The Bobcat 171-pounder was the runner-up at the Class 3A district meet at the Roundhouse Saturday to advance to the Iowa High School State Wrestling Tournament.
Stewart lost his first five matches of the season and missed several others do to an early season injury.
In one of the tougher brackets Saturday, the third-seeded Stewart (22-9) defeated second-seeded A.J. Arremdell of Pella to advance to the finals. Stewart won the match in the third period as he recorded the match’s only two takedowns in the last two minutes in a 5-2 victory.
Tenth-ranked Stewart drew No. 3 Matt Riley of Des Moines Roosevelt in the finals. Riley captured a major decision 12-4 for the district title. Stewart moved on to state without a wrestleback as Arremdell won his consolation match.
“We knew Riley was going to be tough from Roosevelt,” said Marshalltown head coach Mike Husak. “The Pella kid we didn’t know a whole lot about, but we ended up getting the third seed and Pella was second so we knew we had to face him in the semifinals and Theron came through. We got a scouting report a little bit that the kid loved to shoot and shoot low shots. Theron just did a great job of countering his shots.”
Stewart started the season wrestling at 189 and since getting down to 171 has a 19-3 record.
“He got himself down to 171 and has three losses, that’s all, since he got to 171,” Husak said. “He earned his shot to go (to state).”
With Southeast Polk 171-pounder Brian Johnson carrying the No. 7 ranking in the state, the 171 bracket was one of four to feature three ranked wrestlers.
Two other Bobcats wrestled in wrestlebacks for state-tournament berths in Gustavo Martinez at 135 and Luke Rebik at 112.
The 135 bracket was one of those with three-ranked wrestlers and Martinez (23-13) got to see all three.
The Marshalltown sophomore started the day with a 6-3 decision over Zak Jones of Des Moines East. Martinez met top-seeded and fifth-ranked Isaiah Smith of Newton in the semifinals. Martinez put Smith, a state finalist last year at 130, to his back for the fall in 4:46.
Eighth-ranked Chad Lowman of Des Moines Roosevelt defeated Martinez by a 10-2 major decision in the finals. Martinez had to face No. 10 Brett Sams of Oskaloosa in the wrestleback with Sams taking the final state spot from the district by fall in 2:32.
“To me Gustavo probably had the best tournament of anybody,” Husak said. “For him to knock off the No. 1 seed second round was huge and a great confidence builder for him. I know he’s disappointed not getting to go to state, but still he had a heck of a year.”Rebik started his day with a opening-round pin before getting pinned by fifth-ranked and eventual champion Johnny Coleman of Des Moines East. Rebik rebounded in the consolation by recording his second fall of the day to set up a match for true second. Oskaloosa’s A.J. Johnson claimed the runner-up spot by pinning Rebik in 3:00.
Des Moines Roosevelt, ranked fifth in the state, won the district crown with 224 points. The Roughriders had six state qualifiers, all district champions. Southeast Polk was right behind with 217.5 points and had seven state qualifiers. Third-place Oskaloosa sent seven to state as well.
Newton was fourth in the team race with Marshalltown standing fifth.
The Bobcats had fourth-place finishers in Heath Moore (103), Eric Shomo (119) and Matt Keith (140). Finishing fifth were Jacob Paul (145), Jon Vance (152), Sam Jebsen (160) and Tito Roth (215), while taking sixth was Tom Schaefer (130).
“This was a real tough district,” Husak said.
Stewart will begin the Class 3A portion of the Iowa High School State Wrestling Tournament Thursday morning at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
T-R PHOTO BY MARK PAWLAK
Marshalltown junior Theron Stewart, top, wrestles against Pella’s A.J. Arremdell during the semifinals of the Class 3A district wrestling tournament Saturday at the Roundhouse. Stewart will be the Bobcats’ lone representative at the state meet Wednesday-Saturday in Des Moines.
Fact BoxTeam Standings — 1. Des Moines Roosevelt 224, 2. Southeast Polk 217.5, 3. Oskaloosa 153, 4. Newton 135, 5. Marshalltown 115, 6. Des Moines East 90.5, 7. Pella 87.5, 8. Knoxville 71.
103 — Anthony San (DMR) def. Grant Wilson (SEP), 7-3.
112 — Johnny Coleman (DME) pinned A.J. Johnson (OSK), :57. True second: Johnson (OSK) pinned Luke Rebik (MHS), 3:00.
119 — Romen Borsellino (DMR) pinned Kyler Risher (OSK), :38.
125 — Bill Boresth (SEP) dec. Kaleb Brown (OSK), 6-4.
130 — Blake Meeks (DMR) dec. Nick Moon (KNX) , 6-5.
135 — Chad Lowman (DMR) major dec. Gustavo Martinez (MHS), 10-2. True second: Brett Sams (OSK) pinned Martinez, 2:32.
140 — James Tudor (NWT) pinned Ethan Kouri (DME), 4:35.
145 — Cory Van DenBroeke (SEP) dec. Jon Peden (OSK), 15-13. True second: Peden (OSK) def. Josh Standberry (KNX), 8-3.
152 — John Nicholson (DMR) dec. Tommy Van Renterghem (OSK), 6-1. True second: Van Renterghem (OSK) dec. Cody Clark (SEP), 11-4.
160 — Ty Knowler (SEP) dec. Bryce Skaggs (NWT), 5-4. True second: Skaggs (NWT) dec. Keith Meeks (DMR), 9-3.
171 — Matt Riley (DMR) major dec. Theron Stewart (MHS), 12-4.
189 — Ethan Bass (SEP) pinned Jesse Swanson (KNX), 5:18.
215 — Bo Eggers (NWT) major dec. Jacob Crawford (SEP), 10-2. True second: Crawford (SEP) dec. Heath Westerkamp (P), 6-5.
285 — Barrett Eller (SEP) pinned Dennis Richards (OSK), 1:10.