Chalstrom back in semis

WATERLOO – Aaron Chalstrom’s quest for a long-awaited state championship continued through two rounds of Class 1A play here Friday, as the St. Edmond senior rolled into the semifinals.

Chalstrom, the No. 1 seed and reigning three-time runner-up, will face fourth-seeded Pete Walker from Red Oak today for a berth in the finals.

On the other side of the bracket stands Sam Stickels of Fairfield Maharashi and No. 2 seed Alex Bernt of Waterloo Columbus. Stickels upset Chad Moklestad from Boone – the tournament’s No. 3 seed – in the quarterfinals.

In early round play, Chalstrom easily defeated Ballard’s Ryan Vincent, 6-0, 6-0, and Dubuque Wahlert’s Brandon Schneider, 6-3, 6-2.

“Aaron has a lot of confidence right now in his game,” SEHS head coach Jacob Short said. “He stepped up his game in his second match and really focused on the task at hand, which is winning a state title. He is incredibly focused.”

Chalstrom is 12-0 on the year, while Walker finished fourth at state a season ago. Bernt was a bronze medalist at state.

In doubles, both St. Edmond teams are done, as Jimmy Averill and Konrad Laufersweiler went 1-2, while John Eide and Zach Gailey went 0-2.

Averill and Laufersweiler were ousted in the consolation second round by Pella’s Tom Palmer and Aaron Van Maanen, 6-2, 6-3. They won their first round match over Colby Taylor and Bryce McIlravy from Creston/O-M, 6-1, 7-6 (4), but were defeated by Keokuk’s Gabe Vandenberg and Dan Williams, 6-3, 7-6 (5).

“Jimmy and Konrad just couldn’t get over the hump,” Short said. “But I am proud of the way they played.”

Vandenberg and Williams placed fifth last year and will compete in the state semis today. Vandenberg is the brother of former University of Iowa quarterback James Vandenberg.

Eide and Gailey were defeated in the first round by No. 2 seed Stephen Nicknish and Jimmy Huiskamp from Davenport Assumption, 6-3, 7-6 (1). The two lost their consolation first round match to Norwalk’s Austin LaVelle and Grant Wright, 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (8).

“John and Zach had chances to win,” Short said. “They are disappointed because they could have won the match.”