Mixed emotions for Gaels
DES MOINES – Despite bringing home four medals from this week’s Class 1A state wrestling tournament, St. Edmond still left Wells Fargo Arena with a bittersweet taste in its mouth.
The Gaels went just 3-4 in their matches Saturday, finishing the three-day event with a combined 13-11 mark.
No. 8 sophomore Ryan Szalat (106 pounds), fourth-ranked junior Kaden McClintock (113), senior Dillon Nelson (182) and No. 1 junior Vinnie Harvey (220) all claimed spots on the podium for fourth-ranked SEHS.
“This sport isn’t very forgiving, but we lost some close matches again (yesterday),” SEHS head coach Tanner Utley said. “Once you lose sight of that (state championship) goal, it’s always tough to stay focused, motivated and hungry.”
Szalat (43-6 overall) knocked off Woodbury Central’s No. 7 Dylan Muckey in a 5-4 decision for seventh.
McClintock (42-4) finished sixth after dropping both of his bouts. The two-time state qualifier fell to Ryan Cale of Cardinal by an 8-4 count, while later suffering a 12-10 sudden-death overtime loss to Durant’s No. 3 Aaron Bartenhagen.
Closing out his career on a high note, Nelson (39-11) turned in a fifth-place performance after earning a 12-4 major decision over third-ranked Terry Mooty from Dike-New Hartford. Nelson was earlier pinned by Emmetsburg’s No. 1 Andrew Wellik in a time of 1:13.
Unable to avenge his only other blemish of the year, Harvey (44-2) grabbed fourth following a 3-2 loss to fifth-ranked Ryan Parmely of Maquoketa Valley. Harvey, a two-time state participant, tallied a 10-0 major decision over Emmetsburg’s Tayler Wegner in the consolation semifinals.
In the quarterfinals, Harvey was pinned by Parmely in 5:36.
“It was real nice to have all three of our underclassmen medal, but now we need to work even harder in the offseason to come back strong again next year,” said Utley. “We also lost a pretty good senior class. Both (three-time state participant) Teddie (Harvey) and Dillon led by example.”