CAM IS THE MAN
Phetxoumphone wins 2nd state title by avenging loss
DES MOINES — With his left nostril plugged to keep it from oozing blood following a six-minute scrap, Cam Phetxoumphone walked off the Wells Fargo Arena floor Saturday night with one arm draped around Webster City head coach Chad Hisler and the other high in the air, his hand flashing two fingers.
One for each of his state championships.
Avenging his only loss over the last two seasons — and it took him just seven days to even the score — against third-ranked freshman Anders Kittelson of Crestwood, No. 1-ranked Phetxoumphone captured the Class 2A 113-pound state crown to become only the third Lynx grappler to win multiple state titles. He joined Bart Chelesvig — a three-time winner from 1985-87 — and Jamie Taxted (1996 and 1997) in the exclusive club.
“It feels amazing,” a still drenched in sweat Phetxoumphone said afterward. “I still can’t believe it yet, but I came into this tournament knowing I was the top dog and I proved it.”
In an eerily similar fashion to their district battle a week prior, only this time with the roles reversed, Phetxoumphone pulled out a 2-1 decision over Kittelson, the deciding point coming on a penalty with 54 seconds remaining in the second period when Kittelson was called for a figure-4 to the head of Phetxoumphone.
Tied at 1 entering the third period, the WCHS junior moved in front to stay on an escape in the opening five seconds and then fended off repeated attacks by Kittelson down the stretch.
Kittelson (29-1) claimed the first battle, 2-1, when Phetxoumphone was penalized for locking his hands on an attempted mat return in the second period. In 12 minutes on the mat against one another, neither has notched a takedown.
“I’m happy that I didn’t give up any takedowns or dump positioning,” Phetxoumphone said. “It was definitely illegal (the figure-4) and I knew I was going to get a point when it happened.”
Both wrestlers took their shots, but neither was able to finish. Kittelson attacked Phetxoumphone’s legs in the opening period to no avail, and Phetxoumphone was unable to finish a takedown near the edge of the mat with 43 seconds left in the match.
“I thought Cam wrestled really smart,” Hisler said. “He just stayed in good position and he’s very good defensively.”
It completed a second straight dominant state tournament appearance for Phetxoumphone. He outscored his four opponents 23-3 and didn’t give up a takedown while producing a fall, a major decision and two decision wins.
But it wasn’t easy, Phetxoumphone said. In fact, the entire season was a grind.
“I’d say this year was three times tougher than last year (when he won the 106-pound state title),” he said. “I had to work on my shots more this year and I had to be more technical.”
Phetxoumphone reached the championship round by thumping Kale Wieland of Independence, 10-0, in the quarters and then disposing of West Delaware’s sixth-ranked Carson Less, 6-2, in the semifinals on Friday. He piled up six takedowns in the two bouts and turned Wieland twice.
Phetxoumphone is only the sixth WCHS wrestler to ever appear in two state finals, and he’ll take a 117-7 career record into his senior season next winter. Fifth at 106 as a freshman in 2019, he’s 77-1 over the past two seasons.
He’s currently tied with Royce Nessa for ninth on the Lynx all-time wins list and could potentially climb to as high as No. 2 on the leaderboard by the end of next season.
But the guy he’ll truly be chasing is Chelesvig, who is almost unanimously considered the greatest grappler the Lynx program has ever produced after three consecutive unbeaten seasons to close out his prep career before he wrestled for Dan Gable at Iowa. Phetxoumphone’s semifinal win over Less pushed him past Chelesvig on the wins chart.
“He’s a two-time state champion, just the third in school history, and he’s really bought into our program,” Hisler said.
Phetxoumphone says the push for No. 3 will start before all of the snow has melted.
“I’ll take a few weeks off maybe and then I’ll get back to the room and work for that third one,” he said.
State Wrestling Tournament
Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines
Webster City Results
106 — Carson Doolittle (Webster City) dec Carter Anderson (Albia), 2-1.
113 — Cam Phetxoumphone (Webster City) maj dec Kale Wieland (Independence), 10-0.
106 — Kade Blume (Roland-Story) dec Carson Doolittle (Webster City), 3-1.
113 — Cam Phetxoumphone (Webster City) dec Carson Less (West Delaware), 6-2.
106 — Carson Doolittle (Webster City) dec Kaden Kremer (Independence), 4-1.
Third Place Match
106 — Carson Doolittle (Webster City) dec Carter Anderson (Albia), 1-0.
113 — Cam Phetxoumphone (Webster City) dec Anders Kittelson (Crestwood), 2-1.
Note: Carson Doolittle and Cam Phetxoumphone combined to score 39 team points for Webster City. The Lynx finished 10th in Class 2A.
106 — (3A) Carter Freeman, Waukee; (2A) Kade Blume, Roland-Story; (1A) Kale Petersen, West Fork.
113 — (3A) Nate Jesuroga, SE Polk; (2A) Cam Phetxoumphone, Webster City; (1A) Garret Rinken, Nashua-Plainfield.
120 — (3A) Trever Anderson, Ankeny; (2A) McKinley Robbins, Greene County; (1A) Marcel Lopez, New London.
126 — (3A) Dustin Bohren, Bettendorf; (2A) Carter Fousek, Crestwood; (1A) Cade Siebrecht, Lisbon.
132 — (3A) Drake Ayala, Fort Dodge; (2A) Brandon O’Brien, Independence; (1A) Aidan Noonan, Cascade.
138 — (3A) Hunter Garvin, Iowa City West; (2A) Isaiah Weber, Independence; (1A) Wyatt Reisz, Logan-Magnolia.
145 — (3A) Joel Jesuroga, SE Polk; (2A) Mathew Lewis, Centerville; (1A) Robert Avila, Jr, Lisbon.
152 — (3A) Aiden Riggins, Waverly-SR; (2A) Jack Gaukel, Sergeant Bluff-Luton; (1A) Maximus Magayna, Waterloo Columbus.
160 — (3A) Tate Naaktgeboren, Linn-Mar; (2A) Hayden Taylor, Solon; (1A) Tate Entriken, Hudson.
170 — (3A) Caleb Helgeson, Johnston; (2A) Carson Babcock, NH/TV; (1A) Cade Tenold, Don Bosco.
182 — (3A) McCrae Hagarty, Waverly-SR; (2A) Spencer Mooberry, Osage; (1A) Carson Tenold, Don Bosco.
195 — (3A) Ben Kueter, Iowa City High; (2A) Wyatt Voelker, West Delaware; (1A) Tristan Mulder, Western Christian.
220 — (3A) Bradley Hill, Bettendorf; (2A) Kobe Simon, West Liberty; (1A) Cole Clark, Lisbon.
285 — (3A) Griffin Liddle, Bettendorf; (2A) Carson Petlon, West Delaware; (1A) Chet Buss, North Butler-Clarksville.
Class 3A — Waverly-Shell Rock.
Class 2A — West Delaware.
Class 1A — Don Bosco.