DES MOINES — Austin Yant thought he had earned at least another minute with top-ranked Nelson Brands of Iowa City West.
The officials, however, felt otherwise.
Denied a last-second tying takedown, the Waverly-Shell Rock senior dropped an 8-6 decision to Brands in the Class 3A 152-pound semifinals at the Class 3A state wrestling tournament Friday, ending his hopes of wrestling in the state finals for a second time.
Trailing the entire match, Yant made a wild rally in the third period, and with under five seconds to go got behind Brands and took him to the mat.
“I don’t know for sure, but I thought I took him down in time,” Yant said. “I will never stop until the referee taps my shoulder.”
The officials conferred quickly and determined the takedown came after time expired, much to the displeasure of the Wells Fargo crowd engrossed in the match and the Go-Hawk coaching staff, which felt overtime was warranted.
“I knew I had him tired and knew I had to get the takedown quickly,” Yant said. “I did a little front roll double and got a shot at his legs and it worked. Apparently not in time, though.
“This is going to be hard to swallow and probably be with me the rest of my life.”
W-SR’s other semifinalist, Dylan Albrecht, was pinned by Southeast Polk’s Gauge Perrien in 1 minute, 52 seconds at 120 pounds.
Yant and Albrecht can finish no worse than sixth.
In all, the Go-Hawks will have five wrestlers finish sixth or better as freshman Evan Yant at 106, senior Zack Wagenhoffer at 160 and senior Jacob Eggleston at 220 reached the consolation semifinals.
“We really kind of had a slow morning,” W-SR head coach Eric Whitcome said. “I don’t know if nerves got over on some of our guys or what, but after that having five guys still alive is pretty good.
“Obviously you feel for the two guys who did not get what they wanted, and they worked as hard as anyone in our room.”
Cedar Falls’ Bryce Pilcher battled to the end, but fell to Gavin Babcock 5-4 in the 170 semifinals. Pilcher, a senior, advanced to the semifinals with a 2:30 pin.
Waterloo East’s Tyrell Gordon continued his strong postseason run with his second pin of the state tournament in the quarterfinals. But in the semifinal match, Gordon fell behind 4-2 after one period and could never find his offense in a 9-4 loss to Anthony Sherry of Glenwood.
Two other Trojans — Eric Gleiter at 195 and Omar Begic at 285 — were eliminated one win short of making the podium.
The metro’s other semifinalist, Sam Gerst of Waterloo West, was pinned by top-ranked Rocky Lombardi of West Des Moines Valley in the 220 semifinals in 1:14.
Gerst topped Drake Leek of Norwalk, in the quarterfinals 8-7 in an ultimate tiebreaker.