Once athletes across the state of Iowa return to the wrestling rooms, attention begins to shift toward the postseason. Every year there is plenty of jostling and moving around trying to give each individual and each team the best possible path to the state tournament. The Columbus wrestlers traveled to the 55th Annual Tripoli Invitational with an incredible opportunity. In the field of 11 teams for Saturday’s action were 4 sectional opponents in Denver, Nashua Plainfield, Riceville, and South Winneshiek. Although you cannot qualify for districts the first week in January, this tournament had the potential to either help a wrestler’s path, or dramatically hurt it based on post season seeding criteria. The Sailors were aware of the importance of this tournament, and they delivered in a big way. Three Sailor wrestlers were in the finals, and two were crowned champions. 6 out of 7 varsity wrestlers placed and as a team the Sailors earned a 4th place finish.
At 120 pounds, Gavin Reed found himself in a loaded bracket. The number 1, 2, 4, and 12 ranked wrestlers were all in the field so quality opponents were on both sides of the bracket. Gavin would secure the opening takedown on #2 ranked and eventual tournament champion Garret Rinken before falling by major decision in the semifinal matchup. In a huge bounce back match, Gavin dismantled #12 Brand Beaver in the consolation semifinals to qualify for the third place match. In the third place match Gavin would face #4 ranked Dawson Schmit. Gavin took a 3-1 lead into the third period before giving up a late reversal to force overtime. Gavin would get taken down in overtime for s sudden victory defeat 5-3.
At 160 pounds, Max Magayna would pin his way into the finals to set up a 1 vs 2 showdown with #2 ranked Lawson Losee. Max would come out of the gates hot, getting the first takedown of the match. From there he went to work on top earning multiple sets of back points to roll to a major decision and the tournament championship.
At 182 pounds, Carson Hartz would be on a collision course for a rematch of last year’s state tournament quarter finals bout in a matchup with # 4 ranked Max Kohl of Lisbon. This match was an all-out war from start to finish. After taking injury time for what could have been considered an illegal slam on a mat return, and then later being evaluated for a concussion, Carson refused to quit on this match. Both wrestlers were throwing everything they had at each other trying to gain an advantage. A late really and takedown were not enough for Carson as the Lisbon wrestler would edge out a 1 point victory.
At 195 pounds, Mason Knipp entered the semifinals for his second match up of the week with #9 ranked Kyle Kuhlmann. Mason improved on his midweek performance and pinned his opponent in the second period. This would set up a massively important finals match with potential sectional opponent Logan Hageman. This was a match that could have massive implications on post season seeding, so both wrestlers would be giving it their all. After a back and forth match, a third period reversal proved to be the difference in the match, wrapping up the tournament championship for Knipp.
At 220 pounds, the top two seeds in the bracket would meet in the third place match. Connor Knudtson would also find himself in an important match against a potential sectional opponent. Connor would find himself trailing 6-0 in the third period before hitting a timely throw to take his opponent directly to his back and earning the fall and third place on the day.
In the team race, the Sailors were right in the mix all day long. Despite only filling half of the weight classes today, strong performances and bonus point victories up and down the line up were enough to bring home a 4th place finish.
The Sailors will be back in action Thursday January 13th as the travel to East Marshall for a triangular dual.
Tripoli Invitational Varsity Tournament
120 lbs- Gavin Reed
Vs Trace Meyer- W Dec 8-4
Vs #2 Garret Rinken- L- Maj 13-2
Vs #12 Brand Beaver- W- Maj 10-1
Vs #4 Dawson Schmit- L SV Dec 5-3
132 lbs- Joseph Kwofie
Vs Ethan Maldonado- L Fall 0:26
Vs Gavin Leistikow- L Fall 2:34
138 lbs- Jonathan Hackett
Vs Tristen Jessen- L Fall
Vs Hunter Jurgensen- W Fall 1:53
Vs Ethan Argo- L Fall 1:24
Vs McLaughlin- L Fall 1:39
160 lbs- Max Magayna
Vs Jase Hereid- W Fall 1:07
Vs Titus Evans- W Fall 1:03
Vs #2 Lawson Losee- W Maj 13-2
182 lbs- Carson Hartz
Vs Tate White- W Fall 3:11
Vs Treyce Ensign- W Fall 4:44
Vs #4 Max Kohl- L Dec 4-3
195- Mason Knipp
Vs Jackson Zwanziger- W Fall 5:13
Vs #9 Kyle Kuhlmann- W Fall 3:21
Vs Logan Hageman- W Dec 7-5
220- Connor Knudtson
Vs Cade Bonnette- 1:23
Vs Indy Ferguson- L Dec 9-5
Vs Derek Hislenbeck- W Fall 2:37
Vs #10 Tony Greve- W Fall 4:33
4th place in team standings
Tripoli Invitational JV Tournament
Vs Brady Ohrt – L- Fall 2:40
Vs Jeremy Reineke- L- Fall 0:33
Vs Gabe Holub- L- Fall 1:34
Vs Peyton Weeda- L- Fall 4:50
Vs Xavier Williams- L- Fall 1:47
Vs Teague Krob- L- Fall 1:54
Vs Austin James- L- Fall 0:56
Vs Devon Griffin- L- Fall 1:43
Vs Tanner Olson- L- Fall 0:38
Vs Isiah Perez- W- Dec 6-5
Vs Zaine Weiss- W- Dec 2-0
Vs Will Felper- W- Fall 0:58
Vs Hayden Munn- L- Fall 1:16
Vs Cale Lyons-W- Dec 11-10
Vs Jonah Reiling- L- Fall 0:31
Vs Cole Otto- W- Fall 1:14