It didn't show up in the final standings but there were plenty of positives that the Bobcats took away from the mat Saturday.
Going up against a variety of top-notch competition, the Marshalltown wrestling team placed fifth out of six squads finishing 1-4 in the Allie Morrison Duals at the Roundhouse.
East Marshall/GMG claimed fourth with a 2-3 mark, while Johnston topped the field winning all five of its duals.
T-R PHOTO BY TYLER STRAND
Marshalltown’s Agustin Ortiz works for a pin against East Marshall/GMG’s Marco Rodriguez at the Allie Morrison Duals in the Roundhouse Saturday. Ortiz won by fall in 2:45, though the Mustangs won the dual 41-30.
Pedro Gomez, ranked sixth in Class 3A, won all five matches at heavyweight including a pair of pins and a 5-3 overtime decision over Class 2A No. 6 Nate Judge of East Marshall/GMG to lead Marshalltown. Matt Vandegrift (220) tallied four wins, while Colten Phillips (126), Zach Slocum (138), Derek Mann (170) and Justus Bjelland (220) each recorded three.
"I'm really satisfied with today after a poor performance at our triangular Thursday," said Marshalltown coach Mike Mann.
"The kids were jacked up and a lot more aggressive. They gave a much better effort."
The Bobcats' energy showed up in a commanding 57-13 rout over North Polk in the opening round. Though Marshalltown dropped its final four duals, Mann saw significant progress against high-quality opponents.
"I saw improvement in individual breakdown positions," said Mann.
"They're finally executing what we're teaching them and that's satisfying."
The Bobcats dropped a 41-30 decision to the Mustangs before falling to the Dragons 55-18. Albia topped the Bobcats 46-27, before Norwalk edged Marshalltown 37-33 in round five.
Mann was particularly pleased with the aggressiveness of his squad against the upper-tier opponents, Johnston and Albia.
"If your outhorsed, you're outhorsed. But are you fighting,?" said Mann.
"You can't fault some guys who got in trouble for being aggressive."
Breaking into the lineup in the final round, Jordan Paone utilized that approach for a pin.
"(Jordan) was so aggressive and I haven't seem that from him all year. That was awesome and really jumpstarted the Norwalk dual."
East Marshall lost to Johnston in round one (43-20), Albia in round three (39-30) and Norwalk in round four (40-33), before capping the day with a 67-12 rout of North Polk.
"We were a little sluggish early on. I think we're still fighting back from Christmas break," said East Marshall coach Troy Underhill.
A few of the Mustangs were also fighting the flu bug, though that didn't slow Rean Webb, who posted a 3-2 record.
"Rean has been under the weather but he really fought hard for a couple victories. I was really happy with him," said Underhill.
Class 2A No. 6 ranked Jay Reisetter (182/195) won all five of his matches including four pins and a forfeit, while Judge (285), Steve Proffit (113) and Roseland (132) each posted a 4-1 mark. Zach Underhill (120) and Max Upah (126) both finished 3-2.
"Jay and Nate came on strong and came up with some big wins," said Underhill, who still saw some areas to correct for the team as a whole. "We need to learn to win big and lose small. Some of our younger guys aren't fill-ins any more, we expect them to win. It will take some time to get them a little more confident but they'll get there."
The Mustangs host West Marshall Thursday at 6:30 p.m. The Bobcats will compete at the Cedar Rapids Jefferson Invite Saturday at 10 a.m.
Marshalltown placed fourth with 111 points at the Ankeny freshman/sophomore tournament Saturday.
The host Hawks won with 236 points, while Southeast Polk (206) and West Des Moines Valley (112) rounded out the top three.
Ben Rebik tallied a first place finish winning all three of his matches, while Mitch O'Hare and Josh Sowers each claimed third.