PARKERSBURG — Garages. Basements. Machine sheds.
If a teammate had one, there was a good chance members of the Union Community wrestling team found a way to get there this past week.
With winter storms causing havoc to official practice much of the last two weeks, the Knights got their work in and it paid off Saturday at the Class 2A sectional tournament in Parkersburg.
Union had five champions and nine total wrestlers advance to districts next Saturday at Independence.
“Yeah, we found ways to get it done,” said Jack Thomsen, one of Union’s five champs. “I think we crammed 20 guys in a space for six.”
The Knights finished with 247.5 points, 7 1/2 more than Independence. The Mustangs had six champs and seven district qualifiers. Dike-New Hartford finished third with six district qualifiers.
“A lot of driving around and rounding people up,” Union coach Bart Mehlert said of the practice situation. “They were at random people’s houses, machine sheds. They made it do and I think most of our varsity guys got a workout or two in every day.”
The Knights got championships from Lincoln Mehlert at 106, Lake LeBahn at 126, Thomsen at 138, Adam Ahrendsen at 152 and Lane Albertsen at 220.
Three of the five Knight champs are returning state qualifiers.
“It was a good day and like all these tournaments, you want just a little more,” Bart Mehlert said. “But overall, we wrestled well.”
Thomsen, top-ranked at 138, said despite the challenges of finding workouts he felt good. He pinned Jace Petersen of Dike-New Hartford in the finals in 3 minutes, 45 seconds.
“I’m feeling pretty good considering we haven’t had practice for almost two weeks,” Thomsen said. “I’m wrestling with a lot more grit this year, wrestling a lot harder and I’ve got to keep on doing that.”
Ahrendsen, top-ranked at 152, received a forfeit in the finals from fifth-ranked Matthew Doyle of Independence in what was going to be one of the marquee matches of the day. Now 39-1 overall, Ahrendsen wants to keep moving forward to erase a 1-2 performance at the state tournament last year as a freshman.
“I think last year I was more focused on the winning and losing, and this year have been focused on just working hard in practice,” Ahrendsen said. “I’ve just been focused on getting better in practice every day.”
Among Independence’s six champions was freshman Isaiah Weber, who rode a first-period takedown to a 3-1 win over Kolten Crawford of Union at 113 in a match that pitted the No. 8- and No. 7-ranked wrestlers in the state.
“Isaiah has done an awesome job all year,” Independence head coach Michael Doyle said. “He has improved a lot. He’s won a lot of big matches this year, and even though he is a freshman, we count on him quite a bit to come through and he usually does.”
The Mustangs also got victories from Brady Webb at 145, Cole Davis at 160, Joe Priebe at 170, Christian Kremer at 195 and Drew Evans at 285.
“Any time you come to a tournament like this you’d like to win a couple more matches,” Michael Doyle said. “Overall, I think our team performed pretty well. We are going in the right direction, doing the right things.”
The plan for Matthew Doyle, sixth in the state at 138 last year was to wrestle as little as possible Saturday after suffering a bad ankle injury on Jan. 5 at the Benton Community Invitational.
Doyle recorded a pin in his only match of the day in the semifinals and was the Mustangs’ seventh district qualifier.
“Kind of precautionary there,” Michael Doyle said. “It’s six more days of getting healthier and healing up.”
Waterloo Columbus junior Jordan Newton advanced as a runner-up at 126 pounds.
Next Saturday’s district meet will be at Independence.
HOW THEY FINISHED
Team Pts. Qual.
Union 247.5 9
Independence 240.0 7
Dike-New Hartford 183.0 6
SH-BCLUW 155.0 4
Aplington-Parkersburg 130.0 1
Waterloo Columbus 71.0 1
Championship — Lincoln Mehlert (Union) dec. Carter Kolthoff (SHBCLUW), 7-0.
Second — Kolthoff
Championship — Isaiah Weber (Ind) dec. Kolten Crawford (Union), 3-1.
Second — Crawford.
Championship — Taylor Kolthoff (SHBCLUW) dec. Hunter Worthen (Union), 6-2.
Second — Worthen
Championship — Lake LeBahn (Union) pinned Jordan Newton (Columbus), 2:56.
Second — Newton.
Championship — Coby Willett (SHBCLUW) dec. Stone Schmitz (Union), 8-3.
Second — Schmitz.
Championship — Jack Thomsen (Union) pinned Jace Petersen (DNH), 3:44.
Second — Petersen.
Championship — Brady Webb (Ind) dec. Brier Uhlenhopp (AP), 14-3.
Second — Uhlenhopp pinned Reece Roberts (DNH), 2:41.
Championship — Adam Ahrendsen (Union) won by forfeit over Matthew Doyle (Ind).
Second — Doyle.
Championship — Cole Davis (Ind) pinned Kaleb Roach (Union), 2:15.
Second — Roach (Union) pinned Ben Ogle (AP), :18.
Championship — Joe Priebe (Ind) pinned Aidan Walters (DNH), :33.
Second — Walters.
Championship — Owen Fuller (SHBCLUW) dec. Nathan Graves (DNH), 9-8.
Second — N. Graves dec. Tristan Cordes (Ind), 9-4.
Championship — Christian Kremer (Ind) pinned Zach Starbuck (DNH), 1:10.
Second — Starbuck.
Championship — Lane Albertsen (Union) pinned Daniel Graves (DNH), 1:47.
Second — D. Graves.
Championship — Drew Evans (Ind) pinned Jacob Leohr (DNH), 3:00.
Second — Loehr.