DES MOINES – It took 13 years, but West Delaware’s Nathan Vaske finally won the best-of-3 series with Clear Lake’s Tucker Weber.
The state finalists first met when they were five-years-old at a freestyle tournament, but after last night Vaske has the upper hand.
Vaske handled Weber, 7-2, in the 130-pound championship of the Class 2A state tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in front of 15,439 spectators.
It’s a perfect time to win,” Vaske said. “It’s exciting.
Words can’t describe it.”
Vaske took the mat with aggression, setting a high-tempo for the match.
“The game plan was to keep pressure on him the whole match,” West Delaware Coach Jeff Voss said. “We didn’t think he could go with us.”
Vaske scored first, using a front headlock and snapping Weber to his belly and spinning around behind for a takedown and riding him out for a 2-0 lead after the first.
The lead extended to 4-0 when Vaske snatched a single-leg and finished with a leg sweep in the first 30 seconds of the second.
Vaske seemed one step ahead of Weber the entire match, adding an escape and quick takedown with 1:18 left.
“Everything fell in place,” said Vaske, complimenting his coaches for preparing him. “Knowing what you’re opponent is going to do is huge. You just have to go out and do it.”
All the hard work paid off for Vaske, the school’s third four-time placewinner and first state champion since Zach McCool in 2007.
“It’s well deserved,” Voss said. “All the hard work he put in paid off.”
The Hawks were soaring by the end of the night, when 189-pounder Carl Broghammer won the their second gold medal of the night. Broghammer avenged a loss suffered in last year’s state tournament, defeating West Liberty’s 2008 state runner-up Tomas Lira, 8-5.
“He was a lot of motivation all year,” Broghammer said. “Coach made us put together a hit list, guys you want to beat. I looked at that list every day.
“He was at the top of it.”
Lira took an early lead by throwing Broghammer to his back, but Broghammer powered his way off getting a reversal to close the score to 5-2. Broghammer used a bar arm to put Lira on his back, tying the score in the second. He was released by Lira to start the third and iced the win with a late takedown.
The two titles left West Delaware in sixth place with 64 points.
Ballard blew away the team field. The Bombers set records with most points, most finalists with nine and largest winning margin for 2A. Ballard tallied 220, 39½ more than its record set last year. Denver-Tripoli was runner-up with 88½.
Five Ballard wrestlers won titles, including Dakota Bauer (112), Tanner Weatherman (135), Tanner Hiatt (140), Trent Weatherman (152) and Brock Weatherman (171).
Williamsburg sophomore heavyweight Austin Blythe improved his runner-up finish as a freshman. Blythe pinned West Liberty’s Javier Rendon in 1:50.
Last year’s second-place finish burned at Blythe since he received his silver medal.
“It’s been in the back of my mind for 365 days,” said Blythe. “Defending the state title will be in the back of my mind for 365 days, now.”
Once Blythe had Rendon on his back the only thing getting loose was Blythe’s emotions when the referee slapped the mat for the pin.
“As soon as I got him on his back I wasn’t going to let him off,” Blythe said. “I knew I had the fall and I got up and let go. I just let everything go.”
Tanner Weatherman denied Independence senior Chris Alber a title, building a 19-8 lead before getting the fall in 5 minutes, 37 seconds.
Alber matched his older brother Nate’s state runner-up performance his senior year.
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