McClintock wins 4th NCC title
Kaden McClintock achieved something no other St. Edmond wrestler has to date Saturday – and he did so without even breaking a sweat.
McClintock earned his fourth North Central Conference title inside Hodges Fieldhouse, joining a select group of individuals.
Only Humboldt’s Justin Hanson and Kevin Dresser, Algona’s Paul Martin, Eagle Grove’s Mark Kist and Clear Lake’s Jacob Colon have won four league crowns before. All four of them secured at least one state title as well.
“That’s the ultimate goal,” said McClintock, who earned a forfeit victory over Clear Lake’s Ryan Schmalen in the finals. “This is the first step toward the goal.”
St. Edmond had two champions on the day, as Vinnie Harvey earned a second straight title at 220 pounds. The Gaels placed seventh overall.
McClintock (16-1) saw just 55 seconds of mat time, as he earned a bye in the quarterfinals before pinning Jaden Kampen of Humboldt in the semis.
Schmalen was making season debut after breaking his elbow in practice before the year started. He was warming up before the bout, but his coaches decided against sending him out.
“I saw him getting ready, but I knew there was a chance he might not wrestle,” McClintock said. “I was disappointed to win it that way, but I’ll take it.
“This really means a lot. My family was here to celebrate with me, and I’d just like to thank my coaches and teammates who have helped me get this far.”
McClintock, ranked first in Class 1A at 120, knows the history of the NCC and the importance that joining such elusive company brings with it.
“I’ve got to keep moving forward and working toward Des Moines and state now,” he said.
Harvey (25-0) echoed those sentiments, saying, “winning a title here really brings a lot with it. The NCC is filled with great wrestlers – many that will place down at state.”
While he’s had little trouble maintaining a perfect record on the year, Harvey was able to see more mat time than he is used to Saturday.
Harvey earned a technical fall in the quarters of Ace Walton of Clear Lake in just over two minutes, scoring another technical fall in the semis vs. Caleb Hanson of Clarion-Goldfield.
In the finals, Harvey picked, who is rated second, had no problems taking care of No. 3 Kendrick Suntken of Hampton-Dumont, scoring a 14-0 major decision, He added three late near-fall points after dominating Suntken throughout.
“We are coached to never let up,” Harvey said. “When you let up, bad things happen.
“This was the first step on the road to a bigger goal – a state title.”
Harvey now has 145 career victories, which puts him just two behind brother Teddie Harvey for the all-time school record.
St. Edmond had just five wrestlers in action, as Ryan Szalat and Payton Siztmann each placed fourth. Nick Hindt did not medal.
“I’m happy with what Kaden and Vinnie accomplished,” SEHS head coach Tanner Utley said. “For Kaden to become a four-time NCC champion is an incredible feat. He has worked hard and is a great example for our younger wrestlers.”
Utley added that “we saw several things we need to work on over these next couple of weeks before we get to the postseason.”
St. Edmond returns to action on Thursday, hosting Hampton-Dumont at 7 p.m.