No. 1-ranked Phetxoumphone becomes a 4-time champ with ease, joins Doolittle and 9 others in club

WCHS head coach Chad Hisler (center) raises the arm of four-time NCC champion Cam Phetxoumphone (right) for the crowd as assistant coach Billy Bertran waits to congratulate Phetxoumphone on Saturday in Fort Dodge. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

FORT DODGE — Cam Phetxoumphone wasn’t asking for much. All he wanted was someone — anyone — to step up to the challenge and give him a scrap at Saturday’s 55th North Central Conference wrestling tournament inside the St. Edmond gymnasium.

There were five rated wrestlers that could have potentially granted Phetxoumphone’s wish, and yet none acquiesced.

Hey, can you really blame them?

“I knew they were going to dodge me, but I was hoping they would be there,” Phetxoumphone, a Webster City senior two-time state champion and the No. 1-ranked (Class 2A) 120-pounder in the state, said. “I wasn’t too happy.”

The consolation prize wasn’t too bad though. Phetxoumphone wasn’t taxed and he cruised through his bracket to become the 11th four-time conference champion in the history of the NCC tournament. He joined his former teammate and 2019 state champion Drake Doolittle as the only Lynx members of the club.

WCHS senior Cam Phetxoumphone (right) secures a takedown against Humboldt’s DJ Muir in the 120-pound final at Saturday’s NCC tournament in Fort Dodge. Phetxoumphone became the 11th wrestler to win four conference titles. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Algona’s Paul Martin; Humboldt’s Kevin Dresser and Justin Hanson; Eagle Grove’s Mark Kist; Clear Lake’s Jacob Colon and the Faught brothers, Ryan and Eric; St. Edmond’s Kaden McClintock; and Clarion-Goldfield-Dows’ Joel Haberman are the other four-time champions.

“Now that I think about it, there are a bunch of really good kids in our conference,” Phetxoumphone said. “So coming out as a four-timer, that’s really cool and it puts me up there with the big dogs. Anytime I can put my name next to Drake’s, that’s pretty good because I consider him a legend.”

Phetxoumphone etched his name into history by steamrolling Humboldt’s DJ Muir by fall in the finals. It took the WCHS senior just 1:43, and that came after a 56-second pin over Iowa Falls-Alden’s Kaden Meyer in the semifinals.

Phetxoumphone improved to 142-7 in his career — he’s 102-1 since the start of his sophomore season — and he moved into a tie for third on the Lynx all-time wins leaderboard with Connor Larson. He needs just four more wins to take sole possession of second place, although he’ll be unable to catch Doolittle’s school-record total of 175.

Still, Phetxoumphone was left to contemplate what might have been after his less than stressful day.

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Clarion-Goldfield-Dows’ Ethan Traub, who is ranked sixth at 120, bumped up to 126 on Saturday and Humboldt’s 12th-ranked Tyce Clarken didn’t compete. Hampton-Dumont/CAL’s Jack Showalter opted to stay at 113 where he’s ranked 10th, and Algona’s Tate Slagle hung at 126 where he’s ranked ninth.

That left Phetxoumphone as the only ranked individual at 120.

“I wish I could go out in style, but I did the best I could,” he said. “I just wanted to do my thing and get it over with.”

In eight career NCC tournament matches, Phetxoumphone rolled up six falls and two decision wins. He pinned his way through the field as a junior as well.

“He’s just been so fun to watch,” WCHS head coach Chad Hisler said of Phetxoumphone. “It’s been a privilege for me and I was just lucky to be a part of it.”


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