When all was said and done in the 170-pound bracket at the state wrestling tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Feb. 20-22 it was Waverly-Shell Rock’s Corey Abernathy who took home the state championship winning over Dallas Center-Grimes’s Blake Wolinski 3-0 in the finals on Saturday night.
In all, the Mustangs had four wrestlers in the tournament with all four medaling. Cole Baker got fourth at 220 pounds, Dakota Clausen finished in eighth at 182 pounds and Trevor Murano finished in fifth at 120 pounds in addition to Wolinski’s runner-up finish.
DC-G coach Clint Knoll said that it’s a "tough three days" at the state wrestling tournament.
"You’ve got to battle every match, you’ve got to go hard and I think our kids did that," Knoll said. "We were beat up, got a little more beat up as the week went on but I was very pleased with how we ended."
Knoll also said that all season long they look for tough matches and "wrestle the toughest competition they can" to get them ready for the state tournament.
"I think that’s what makes these guys ready when they get here is we’ve already battled those tough guys," Knoll said. "We’ve seen a lot of the guys we’re seeing here, plus plenty others in other classes so I think that’s huge for them."
Wolinski finished the regular season with a record of 39-5 and came out of the state tournament with a 42-6 record. He matched up against Kane Springis from Boone in the first round. It was the first time this season the two had matched up against each other.
Wolinski advanced to the quarterfinals with a 2-0 sudden victory over Springis.
He wrestled Epworth, Western Dubuque’s Max Lyon in the quarterfinals and advanced to the semifinals with a 3-1 victory. In the semifinals, Wolinski stood up and flexed for the DC-G crowd after pinning Burlington’s Dalton Witte in 1:58 but lost in the finals to Abernathy 3-0.
"It’s really tough," Knoll said. "He’s worked so hard and he wanted it more than anything. As a coach you go through those losses with them, anytime they lose, but I’m really proud of him for getting there in the first place and I think it’s something he’s going to look back on and really be proud of himself as well."
Baker, Clausen and Murano all won their first-round matches on Feb. 20. Baker, at 220 pounds, beat West Des Moines Valley’s Brady Smith 5-2.
In the quarterfinals he matched up against Mount Pleasant’s Justin Dilks and advanced to the semifinals with another 5-2 decision. Baker fell short of the finals, however, by losing to North Scott’s Cordell Eaton by way of a 5-3 decision.
He got back on the winning track in the consolation semifinals, beating Bettendorf’s Max Erpelding with a 1-minute, 16-second pin before losing in the consolation finals to Waterloo West’s Kyler Mathews by an 11-1 major decision.
Murano defeated Waverly-Shellrock’s Nathan Sands 6-1 in his first-round match.
In the quarterfinals West Des Moines, Dowling Catholic’s Michael Zachary getting the 5-1 decision over Murano. Murano was sent to the consolation side of the bracket and in the consolation second round he beat Keokuk’s Camiran Sadeghi with a 28-second pin and advanced to the consolation quarter finals where he beat Cedar Rapids Jefferson’s Kyle Briggs by way of a 9-0 major decision.
Murano was pinned by Southeast Polk’s Nolan Hellickson in 1:12 in the semifinals. Murano took fifth place with a 21-second pin against Prairie’s Sam Uthoff.
At 182 pounds, Clausen won his first round match by pinning Iowa City West’s Doyle Donovan in 3:47 but lost in the quarterfinals to Fort Dodge’s Sam Cook by way of a 2-1 decision.
In the consolation second round Clausen beat Norwalk’s Dusten Saltz 4-2 before losing to Keokuk’s Dakota Shaw 7-4 and being sent to the seventh-place match where he would face Doyle once again. This time Clausen lost by a 4-2 decision and took eighth place.