GILBERTVILLE – It was only fitting that an entertaining night of wrestling came down to the final match.
The classic, back-and-forth dual between top-ranked powerhouses Don Bosco of Gilbertville and Southeast Polk wasn’t decided until the much-anticipated 145-pound bout.
Southeast Polk’s Joel Jesuroga edged Don Bosco’s Cael Rahnavardi 3-1 to give the Rams a dramatic 34-33 victory Saturday night at Don Bosco High School.
Class 1A power Don Bosco will host top-ranked and two-time defending 3A state dual champion Southeast Polk Saturday in Gilbertville to start off the second half of the Iowa prep wrestling season.
“We had opportunities and we didn’t take advantage of some of the ones we were given,” Don Bosco coach Tom Hogan said. “They’re a good team and you can’t make mistakes against a good team. We can learn from this. It’s a great experience for us and we appreciate them coming up here to wrestle us.”
The dual meet more than lived up to its billing with Class 1A No. 1 Don Bosco battling 3A No. 1 Southeast Polk.
Each team won seven bouts with the Rams prevailing in the final three matches.
Don Bosco led 33-31 going into the bout between wrestlers both ranked second in their respective classes.
The 145 match was scoreless after one period before Jesuroga escaped, scored a takedown and then a rideout to lead 3-0 with two minutes left. Rahnavardi escaped to start the third period and then tried valiantly to score a match-tying takedown in the closing seconds.
“Cael was ready to go against a good wrestler,” Hogan said. “He just couldn’t get to his offense – give Jesuroga credit for keeping him from getting to it.”
Rahnavardi, a Northern Iowa commit, nearly spun behind Jesuroga’s hips in final seconds, but was unable to secure the TD.
“It was a great dual between two very good teams,” Southeast Polk coach Jake Agnitsch said. “I’m excited for our guys – they were super pumped about this dual. It was a great environment to wrestle in. Our guys wrestled hard and it came right down to the wire.”
It will be the first time Wartburg has faced a Division I opponent since losing to Wisconsin, 17-16 on tiebreakers, during the 2011-12 season.
Top-ranked Cade Tenold delivered a significant win early in the dual for the Dons. Tenold surrendered two first-period takedowns against sixth-ranked Andrew Reed, but came back strong at 170 pounds.
Tenold collected three takedowns in the final two periods, including the winning move near the edge of the mat with 22 seconds left. He prevailed, 8-6, pounding his chest twice as the Don Bosco fans erupted in cheers.
“That was a great battle against another tough opponent,” Hogan said. “You find out a lot in matches like that and it was a great test for Cade.”
Tenold’s twin brother, Carson, followed suit with a first-period fall at 182.
“It’s a lot of fun to wrestle in big duals like this,” Carson Tenold said. “It just hurts a little bit to lose a close one like that. We had some very winnable matches. We have to learn from this moving forward. Every point matters. Until that six minutes is up, you need to be wrestling as hard as you can.”
Southeast Polk earned a pivotal win at 195 when Aiden Grimes, ranked sixth at 182, bumped up a class to face Cedric Yoder of Don Bosco. Yoder built an 8-0 lead midway through the second period before Grimes stormed back, locking up a cradle to earn a dramatic fall.
Top-ranked Kalob Runyon of Southeast Polk followed with a 9-0 win over No. 5 Jared Thiry of Don Bosco.
Sophomore Mack Ortner delivered a third-period fall for the Dons at 285. Teammate Caleb Coffin won by fall in 39 seconds at 106 to give his team a 25-16 lead.
The Rams responded with a fall by No. 1 Nate Jesuroga at 113.
Don Bosco came right back with No. 3 Garrett Funk topping No. 6 Cooper Hanson by major decision at 120. Funk launched Hanson with a spectacular third-period throw to finish off the impressive win.
The Dons earned another key win at 126 with freshman Kaiden Knaack prevailing by major decision over Jack Lewis.
Southeast Polk countered with wins by No. 2 Ayden Kingery (132) and No. 1 Carter Martinson (138) to bring the Rams within 33-31 entering the final match.
Don Bosco senior Cael Frost, ranked No. 1 at 160, rolled to a win by major decision in the night’s second match.
“Overall, I’m not disappointed in the way we wrestled at all,” Hogan said. “A dual like this really helps us see where we are at against some real good competition.”
SE Polk 34, Don Bosco 33
152 – Carson Martinson (SEP) pinned Landon Fernandez, 0:14. 160 – Cael Frost (DB) dec. Quentin Hill, 10-1. 170 – Cade Tenold (DB) dec. Andrew Reed, 8-6. 182 – Carson Tenold (DB) pinned Draven Woods, 1:58. 195 – Aiden Grimes (SEP) pinned Cedric Yoder, 3:29. 220 – Kalob Runyon (SEP) dec. Jared Thiry, 9-0. 285 – Mack Ortner (DB) pinned Seth Abbas, 4:15. 106 – Caleb Coffin (DB) pinned Landon Morrow, 0:39. 113 – Nate Jesuroga (SEP) pinned Andrew Kimball, 1:05. 120 – Garrett Funk (DB) dec. Cooper Hanson, 11-1. 126 – Kaiden Knaack (DB) Jack Lewis, 12-3. 132 – Ayden Kingery (SEP) won by tech. fall over Michael McClelland, 15-0. 138 – Carter Martinson (SEP) dec. Cody Brown, 13-5. 145 – Joel Jesuroga (SEP) dec. Cael Rahnavardi (DB), 3-1.