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MHS matmen toss Mohawks aside

Bobcats pound Mason City in CIML Iowa dual

T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW ABADIE - Marshalltown 126-pound wrestler Saul Pantoja, right, throws Mason City’s Gunner Oelberg back to the mat during their match in Thursday’s CIML Iowa Conference dual meet at the Roundhouse. Pantoja won the match by fall, pinning Oelberg in 1 minute, 41 seconds.

Despite having three wrestlers compete in different weight classes and another making his varsity debut, the Marshalltown wrestling team dominated Mason City 63-7 on Thursday night in CIML Iowa Conference action inside the Roundhouse.

The Marshalltown lineup had Zach Bitker dropping to the 132-pound weight class after previously competing at 145. Jay Drummer debuted at 145 as he previously wrestled at 152, and Coltin Grimm dropped down from 182 to 170.

Making his first appearance for varsity and opening the match was freshman Damion Castellanos at 152. Castellanos set the tone for the Bobcats and came away with the first pin of the night.

“That was awesome,” Marshalltown head coach Mike Mann said. “For Damion, it was his first time on varsity. You never know if kids get stage fright or if they are mentally ready but that was partly due to having four guys at new weights this time.”

Nick Rebik and Grimm both followed with back-to-back pins. Mason City then forfeited the 182, 195 and 220 matches, which extended Marshalltown’s lead to 42-0.

T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW ABADIE - Marshalltown’s Damion Castellanos, bottom, takes Mason City’s Ben Lorence for a ride in the fireman’s carry during their match in Thursday’s CIML Iowa Conference dual meet at the Roundhouse. Castellanos the match by fall, pinning Lorence in 3 minutes, 28 seconds.

At 285, Jordan Anderson maintained momentum with Marshalltown’s fourth of five pins of the night, three of which came in the first period.

“I felt really good but before the meet but I felt a little nervous just because it’s the first meet back [after winter break],” Anderson said. “When I got out there, I was just ready to go. All my teammates were doing well so that helped me out too.”

“Before the match, I was just thinking to go out and do what you do and take shots. I need to get more comfortable taking shots. I went out and start out with a double and took him down and then let him up. I kept it going for a while. I probably could have pinned him after the first shot but I wanted to work a little bit more.”

Anderson who is ranked No. 4 by both IAwrestle.com and ThePredicament.com maintains his undefeated record of 18-0.

“For myself, I want to stay undefeated but it doesn’t really matter until I get to the state tournament,” Anderson said. “If I don’t get to the state tournament this then that record up until then doesn’t matter. If I don’t place where I want to place at state then it doesn’t matter to me.”

T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW ABADIE

After Marshalltown’s quick 45-0 lead, the tightest competition was featured in the lightweight matches.

At 106, Edgar Almanza held off a late comeback from Mason City’s Kale DiMarco. Almanza held a 10-1 lead heading into the third period. DiMarco scored six points in the third period but lost in a 10-7 decision.

“[The match] could have went either way,” Mann said. “We had a big lead and then it started to go away and you are thinking I hope we don’t get tilted again because it would have been 10-9 but he fought it off. That was a great effort.”

The Bobcats’ first loss came in the 113-match as Javier Rodriquez faced off against Jace Rhodes who is ranked No. 5 by both IAwrestle.com and ThePredicament.com and had also finished as state runner-up last season.

Rodriquez fell short in a 19-8 major decision as Rhodes came up with six takedowns and made the score 45-4.

T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW ABADIE

“Javier Rodriquez wrestled the freshman runner-up from a year ago and he was pretty much in the match,” Mann said. “When you go up against better guys, they expose what you need to work on. I hope [Rodriquez] takes away [knowing] what a state finalist feels like and now know what that level of competition feels like and what it’s like to compete against kids of that caliber.”

Following another Mason City forfeit at 120, Sault Pantoja (126) came up with the Bobcats’ fifth pin of the night.

Zach Bitker found himself in a double-overtime match against Mason City’s Cooper Wiemann. According to Mann, Bitker found himself struggling cramping after dropping to weight classes.

“Cutting [weight] for the first time, he said he was cramping a bit,” Mann said. “We tried to get some salt in him. I don’t know if he had time to eat a banana. So he was worried about cramping which led him to not go down. Us coaches weren’t happy about that, so we feel like he gave the guy one point there. Then he had another escape and gave that guy two points and it ended up costing him the match. In retrospect, he wrestled well besides those mental errors.

Tied at 2-2 in the second overtime Bitker fell just short of winning with a takedown. For Mann, it was a learning experience for his wrestler who despite dealing with cramps had several opportunities to win the match.

T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW ABADIE

“In overtime, when he picked him up and returned him he was too perpendicular,” Mann said. “The guy hit and bounced off the mat and Bitker didn’t have control. He had three opportunities that he didn’t capitalize on and should have had the match.”

Closing the night for the Bobcats was Bennett Hageman (138) who by a 3-2 decision and Jay Drummer (145) who won with a 6-1 decision.

For Mann, the big win was somewhat overshadowed by the multiple forfeits but at the same time, the meet was a depiction of what the Bobcat (7-7, 1-2) lineup could look like at its fullest potential.

“I’d say we are getting close,” Mann said. “We are getting close with Bitker dropping, Drummer dropping, Grimm dropping, and then the other weight because Grimm opens up the 182 class. We are getting close.

“We’d probably feel a lot better if all those were wins weren’t by forfeit and those guys had matches. That was good winning those matches we should have won. Basically, we probably should have only lost one match tonight against the defending state runner up.”

Marshalltown will host the Allie Morrison duals on Saturday starting a 9 a.m.

Marshalltown 63, Mason City 7

At Marshalltown

152–Damion Castellanos (MHS) pinned Ben Lorence 3:28; 160–Nick Rebik (MHS) pinned Riley Monahan 1:02; 170–Coltin Grimm (MHS) pinned Aidan Colby 2:21; 182–Sergio Zaragoza (MHS) won by forfeit; 195–Jose Martinez (MHS) won by forfeit; 220–Carson Williams (MHS) won by forfeit; 285–Jordan Anderson (MHS) pinned Carter Gorder 1:10; 106–Edgar Almanza (MHS) dec. Kale DiMarco 10-7; 113–Jace Rhodes (MC) major dec. Javier Rodriguez 19-8; 120–Luke Hageman (MHS) won by forfeit; 126–Saul Pantoja (MHS) pinned Gunner Oelberg 1:41; 132–Connor Wiemann (MC) dec. Zach Bitker 3-2 TB1; 138–Bennett Hageman (MHS) dec. Cooper Wiemann 3-2; 145–Jay Drummer (MHS) dec. Seth Ihlenfeldt 6-1.

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