Phetxoumphone and Doolittle head to state with chips on shoulders
NEW HAMPTON — The streak spanned 728 days, and over that time Cam Phetxoumphone racked up 73 consecutive wins and one state championship.
And his reaction after it ended on Saturday? A shrug.
Phetxoumphone, the 2020 state champion at 106 and the top-ranked grappler at 113, suffered his first loss since Feb. 16, 2019, in the Class 2A District 6 championship round. A locked hands penalty point midway through the second period was the difference, as third-ranked freshman Anders Kittelson of Crestwood got his arm raised, 2-1.
Phetxoumphone (31-1), a Webster City junior, regrouped to smother Roland-Story’s Ben Sarver by technical fall, 17-0, in the wrestleback, and he’ll be the No. 1 seed at his third state tournament later this week.
And now he has something to prove. That’s not just a chip on his shoulder, it’s a boulder.
“I know this isn’t the goal that I wanted, but now all that matters is (state),” Phetxoumphone said. “I’m not super upset about it, but it motivates me 100 times more. Sometimes you’ve got to throw a loss in there and just think positive.”
Phetxoumphone and Kittelson (26-0) both staved off shots throughout the bout. Phetxoumphone was able to hit a throw that put Kittelson on his back, but it was out of bounds.
The deciding points came midway through the second period. As Phetxoumphone attempted to elevate Kittelson for a mat return, he was hit with a penalty point for locked hands, and Kittelson was able to escape for a 2-0 lead. Phetxoumphone quickly escaped in the third, but was unable to finish a shot for a takedown.
“I’ve got to go back and watch the match and look at all my flaws,” Phetxoumphone said. “It will just make me better in the end.”
Phetxoumphone will be joined at state by teammates Chase Rattenborg, the district champion at 132, and third-ranked 106-pounder Carson Doolittle, who advanced as a runner-up.
Tenth-ranked CJ Hisler (182) and Trey Shannon (220) both placed third, while Reece Sadler (126) and Austin Mason (138) were fourth.
Doolittle (32-4) will have his own frustrations to vent after he lost to fourth-ranked Kade Blume of Roland-Story for the second time in as many weeks. The difference this time? An escape point, 3-2.
“I need to attack more,” Doolittle, who has four losses to top-five opponents by a combined five points this season, said. “I didn’t attack much in that last match and when I did it was from far away.”
Blume, whose only loss came to Doolittle last month, got on the board with a first-period takedown. Doolittle opted to start the second on his feet and evened it up with his own takedown. Blume went down to open the third and scored the deciding point.
Doolittle opened his day by bouncing sixth-ranked and 2020 eighth-place state medalist Nathaniel Bigalk of Crestwood out of contention, 5-1. Doolittle scored on a pair of takedowns and received a point for stalling.
Hisler (28-5) came up just short in his state bid, as he dropped an 8-6 decision to Kale Rodgers of North Fayette Valley in the wrestleback. Hisler reversed Rodgers to his back in the second period and took a 4-2 lead into the third, but Rodgers scored three takedowns off of leg attacks by Hisler to prevail.
Shannon (29-5) was on the mat for 3 minutes, 18 seconds, and dominated all but eight seconds of that time.
Leading Charles City’s Tino Tamayo 4-2 after one period following two takedowns in the semifinals, Shannon went down to start the second. He attempted to sit out, but was cranked to his back for the fall just eight seconds after the whistle. Shannon rebounded to stick Iowa Falls-Alden’s Nic Warrington in the consolation round, but didn’t get a wrestleback.
Class 2A District 6
Saturday at New Hampton
Webster City Results
Carson Doolittle (106)
Semifinals — Won by dec over Nathaniel Bigalk (Crestwood), 5-1. Finals — Lost by dec to Kade Blume (Roland-Story), 3-2.
Cam Phetxoumphone (113)
Semifinals — Won by fall over Edgar Nunez (NH/TV), 3:41. Finals — Lost by dec to Anders Kittelson (Crestwood), 2-1. Wrestleback — Won by tech fall over Ben Sarver (Roland-Story), 17-1, 4:35.
Reece Sadler (126)
Semifinals — Lost by fall to Carter Fousek (Crestwood), 2:47. Consolation — Lost to Lane Rolfs (Decorah), 7-1.
Chase Rattenborg (132)
Semifinals — Won by fall over Brady Stille (Decorah), 1:58. Finals — Won by tech fall over Cole Butikofer (Crestwood), 15-0, 5:39.
Austin Mason (138)
Semifinals — Lost by fall to Chase Thomas (Crestwood), 1:43. Consolation — Lost by dec to Mason Kent (IF-Alden), 6-0.
CJ Hisler (182)
Semifinals — Lost by dec to Keenan Tyler (Decorah), 10-5. Consolation — Won by dec over Eli Thorson (Roland-Story), 12-10, SV-1. Wrestleback — Lost by dec to Kale Rodgers (NFV), 8-6.
Trey Shannon (220)
Semifinals — Lost by fall to Tino Tamayo (Charles City), 2:08. Consolation — Won by fall over Nic Warrington (IF-Alden), 1:10.
Webster City’s State Pairings
(Ranked wrestlers noted)
106 — No. 3 Carson Doolittle (32-4) vs. No. 9 Jacob Zabka (30-3), Algona.
113 — No. 1 Cam Phetxoumphone (31-1) vs. Lincoln Keeler (23-11), Creston/Orient-Macksburg.
132 — Chase Rattenborg (29-7) vs. No. 9 Reily Dolan (25-6).