No. 7 Humboldt downs Gael wrestlers

Six open weights proved too much for the St. Edmond wrestling team to overcome in a North Central Conference dual against seventh-ranked (IWCOA Class 2A) Humboldt here Thursday night.

Despite winning five matches, including four by fall, the Gaels (6-7 overall, 2-5 in the NCC) suffered a 51-27 setback at the SEHS gym.

“I thought all of our guys wrestled pretty well (Thursday) against a good Humboldt team,” St. Edmond head coach Tanner Utley said. “We went 5-3 in the matches we wrestled, which is definitely another step in the right direction. Forfeiting so many weights always make things tough, but we have a little sickness going around the room. Hopefully, we can get back to full strength now before the weekend (the Gaels travel to the Perry Invitational on Saturday).”

Freshman Cole Allison (106 pounds), No. 4 (1A) junior Ryan Szalat (113), second-ranked senior Kaden McClintock (120) and No. 2 senior Vinnie Harvey (220) each delivered pins for the green and white. Sophomore Payton Sitzmann (126) added a 6-2 decision over Austen Gargano.

“Payton did a nice job of keeping the pace against a pretty solid kid for a full six minutes,” said Utley. “Our top guys (defending state placewinners Harvey, McClintock and Szalat) also continue to do just what we expect them to do. They took care of business again and dominated their opponents.”

St. Edmond actually jumped out to a 27-12 advantage midway through the dual. Humboldt then closed out the meet with seven straight victories, with the last four all coming by forfeits.

McClintock’s fall was the quickest of the night in only 47 seconds, while Cole Allison needed 1:37 to down Michael Brock. Both Harvey and Szalat stuck their opponents in the second period.

Harvey now owns a career mark of 142-20, which is just six wins behind older brother Teddie’s school record. McClintock has collected 121 varsity triumphs, and Szalat has prevailed 84 times.

“I warned our kids not to overlook (the Gaels) because of so many open weights,” HHS head coach Chad Beaman said. “It was such a fast dual. We had three, four or five guys that just didn’t look like they were ready to go.

“Just like in any other sport, once (the momentum) starts rolling, it can be hard to stop.”

Earning second-period pins for the Wildcats (15-1, 6-1) were junior Mike Madsen (138) and sophomore Collin Flick (145). Senior Jake Miller (132) of Humboldt also prevailed in a tight 5-4 decision over Connor Allison.

“I challenged Mike Madsen to get out (on the mat) and get going,” said Beaman. “We’ve got to get out of the hills and valleys we’ve experienced this year. We’ve been lights out at times, and other times, we haven’t wrestled how we’re capable of.”

Winning by forfeit for the Wildcats were Thaylan Bowman (152), Gus Arnold (160), No. 5 Nikko Wheeler (170), Adam Mickelson (182), second-ranked Reed Dreyer (195) and No. 2 Dylan Hendricks (285).

Humboldt’s lone dual loss this winter was a 37-18 defeat to NCC rival and then-No. 14 (2A) Webster City back on Jan. 9. Last year, the Wildcats edged St. Edmond by a 34-27 count.

In junior varsity action last night, Humboldt’s Jaxon Kampen notched a 39 second fall.

Saturday’s Perry Invitational will begin at 10:30 a.m. Humboldt returns to the mat that same day at the Lake Mills Duals.