SE wrestlers prepare for regional duals

CLARION – Qualifying for state duals is the goal for the St. Edmond wrestling team tonight.

The 14th-ranked Gaels (20-6 overall) will square off with Aplington-Parkersburg in a Class 1A regional semifinal.

Start time is set for 6 p.m. The winner between SEHS and Falcons will then turn around and face either No. 8 Clarion-Goldfield or West Hancock in the finals for a Feb. 13 trip to Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

“I don’t know a whole lot about Aplington other than just looking at some of their sectional results,” SEHS head coach Tanner Utley said. “They only have a couple of guys ranked (at 152 and 285), so it looks to be a pretty decent matchup for us.”

At Saturday’s sectional meet in Ogden, SEHS settled for a runner-up effort with 202.5 points. Fourth-ranked Kaden McClintock (113 pounds), Nick Johnson (126), No. 1 Teddie Harvey (145), Dillon Nelson (182) and top-ranked Vinnie Harvey (220) all took home gold medals for the Gaels, while No. 8 Ryan Szalat (106) grabbed silver.

Defending state qualifiers McClintock (38-0 overall), Teddie Harvey (38-0) and Vinnie Harvey (38-0) all remain unbeaten on the season after repeating as sectional champions.

Szalat (38-4), Johnson (33-8) and Nelson (33-8) are the other top performers in St. Edmond’s lineup. Entering this evening’s action, the green and white have reeled off 18 victories in their last 19 duals.

“It’s a tough situation (with state duals being the same week as traditional state), but there’s not much we can do about it,” said Utley. “We want to win every time we wrestle. This (regional dual) gives our kids another chance to end the season on a positive note.”

Blake Pruisner (No. 10 at 152) and Brandon McCracken (No. 1 at 285) spearhead Aplington-Parkersburg (13-6), which is 8-1 in its past nine duals.

Representing Clarion-Goldfield (10-2) will be Joel Haberman (No. 5 at 126), Taylor Lehman (No. 9 at 132), Matt Odland (No. 6 at 138), Jake Haberman (No. 4 at 160) and Mitch Gambrill (No. 8 at 285). The Cowboys – who placed sixth at state duals in 2012 – suffered their lone setbacks this season to Humboldt (39-32) and Don Bosco (38-31), which are now ranked No. 6 (2A) and No. 7 (1A) in each of their respective classes.

The Gaels suffered a 40-33 home setback to Clarion-Goldfield on Jan. 3.

West Hancock (8-16) is led by Ryder Clark (No. 4 at 170), Gunnar Clark (No. 4 at 182) and Chris Schleuger (No. 2 at 285). The Eagles have dropped seven of their last eight duals.