They came, they saw, they conquered. That’s the reality that five Dallas Center-Grimes High School wrestlers had Saturday afternoon as they punched their respective tickets to the 2019-20 state tournament.
Four first-place finishes and a second-place outing made up the big success stories for the Mustangs, beginning at 106-pounds. That’s where Jacob Fistler punched his first ticket to the state tournament followed by some state tournament veterans in Trevon Wells (132-pounds), Luke Fistler (160-pounds), and Zach Needham (170-pounds). All four of them picked up first-place finishes on the day. Brayden Broderick, the international phenom, picked up a second-place finish to also capture a trip to Wells Fargo Arena.
As a team, six top-three finishes helped the Mustangs to capture 188 team points, good enough for third place out of the eight-team field. DC-G was bested only by Ankeny in second with 188.5 points. West Des Moines Valley ended up taking the crown with 196.5 points on the day.
As a team, the Mustangs led the eight-team field with 15 pinfall wins on the day, all completed in just 28 minutes. That included Jacob Fistlers (seventh-ranked) semifinal win over Ankeny’s Lincoln Folkers. Fistler picked up his 26th win of the season followed by his 27th victory of the campaign by besting 30-win Khyler Carstarphen of Dowling Catholic. Trevon Wells, Class 3A’s seventh-ranked 132-pound wrestler, added two pinfall victories to the winning effort in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds. That presented Wells with a top-ten battle with tenth-ranked Carson Murray of Dowling Catholic. Through early period takedowns, Wells pushed ahead and captured his 23rd win of the year and 24 team points.
Brayden Broderick had quite a challenging field go through. Following a 27-second pinfall win to start and a 7-2 decision to advance him to the first-place match. That gave Broderick the chance at a title but it would have to come against third-ranked Caleb Corbin of Valley. Unfortunately for Broderick, it was a matter of running out of time as he could not even up the score in time, falling 9-8. That didn’t mean that he was out of the state tournament picture and Broderick ended up punching his ticket anyway.
Luke Fistler made his third straight trip to the “Well” and did so via the pinfall victory. That included a 54-second pin in the semifinal round which set him up with a top-ten match-up with Dowling Catholic’s Max Derry. It may have taken a bit longer, but an early third-period pinfall was what captured the crown and his 15th win of the season. Despite an upset in the dual match-up last week, Class 3A’s sixth-ranked 170-pound Zach Needham cruised through Saturday. The senior won by no less than three points in any match, including the title match where he picked up his 30th win of the year in 7-4 fashion.
The Mustangs nearly sent six wrestlers on to state but Garrett Morris at 195-pounds fell just short in the semi-final round to Valley’s Jack McCabe. Morris battled back with a 51-second pinfall win in the third-place match but fell just short of a state tournament berth in the following match.
Fistler, Fistler, Wells, Needham, and Broderick get to celebrate now but come Feb. 20, it’s all work inside Wells Fargo Arena.