TRIO TRIUMPHS: Olson reaches 100 wins, Doolittle and Phetxoumphone also winners
Lynx push ranked grapplers into today’s state quarterfinals, Gilbert eliminated at 182 pounds
DES MOINES — Confidence hasn’t always come easy to Caleb Olson. Despite the truckload of wins and that state medal in his possession, the Webster City senior admits that he often overlooks his own talent.
“The last few years I’ve come (to state) thinking I’m not the best and you’re not going to win if you think like that,” Olson said. “I’m trying to change that this year.”
He took a big step in the right direction last night.
Olson, the Lynx fifth-ranked 195-pounder, became the 19th 100-match winner in program history with a second-period fall over Chayce Hooyer of Sioux Center in a Class 2A opening-round match at the state tournament.
With a boisterous crowd inside Wells Fargo Arena looking on, Olson (36-4) used a butcher to flatten Hooyer in 3:26.
“It’s really cool to come here and get your 100th win,” Olson said. “There’s no other place you’d rather get it.”
Gavin Dinsdale was the last WCHS wrestler to collect career win No. 100 at the state tournament. He reached the milestone in 2015 and a year later won a state title.
WCHS seventh-ranked 106-pounder Camron Phetxoumphone, a freshman, and top-ranked senior 120-pounder Drake Doolittle will join Olson in today’s quarterfinals after they rolled to impressive first-round wins as well.
Michael Gilbert, a first-year qualifier at 182 for the Lynx, was eliminated from the tournament following a pair of losses.
An admitted slow starter, Olson fell behind 4-0 early in the second period after Hooyer reversed him to his back near the edge of the mat. But Olson hit a reversal of his own and then tilted Hooyer for a two-point near-fall to knot the match at 4.
And in that moment, Olson knew he had him.
“He was getting gassed and once I hit that tilt, I knew he was mentally and physically broke, and then I worked my magic,” Olson said.
Off a restart, Olson quickly snagged the far arm and flipped Hooyer to his back for the fall.
Olson will face a stern test against second-ranked Noah Bandstra (38-2) of East Marshall in this afternoon’s quarterfinals. Presumably waiting on the winner in the semifinals tonight will be none other than top-ranked and two-time state champion Julian Broderson of Davenport Assumption.
Noticeably nervous before his opener against familiar foe and ninth-ranked Cole Nelson of Humboldt, Phetxoumphone (37-4) dominated the all-North Central Conference bout by major decision, 14-5.
Utilizing a one-knee down style that has led to 24 consecutive wins since the calendar turned to 2019, Phetxoumphone dove in at Nelson’s legs for a pair of first-period takedowns. An escape and another takedown pushed his edge to 7-2 after the second.
“After the Don Miller tournament (in Fort Dodge in December), I felt like I was too high, and I’m one of the shorter 106-pounders, so why am I so high?” Phetxoumphone said. “So after we came back from break I just tried (one knee down) and it felt good. Less people have been able to get to my legs.”
Phetxoumphone turned it on in the third period with his fourth takedown and then two tilts for four near-fall points.
The WCHS rookie will also enter today’s quarterfinals as an underdog against second-ranked Blaine Frazier (44-3) of Burlington Notre Dame. But don’t expect Phetxoumphone to be intimidated.
“I’m ready for whatever is next,” he said. “I wanted to get this match out of the way, move on and continue to try to get on top of the podium.”
Doolittle (40-1), a three-time state medalist in search of his first title, prepared for his final state journey by watching the FloWrestling documentary “Terry” about Iowa legend Terry Brands. He says he was looking for a mental edge and it worked.
“I try to emulate Terry Brands because his pace was unreal,” Doolittle said after he decked Union’s Hunter Worthen in just one minute. “No one could stick with him and I want to be like him.”
Aggressive from the whistle, Doolittle tossed Worthen to the mat just seconds into the bout and then turned him for a 4-0 lead. Doolittle quickly transitioned to an inside cradle for the fall.
Even veterans get nervous, Doolittle said, but getting in the right frame of mind makes all the difference.
“You’re always nervous for that first match, but wrestling is all in your head,” he said. “You’ve got to visualize your matches and if you tell yourself you’re going to win, you can be hard to beat.”
Doolittle’s next step will be against ninth-ranked Kyler Dunn (33-5) of Spirit Lake Park in today’s quarters.
Gilbert (24-22) dropped both of his matches by fall, first to sixth-ranked Luke Jenness of Sheldon-South O’Brien in 1:45 and then to Beau Barncastle of Creston in 5:06.
“He’s upset, but at the same time he knows it was a big accomplishment for him to get here,” Hisler said of Gilbert, who has wrestled for just two years. “There are a lot of guys that wrestle for a long time and don’t get down here, so he’ll look back and be proud of his efforts.”
A reversal by Gilbert early in the third period pulled him within 4-3 of Barncastle, but the Creston senior locked up a standing inside cradle and reversed Gilbert to his back.
The 2A quarterfinals and consolation second round will get underway at 2:30 p.m. today.
State Wrestling Tournament
At Des Moines
2A First Round
106 — Camron Phetxoumphone, Webster City major dec. Cole Nelson, Humboldt, 14-5.
120 — Drake Doolittle, Webster City pinned Hunter Worthen, Union, 1:00.
182 — Luke Jenness, Sheldon-South O’Brien pinned Michael Gilbert, Webster City, 1:45.
195 — Caleb Olson, Webster City pinned Chayce Hooyer, Sioux Center, 3:26.
Consolation First Round
182 — Beau Barncastle, Creston pinned Michael Gilbert, Webster City, 5:06.
Class 2A Quarterfinal Matches
106 — Camron Phetxoumphone (37-4), Webster City vs. Blaine Frazier (44-3), Burlington Notre Dame.
120 — Drake Doolittle (40-1), Webster City vs. Kyler Dunn (33-5), Spirit Lake Park.
195 — Caleb Olson (36-4), Webster City vs. Noah Bandstra (38-2), East Marshall.
Webster City 100-Match Winners
1. Drake Doolittle 172*
2. Gavin Dinsdale 145
3. Connor Larson 142
4. Dylan Fielder 141
5. Tyler Patten 137
6. Carson Hartnett 127
7. Zane Williams 126
8. Cooper Lawson 121
9. Royce Nessa 117
10. Bart Chelesvig 115
10. Luke Shannon 115
10. Mike Fertig Jr. 115
13. Tanner Hild 109
13. Freddie Seeley 109
15. Jamie Taxted 105
16. Ryan Ferrari 104
17. Jason Dillingham 103
18. Luke Rohmiller 100
18. Caleb Olson 100*