Three Mustangs advance to state tournament

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Troy Hyde, Newton Daily News, Iowa
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Feb. 14—ADEL — The state wrestling tournament is a familiar place for PCM seniors Colby Tool and Landon Fenton.

This year, the PCM pair will be transform into a trio as senior Cooper Sloan will join the party after all three Mustangs took first place in their weight classes at the Class 2A District 1 tournament on Saturday.

Tool, Fenton and Sloan all were 2-0 and each won fairly easily on their way to district titles.

The other two Mustangs who competed at districts were freshman Remington Fry and senior Kinser Sloan. They both fell short of state as Fry finished third at 106 and Kinser Sloan ended up fourth at 285.

"I am happy we got three champs," PCM coach Jeff Nicholson said. "This group has pushed everyone in the room. This is the hardest training group I have ever coached."

PCM senior Landon Fenton, top, returns to the state wrestling tournament for the fourth time this week after claiming a district title at ADM High School on Saturday. (Troy Hyde/Newton News file photo)

Class 2A No. 4 Tool improved to 42-2 on the season after two more wins. He won his semifinal at 152 by fall and then handed 2A No. 3 Chance Bockenstedt of North Polk a 3-1 loss.

Bockenstedt (32-3) defeated Tool in their first meeting this season but Tool has won two straight matches on his way to sectional and district titles.

"Colby gets better as the year goes on," Nicholson said. "His best stuff comes out in the postseason. He's a smart wrestler and watches a lot of film. It was a big deal to win today as it will help him with seeding for state."

In the latest meeting, the two grapplers were scoreless after one period but Tool scored first and led 3-0 after two. He rode out Bockenstedt to end the second and Bockenstedt didn't get his escape point in the third until there were about 32 seconds left in the match.

"Colby got a shot in on him after the escape early in the second," Nicholson said. "He rode him well and got a lot of mat returns, too."

Tool advances to his fourth state tournament and hopes to be just the second PCM wrestler in school history to win four state medals, joining Lucas Roland.

Tool was given the No. 4 seed for the state tournament. He'll start his tournament run Thursday night against Creston/Orient-Macksburg's Kaden Bolton (42-12). Bolton is seeded 13th.

Class 2A No. 4 Fenton (35-2) opened districts with a 15-5 major decision win at 145. He finished the day with a win by pin.

Fenton also advances to his fourth state tournament. He hopes the fourth time is the charm for a podium finish.

"He is bigger and stronger," Nicholson said. "He's perfected a few things this year. He's so good with the chicken wing. People know it's coming and they still can't stop it."

Fenton's state tournament march begins against sixth-ranked and 12-seeded Remington Hanson (28-2) of Clarion-Goldfield-Dows. Fenton is seeded fifth.

Cooper Sloan (33-14) opened the 220 district bracket with a win by fall and then won his championship match 7-0. His 33 wins this season are a career-high.

Sloan went from never winning a tournament in his career to winning three in the last three weekends. He'll compete in his first state tournament.

"He's come on strong lately," Nicholson said. "He's starting to believe in himself and he's been consistent this season. He's just taking smarter shots."

Cooper Sloan is seeded 10th for the state tournament. He'll open against seventh-seeded and ninth ranked Easton Fleshman (27-6) of West Lyon.

Fry (23-22) finished third at 106 during his first high school season. He lost the district semifinal match 10-3 but bounced back to win the third-place match by fall.

"It took him awhile to get going in the first match today," Nicholson said. "The momentum switched and he did get him to his back. I think if we had a little more time he would have won it. I was proud to see him bounce back for third."

Kinser Sloan (17-19) was pinned twice in his two matches at 285.

"Kinser gutted it out to even get through sectionals with a big overtime win last week," Nicholson said. "He just got caught today. I am still proud of him."

Class 2A No. 10 Bondurant-Farrar won the district title with 90.5 points, edging Greene County (89) by 1.5 points. Ballard finished third, while PCM (65) edged Woodward-Granger (63) for fourth in the 12-team field.

Tool's second match at state will be against either fifth-ranked and fifth-seeded Jadyn Peyton (36-1) of West Delaware or 12th-seeded Alex Casey (25-5) of Anamosa. Top-ranked and top-seeded Jack Gaukel (40-2) of Sergeant Bluff-Luton also is on Tool's side of the bracket.

Fenton's second match at state will be against either fourth-seeded and fifth-ranked Jackson Rolfs (28-2) of Decorah or 13th-seeded Sam West (37-8) of Burlington Notre Dame.

Top-ranked, top-seeded and three-time state champion Matthew Lewis (33-4) of Centerville also is on Fenton's side of the bracket.

Sloan's second match at the state tournament will be against either second-seeded and top-ranked Dylan Winkel (29-0) of Central Lyon/George-Little Rock or 15th-seeded Paul Ballard (31-6) of Albia.

The Iowa High School State Wrestling Championships begin Thursday at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. The 2A portion begins at 6 p.m.