DES MOINES — It typically takes a good body of work over three days to win an Iowa state wrestling championship.
Don Bosco of Gilbertville did it in two.
With state finals and consolation matches yet to be wrestled Saturday, the Dons clinched their 11th traditional Class 1A state title Friday at Wells Fargo Arena.
With four finalists and 10 overall medalists, Don Bosco’s 44 1/2-point lead over Underwood (133-88.5) mathematically made it impossible for the Eagles to catch the Dons.
“I don’t know where it is at for sure, but with four guys in the finals and six on the back side, I think we are in good shape,” said Don Bosco head coach Tom Hogan, who prefers to wait until all the wrestling is over before claiming victory. “It has been quite a while since we’ve put together two days like this, maybe 2009 when we put eight in the finals.”
Daniel Kimball at 120, Carson Tenold at 160, Thomas Even at 182 and Noah Pittman at 285 all earned spots in their respective weight class finals.
Kimball dominated Interstate 35’s Casey Baker, rolling to a 25-10 technical fall to reach his second state final one year after winning at 106 pounds.
He is not only relishing his return to the finals, but the dominating performance by the Dons, too.
“It’s great,” Kimball said. “It is the best team I’ve ever been a part of and I love it. We are going to battle for each other out there, it is not just ourselves. You are battling for six minutes for every single guy on this team, every single coach, every single person in the stands and all of our community.”
Don Bosco saw Easton Larson, Cael Frost and Cade Tenold drop semifinal matches at 132, 138 and 152, before Carson Tenold rolled to an 11-5 win over Emmetsburg’s Mason Griffith at 160.
It was hard to celebrate for the freshman after learning his twin brother had lost a last-second, 6-5, decision to Kory Van Oort of West Sioux.
“My brother and I, it was always our goal to be four-timers together so it is bittersweet him not being in the finals,” Carson said. “But I have to do this for me now and him.”
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Even, fifth a season ago at 170, did what he has done all season, pinning Belmond-Klemme’s Tucker Kroeze in 3 minutes, 39 seconds for his 41st pin in 47 matches.
“He sat through and I saw the assassin there, saw an opening, so I took it,” Even said. “Hats off to my coaches and teammates for getting me prepared for this.”
Pittman, meanwhile, idn’t go out for wrestling as a sophomore.
However, the talented senior edged West Hancock’s Chandler Redenius, 2-1 in tiebreakers, to earn a title shot.
“That was a good way to end the day with Pittman coming through,” Hogan said. “Who would have thought where he was a few years ago, didn’t go out his sophomore year, and now he is in the state finals. Pretty special.”
Michael McClelland at 126, Max Wettengel at 145 and Cael Rahnavardi at 170 also reached the podium for the Dons.
For the second straight year, Denver had a disastrous quarterfinal round as the Cyclones lost all five of their quarterfinals. Fortunately, Denver was able to turn its fortunes around as it went eight-for-nine in the blood round to match a program record for medalists with eight.
“Unfortunately, we had been here before,” Cyclones head coach Chris Krueger said. “We went eight for eight in the blood round last year, and eight for nine this year. It is a tough situation, but we put ourselves there and we are the only ones that could dig ourselves out of the hole.
“I liked the way we responded. It takes a lot of guts and a lot of heart to win in the blood round. It shows a lot of character about our kids.”
Making the stand for the Cyclones will be Joe Ebaugh at 106, Brooks Meyer at 113, Jacob Moore at 120, Gabe Lewis at 132, Riley Wright at 138, Cael Krueger at 170, Trever Dorn at 195 and Brock Farley at 285.
Three area individuals lost bids to make the finals.
AGWSR’s Trey Lashbrook lost 10-1 to West Sioux’s two-time state champion Adam Allard in a 120 semifinal.
Hudson’s Ethan Fulcher, fifth last year at 160, lost 2-1 in tiebreakers to Treyton Cacek of Graettinger.
East Buchanan’s Taylor Fox was on the short end of a 5-2 decision to Aaron Olson of Missouri Valley at 285.