One champion and four runners-up will represent Beckman at the Class 1A District Tournament, Feb. 15, at Starmont. The team moves on to the Denver regional dual meet Feb. 11 because of its second-place finish. The Blazers earned their trips at the East Buchanan sectional, Feb. 8.
Bennett English claimed the title at 285 via falls, over Tony Trevino of Hudson (2:30) and Mack Ortner of Don Bosco (2:25). Runners-up went to Nick Schmidt at 106, Levi Feldman at 126, Mason Recker at 145 and Evan Wulfekuhle at 182.
Schmidt handed a quick fall to Jaden Peyton of East Buchanan (2:23) but dropped the first-place match to Jaiden Moore, of Don Bosco, (3:13), before taking second by virtue of his earlier decision over Peyton.
Feldman pinned Jack Christiansen of Hudson (1:18), fell to Don Bosco’s Michael McClellan (0:59) and claimed second with the win over Christiansen. Recker topped Curtis Schott, of North Linn, (12-0); fell via tech fall to Cael Rahnavardi, of Don Bosco, (16-0, 3:53), and took second with the win over Schott.
Wulfekuhle claimed second with a win over MV’s Evan Elgin (7-2) after dropping a close 5-2 decision to Don Bosco’s Thomas Even in the title match.
Nick Hageman at 138 and Jason Koopmann at 220 took third. Fourths went Alex Hageman at 113, Danil Wall at 120, Connor Grover at 152, Nick Wulfekuhle at 160 and Ty Fangman at 170. Cole Domeyer was fifth at 195 and Adam Schmitt sixth at 132.
Don Bosco won the team title with 293.5 points. Beckman scored 180 for second. Third was Hudson 162.5, followed by North Linn 139, East Buchanan 108, Maquoketa Valley 67 and North Tama 67. That second earned the Blazers (ranked No. 26) the right to compete in the Denver dual tourney against the host team (ranked No. 6). A win there will set them up against the winner of the other dual at that site, between No. 12 New London and No. 21 Colfax-Mingo.
Coach Cody Ortman added, “We were very happy with how the guys competed Saturday. Knowing how important that first match was, a lot of the guys came out determined to win. We were also happy to qualify as a team for regionals. It is a testament to how hard the guys worked all season. Saturday they proved they can compete with anyone.
“One kid stands out when we talk about proving ourselves and that is Bennett English. He has worked his butt off all season. First, he was fighting to make the lineup and then fighting to catch up with everyone in the competition. Bennett is a true example of when a person believes in himself and trusts the work they put into something, he can conquer any obstacle in front of him. He is motivated now more than ever and that makes him a dangerous wrestler.
“As coaches, you experience all the highs and lows just like a competitor because you are so passionate about the sport and the program, so there is some heartache seeing some kids’ seasons come to an end. But now that we’re going to duals, these kids get a second chance to redeem themselves in fighting for the team now and achieving that team goal.”