Kolthoff, Lashbrook medal in state debuts
DES MOINES — Winning one match at the Iowa High School State Wrestling Championships is an accomplishment, earning two wins guarantees a spot on the podium, but winning a third match is truly something special and nets you some serious hardware.
Both South Hardin-BLCUW sophomore Taylor Kolthoff and AGWSR freshman Trey Lashbrook were seeking that elusive third victory on Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena, as Kolthoff was set to wrestle in the seventh-place match at 113 pounds in Class 2A and Lashbrook was in the seventh-place match at 113 in 1A.
Only one of the two would achieve that goal, however, as Kolthoff took out Jason Peta from Estherville-Lincoln Central in a dominant 6-2 decision.
After finishing seventh in his first showing at the state tournament and going 3-2, Kolthoff said he is satisfied with how he showed out on the biggest stage in the state.
“I think I represented myself very well today and the whole weekend because the two losses I had were against ranked kids that are placing high at state,” Kolthoff said.
Storm wrestling co-head coach Mike Olson said both Kolthoff and Ryne Fuller at heavyweight competed great for the program over the three days of state, and Kolthoff only losing his two matches by a combined four points shows he’s a force to watch out for next season.
“We went 4-4 with our two guys down here and Taylor had a really outstanding tournament,” Olson said. “Even the matches he lost he lost by just two points, and one of those guys was in the finals. He went out and got after it, he got rolling early even in the loss to start with, got some confidence and stayed close with that kid and got going as the week went by.”
After losing to end the day on Friday, Kolthoff said he knew what he did wrong against Brock Beck from Grinnell in the consolation quarterfinals, so he knew what to fix in his final match.
“I just didn’t want to make the stupid mistakes I made yesterday against the Grinnell kid,” Kolthoff said. “I wanted to wrestle harder and better.”
SH-BCLUW’s other co-head coach Stacy Simpson said the way Fuller and Kolthoff performed at state wasn’t just great for them and their families, it was great for the program and it should get other kids excited about joining the Storm.
“It’s one of those things that helps us build what we need to have,” Simpson said. “Kids start seeing success and they are able to look at that and say ‘let’s set that goal and we will work towards it.’ We have a couple of guys that came to districts didn’t make it quite to state, so I know they are chomping at the bit to get down here also.”
Lashbrook had a tough challenge ahead of him facing off with Jacob Moore from Denver, who Lashbrook lost to in the opening round by a 10-5 decision. The Cougar freshman gained ground on Moore this time around, but it wasn’t quite enough as Moore came away with his third victory over Lashbrook this season by a 7-4 decision.
Despite the loss, Lashbrook still finished on the podium in eighth place, the first ever AGWSR freshman to accomplish that feat.
After his match, Lashbrook said finishing 2-3 at state only makes him hungrier for a better finish next season.
“This makes me want to train harder in the offseason,” Lashbrook said. “Go to more tournaments, get more mat time in, freshen up on my moves and get better and learn more moves and just get better overall as a wrestler.”
Cougars head coach Chad Gerbracht said no matter what his final record in the tournament was, this was a great experience for his young wrestler and it will only make him better for the next campaign.
“You always want to get them down here and get some experience, you never know how a freshman is going to react when they do get down here,” Gerbracht said. “Obviously he’s got a good skill set, he’s learned a lot coming down this time through. He has some goals on his plate that he hasn’t reached yet, I think he better understands what his capabilities are and what the possibilities are as well.”