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  • Writer's pictureSailor Mat Club

Two NICL Conference Champions for Columbus

We have reached the point in the Iowa High School wrestling season where the intensity starts to pick up. The dual meets are all completed, the local weekend tournaments are finished. Now its postseason time, the tournaments that all wrestlers build toward all year long. After having the 2021 NICL tournament cancelled due to COVID, the Sailors finally had the opportunity to compete in the conference tournament to kick off the postseason action. Since joining the NICL conference eight years ago, the Sailors have never had a conference champion. That would all change on Saturday, as Columbus put four wrestlers into the finals, and finished the day with two champions.

At 160 pounds, Max Magayna would pin his way into the finals where he would meet up with a familiar foe. #7 ranked Stone Schmitz from LaPorte City Union is an old club training partner for Max, so these two wrestlers know each other well. It showed in the match as Max had trouble turning the Union wrestler with his patented tough ride. This match went the distance as Max was able to grind out points earning an 8-2 decision.

At 182 pounds, Carson Hartz made his first return to the lineup for his first matches since the Tripoli Invitational. Carson picked up right where he left off, picking up a pair of pins in his opening two matches to set up a semifinals matchup with 2A #4 ranked Nick Reinicke from Dike New Hartford. Reinicke handed Max Magayna a loss in the dual meet earlier this year when Max jumped up two weight classes. Carson was able to battle in this one earning a hard fought 6-4 decision.

That victory would put him into the finals, setting up one of the most anticipated matchups of the tournament. Despite the fact that Columbus and Hudson have very similar schedules, wrestling many of the same tournaments throughout the year. Hartz and #1 ranked Tate Entriken of Hudson have not met up at any point this year, but we would finally see that matchup in the conference finals today. As a sectionals and district opponent, this match has the potential to come up 4 weeks in a row between conference, sectionals, districts, and state. After a scoreless first period with excellent offense and defense by both wrestlers, Carson would open the second period with a quick reversal. An escape and late takedown to end the second period would change the momentum of the match. In the third period Tate would expand his lead and take the decision with an 8-3 victory in one of his most competitive matches of the year.

At 195 pounds, Mason Knipp continued his run of positive results, pinning his way through his opening two matches to set up a finals matchup with the tournament #1 seed Zach Adelmund of Dike New Hartford. Going into the third period, Mason would trail 0-1 with the only points coming off a second period escape by the DNH wrestler. Choosing to go down to start the third period, Mason would immediately get the escape to tie the match. He would tack on a takedown on an offensive flurry to go up two points, and that would be enough to ice the match and secure a 3-2 victory.

At 220 pounds, Connor Knudtson followed the lead of his Sailor teammates and pinned his way through his opening two bouts, getting to his attacks and finishing off both opponents. He would face Wil Textor of Dike New Hartford in the finals. Connor was behind the 8 ball from the jump in this match, trailing 0-3 going into the third period. He was unable to secure a takedown in this one, losing a close decision 5-2.

At 138 pounds, Jonathan Hackett continued his trend of finishing matches early, going 2-2 on the day with a pair of pins and finishing the day in fourth place. At 170 pounds, Henry Erie was also able to pick up a victory before injury defaulting out of the tournament for an eighth place finish.

Conference honors are determined by each wrestlers finish in the conference tournament. With the four Sailor finalists, they would secure some conference awards. Finishing as First Team All-Conference were Max Magayna and Mason Knipp. Finishing as Second Team All-Conference were Carson Hartz and Connor Knudtson.

The Sailors will return to action on February 5th with the IHSAA Sectional Tournament hosted in Clarksville. The Sailors will look to advance to districts, wrestling will begin at noon.

NICL Conference Tournament

138- Jonathan Hackett

W- Fall 3:07 vs Gavin McLaughlin (Denver)

L- Fall 1:25 vs Dominik Ridout (EMG)

W- Fall 4:46 vs Lane Hartwig (BCSH)

L- Fall 0:26 vs Lane Hartwig (Oelwein)

4th Place Finish

160- Max Magayna

W- Fall 2:28 vs Cole Graves (DNH)

W- Fall 1:27 vs Kade Pekarek (BCSH)

W- Dec 8-2 vs Stone Schmitz (Union)

1st Place Finish

1st Team All-Conference

170- Henry Erie

L- Fall 2:51 vs Grant Henderson (Sumner Fred)

W- Dec 11-8 vs Alex Paxson (BCSH)

L- Fall 1:28 vs Beau Bonnette (Denver)

L- Medical FF vs Stuart Whitehill (APGC)

8th Place Finish

182- Carson Hartz

W- Fall 1:37 vs Orlando Montoya (BCSH)

W- Fall 0:58 vs Corbin Hill (Denver)

W- Dec 6-4 vs Nick Reinicke (DNH)

L- Dec 8-3 vs Tate Entriken (Hudson)

2nd Place Finish

2nd Team All-Conference

195- Mason Knipp

W- Fall 2:09 vs Skyler Blad (Jesup)

W- Fall 5:39 vs Kyle Kuhlmann (Sumner Fred)

W- Dec 3-2 vs Zach Adelmund (DNH)

1st Place Finish

1st Team All-Conference

220- Connor Knudtson

W- Fall 0:33 vs Derek Hilsenbeck (Wapsi)

W- Fall 3:57 vs Aiden Heitland (AGWSR)

L- Dec 5-2 vs Wil Textor (DNH)

2nd Place Finish

2nd Team All-Conference

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