DES MOINES — The most important thing at the state tournament is to win.
For the most part, Iowa City West did a good job collecting wins, however, it wasn’t enough to keep them from being on the outside looking in on the team race.
Second-ranked West went advanced seven wrestlers to the quarterfinals with eight remaining, but are fourth in the team race after the opening day of the Iowa High School Athletic Association Class 3A state tournament at Wells Fargo Arena. West has 21 points, but Bettendorf has the early lead with 35 points, nine ahead of Waverly-Shell Rock and Indianola, who are tied for second.
“We have eight guys still alive and we can’t complain,” West Coach Mark Reiland. “We weren’t getting the bonus points we probably need, but right now it’s advance.”
West managed bonus points in only three matches, receiving pins from Jack Hathaway at 112, Nick Moore at 160 and 215-pounder Mickey Pelfrey. Top-ranked Moore took his first step toward becoming the state’s 19th 4-time state champion, decking Pleasant Valley’s in 1:07.
Reiland said the Trojans seemed appeared a little tight, and some could have opened up offensively. The Trojans wanted to fast start, but now have to play catch up to Bettendorf and likely Waverly-Shell Rock, who have 10 and 8 in the quarters, respectively.
“That was something we were kind of hoping for but it didn’t quite turn out in our favor,” Jack Hathaway said. “Hopefully it turns around.”
Gradey Gambrall (135), Garrett Hathaway (140), top-ranked 152-pounder Justin Koethe and David Solis (171) added decisions. Koethe opened up as the match went along to beat No. 5 Peyton Wagner of Cedar Rapids Prairie, 8-1. No. 10 Solis edged No. 8 Derick Minch of Muscatine, 5-4.
“Tomorrow is a new day,” Reiland said. “Other than the fact that the team score reflects what happened today, you can have a really poor match today and turn around and set the world on fire the next three days. The biggest part is advancing.”
They still have the chance to make a run the final three days.
“Seven came out with wins,” Pelfrey said. “I’ll take our seven over how ever many Bettendorf or Waverly has any day.”
Western Dubuque’s Jim Gotto helped by beating the Go-Hawks Kolton Rottink, 3-1, in overtime at 125.
Gotto repeatedly got in on shots but couldn’t finish during regulation. He fixed that as time was running down in overtime.
“I cut the corner better,” said Gotto, whose teammate David Demmer advanced to the quarterfinals at 189. “That’s why I got the takedown.”
Gotto was a fixture at the state meet as a freshman and sophomore, but was denied last year as a junior which he called the worst week of his life.
“It fueled me,” said Gotto, who placed seventh in 2008. “I won’t the same mistake. This is my last year now. I want to go out with a bang.”
Linn-Mar also moved two into the quarterfinals with Joel Northrup at 103 and Dailey Johnson at 145. Northrup handled David Habhab of Ames, 9-1.
“It was pretty cool,” Northrup said after his first state experience. “It’s just an atmosphere I like. It’s pretty fun.”
cedar Rapids xavier’s Braxton Chicchelly isn’t new to the state meet, but he did notch his first state win, scoring two takedowns for a 6-3 win over Ty Miller of West Des Moines Valley. He overcame jitters and then imposed his will, taking the first step toward his next goal.
“This year it’s to get on the podium and get some hardware,” Chichelly said about his yearly goals in high school. “I’ve done two of three so hopefully this year it will be three out of four.”
Cedar Rapids Kennedy’s Luke Kremer remains unbeaten by Iowa’s 3A competition. Kremer opened with a 4-1 win over Austin Boyd. He’ll be tested in the quarterfinals by North Scott’s No. 4 Adam Perrin, who was the 103-pound state champion in 2008.
Cedar Rapids Jefferson’s Conner Herman advanced to the quarterfinals with a 4-2 win over Indianola’s Don Dawson. Herman sandwiched two nearfall points between escapes for the difference. He was joined by fellow Westsider Josh Lambrecht of Prairie. Lambrecht beat Des Moines Lincoln’s Zach Salisbury, 11-4, at 215.
Bettendorf, Braxton Chicchelly, Cedar Rapids Jefferson, Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Cedar Rapids Prairie, Conner Herman, Dailey Johnson, David Demmer, David Solis, Garrett Hathaway, Gradey Gambrall, Iowa City West, Jack Hathaway, Jim Gotto, Joel Northrup, Josh Lambrecht, Justin Koethe, Luke Kremer, Mark Reiland, Mickey Pelfrey, Nick Moore, Waverly-Shell Rock, Western Dubuque