to 132. He’s 11-0 at the lighter weight with statement-making wins over Logan-Magnolia’s Wyatt Crocker and Des Moines East’s third-ranked (3A) Matthew Jordan, who was unbeaten when Hartnett dominated him, 7-3, at the Perry Invite last month.
Rohmiller (22-5) is 19-2 since his move down to 152 and eighth-ranked Williams (33-6) is 24-3 since he transitioned to 170.
“They were all pretty focused during the season getting ready for this moment and dropping down in weight has even made them more competitive,” WCHS head coach Chad Hisler said.
WCHS has high hopes for the sectional at Ballard High School. The Lynx will have the predominant favorite at a handful weights — Chase Rattenborg (31-9) at 113, second-ranked and 2017 state runner-up Drake Doolittle (35-3) at 120, Hartnett, Williams, sixth-ranked James Cherry (27-4) at 220 and top-ranked and 2016 state runner-up Cooper Lawson (37-0) at 285. But Hisler feels there are plenty more grapplers in his lineup that can make the jump to the district tournament if they wrestle well.
“We’re wrestling really well right now and we’re peaking at the right time,” Hisler said. “The goal is to get as many kids through as possible and to get in the top two as a team so we have a shot at going to state duals.”
Rohmiller will have his hands full in a bracket that is also expected to feature second-ranked and 2017 state runner-up Skyler Noftsger of Ballard. It’s the only weight in which two ranked wrestlers could meet.
Lawson has been on a mission all season and enters the postseason on a 46-match winning streak. But he won’t have a free ride; also at heavyweight will be Ballard’s Collin Anderson, who has 32 wins on the season. Lawson handed Anderson one of his losses by fall in 42 seconds.
Getting through the sectional will just be the first hurdle for Lawson. The district 285-pound bracket could be one of the toughest in the state; fourth-ranked Dominick Etherington of Algona and fifth-ranked Spencer Trenary of Clarion-Goldfield-Dows could also be among the four entrants vying for two state spots.
Lawson owns wins over both Etherington and Trenary as well, but Hisler says that nothing can be taken for granted at this point in the season.
“We’ve still got to keep (Lawson) on edge and on top of his game because I’ve seen it happen before where there’s some kid that isn’t supposed to get beat and does,” he said. “So he’s got to be ready to wrestle because he’ll have some tough competition.”
WCHS junior 195-pounder Caleb Olson (13-8), an eighth-place state medalist a season ago, will face his own challenges on Saturday. Gilbert’s Reldon Miller is 41-5 on the season and 17-0 since he moved to 195.
What: Class 2A sectional wrestling tournament
When: Saturday, noon
Where: Ballard High School, Huxley
Teams: Ballard, Collins-Maxwell, Gilbert, Nevada, Webster City, West Marshall
Webster City Lineup
106 — Reece Sadler, fr, 17-22; 113 — Chase Rattenborg, fr, 31-9; 120 — Drake Doolittle, jr, 35-3; 126 — Nick Gasca, fr, 18-20; 132 — Carson Hartnett, sr, 31-5; 138 — Brady Auderer, jr, 10-26; 145 — Daltyn Peck, jr, 9-26; 152 — Luke Rohmiller, sr, 22-5; 160 — Harrison Hayes, sr, 16-21; 170 — Zane Williams, sr, 33-6; 182 — Hunter Collicott, jr, 14-15; 195 — Caleb Olson, jr, 13-8; 220 — James Cherry, sr, 27-4; 285 — Cooper Lawson, sr, 37-0.
120 — 2. Drake Doolittle, Webster City.
126 — 7. Hunter Pfantz, West Marshall.
132 — 7. Carson Hartnett, Webster City.
138 — 2. Jarrett Miller, Ballard.
152 — 2. Skyler Noftsger, Ballard; 10. Luke Rohmiller, Webster City.
160 — 4. Tate Battani, Ballard.
170 — 8. Zane Williams, Webster City.
182 — 3. Ben Lee, Ballard.
220 — 7. James Cherry, Webster City.
285 — 1. Cooper Lawson, Webster City.