Newton wrestlers fall short of state

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Troy Hyde, Newton Daily News, Iowa
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Feb. 14—MARSHALLTOWN — Three Cardinals finished third, two others were fourth and Newton's wrestling team was eighth in the eight-team field at the Class 3A District 6 tournament on Saturday.

The Cardinals scored 80 points on the day, trailing Boone by four. Class 3A No. 2 Southeast Polk cruised to the team title with 269.5 points.

Ankeny Centennial (199.5), Dallas Center-Grimes (143.5), Marshalltown (115) and Ames (104) rounded out the top five and Urbandale (102.5) completed the field.

"Almost everyone today wrestled to their seed or higher," Newton wrestling coach Adam Hale said. "While we did not reach the podium spots we were hoping to, we were proud of how many of our guys wrestled and finished things out."

For the Cardinals, seniors William Muckler and Anthony Bestell and junior Brennan Amos all were third place at their weights.

The top two finishers in each weight class in each district advance to next week's state tournament.

Muckler (22-11) was 2-2 on the day. He started with a win by fall and then lost in the semifinals 5-0 to 3A No. 1 Gabe Greenlee of Ames. He won his third-place match 3-2 against second seeded Hector Garcia of Boone but got a wrestleback opportunity for a shot at state.

In the wrestleback, Muckler lost 3-1 in SV-1 to Marshalltown's Julian Gomez.

"William showed some big improvement against the No. 1 guy today and can be proud of the effort and heart he showed as he fought his way through the wrestlebacks against tough opponents," Hale said.

Amos, who is ranked fifth at 145 pounds, was 1-1 on the day. Amos (25-5) won his third-place match by fall but lost his semifinal bout 11-3 to 3A No. 6 Brent Slade of Ames.

The 145 bracket also included top-ranked Joel Jesuroga of Southeast Polk.

Bestell (9-5) was 2-1 on the day. He opened with a 10-4 win and ended with a 7-3 victory. In between, he lost 14-12 in the 126-pound semifinals.

It was Bestell's first action in nearly a month.

"Anthony wrestled really well," Hale said. "He came up just short in his semifinal after being in a pretty big hole but then did his part in his wrestleback to get third."

James Wenndt (160) and Dayton Petithory (106) both were fourth at their weights. Wenndt was 1-2 on the day with the win coming by fall.

"James looked slick on his feet and showed impressive fight, going from about being pinned to rolling through and getting a pin in the first round," Hale said.

Owen Sanger (195) and Colin Sharp (152) both were fifth at their weights. They each were 1-1 on the day.

Sanger's only loss was 4-3 in the semifinals and then he won by fall. Sharp lost by fall and then won by fall.

"Owen capped off his career with a big pin over a quality opponent," Hale said. "Brennan and Colin also ended their days with wins by fall."

Avery White (120) finished sixth at his weight. He was 1-2 with a 4-1 win. Seth Adams (113), Jason Weithers (132), Wyatt Weter (170) and Zane Biondi (182) all were 0-2 on the day.

The Cardinals were open at 138 and 220.

"I think today was the best Zane has looked from the bottom all year," Hale said. "We were also really pleased with the strides we saw some of our younger guys take. Guys like Wyatt, Seth, Dayton and Avery all showed some nice flashes that we're looking forward to building on and refining."

Newton senior Owen Sanger, top, finished fifth at 195 pounds at the Class 3A District 6 tournament in Marshalltown. (Ross Thede/Marshalltown Times-Republican)