By Jeff Holmes
Four of the five area wrestlers remain alive after the first night of action at the State wrestling tournament in Des Moines.
Both Vinton-Shellsburg entries – 106-pounder Carter Weeks and 145 Scott Betterton — are still on the hunt for Saturday night’s podium, along with Union 106-pounder Jack Thomsen and Center Point-Urbana 113-pounder Caleb Fuessley. Union 285-pounder Michael Ahrendsen was eliminated.
Weeks (36-7) won in dramatic fashion in the first round, using a takedown in overtime to edge Will Esmoil of West Liberty 4-2 to advance to Friday afternoon’s quarterfinals against Brady Beck (42-6) of Grinnell.
Betterton (34-14) was pinned in his opener by unbeaten Ryan Leisure of Clarion-Goldfield in 3:14. But the Viking sophomore stayed alive with a 7-1 win over Dakota Boyer of Eddyville-Blakesburg. He will face the loser of the quarterfinal match between Paul Ryan of Mount Vernon (37-9) and Xavier Miller of Prairie City-Monroe (47-2) in the consolation quarterfinals.
Thomsen (36-3) rolled to a 7-1 decision over Jack Streicher of Mount Vernon. The Knight freshman will take on Andrew Flora of Adel-DeSoto in tomorrow quarterfinals.
Fuessley (42-5) dropped a 6-4 decision to Jalen Schropp of Williamsburg in his first round bout, but stayed alive in the tourney when he pinned Cade Hopkins of Spencer in 3:40. The Stormin’ Pointer soph will next face the loser of the Friday’s quarterfinal between Kole Hansen of Atlantic and Chase Luensman of Monticello.
Ahrendsen (14-6) was pinned by Spencer Trenary of Clarion-Goldfield in the first round in the first round, then again by Tyler Linderbaum of Solon and was eliminated.
WaMac champion Solon leads the team race 27.5 to 20 over Ballard after the first night of action. Class 2A quarterfinal round action kicks-off at 2:30 Friday afternoon, with the semifinals at 8:45 Friday night.