Courier Staff Writer
Five second place finishes helped the Ottumwa Bulldog wrestling team finish third out of eight teams at its home invitational Saturday at Evans Middle School.
Bulldog coach Kevin Cochran was pleased with his team’s performance — he said he thought it was the highest Ottumwa has placed in the tournament since he took over the program — but he couldn’t help but ponder what would have happened if a couple of things would have went Ottumwa’s way.
“As any wrestling day transitions you have goods and you have bads,” Cochran said, “unfortunately some of the areas that did not go are way that we thought perhaps maybe should have, cost us a couple of championships. We walked away with five second place finishes and it would have been nice to crown a couple of champions.”
Senior Karsten Van Velsor, who is ranked ninth in Class 3A at 138 pounds and is the Bulldogs most prolific wrestler this season; caught a tough break in his final match of the day. Van Velsor, as he has done several times this season, was wrestling up a weight at 145. He ticked off four straight victories to advance to the finals and he was locked in an 8-8 tie with Burlington’s Austin Boyd in the waning seconds of the third round when the Grayhound wrestler scored on a reverse to win the match 10-8.
The call wasn’t without it’s controversy, as some questioned whether Boyd had had gotten a legitimate a reversal. Cochran said it was one of those calls that could have gone either way.
Still, the coach didn’t want his team to dwell on past events.
“Ultimately, I always tell my guys you can’t change anything that happened today,” he said, “we can only focus on what’s going to happen tomorrow or the next day.”
It was a painful loss for Van Velsor who had fought his way back from an early 6-2 deficit to tie the match at eight with 14 seconds before Boyd triumphed with the reverse. He came into the invite riding a wave of momentum — he had pinned his previous 13 opponents.
VanVelsor easily conquered his first four opponents, winning three matches by pinfall and one by major decision before losing in the finals.
On a more positive note, Van Velsor did win his 100th match at the invite; an impressive feat when the fact that he wrestled his entire sophomore season in considerable pain because of a right foot injury is taken into consideration.
Other second place finishers for Ottumwa included Nathan Cary (113), Chase Wood (152) Isaiah Cox (170) and Kevin Childs (Heavyweight). Burlington won the invite with 168.5 points and Newton grabbed second with 162.5. The Ottumwa junior varsity team placed eighth with 25 points and Fairfield finished fifth with 102.
Cary pinned his first four opponents before before being pinned himself by Des Ty McGhee of Des Moines Lincoln in the finals. There was, however, some controversy that revolved around whether Cary was actually pinned. Chase Wood snared three wins by pinfall and bested the Trojans Justin Leonard in an 11-7 decision before he got pinned in the finals. Cox pinned his first four opponents, two in less than a minute, before he lost a 4-1 decision to Fairfield’s Seth Davisson.
Childs scored four pinfall victory’s before he got pinned by Derrick Hurt of Newton in the finals. Bulldog Conner Mier snared third with a 3-2 record in the 195 pound weight class.
Fairfield’s Jacob Mineart took first in the 220 weight class, as he won three of his five matches by fall and one by major decision. Trojan Ammon Shaner finished second at 138 pounds.
The Bulldogs face Indianola in a make-up dual that was originally supposed to take place Dec. 20 this Tuesday at Evans Middle School. Ottumwa also will play host to Des Moines Lincoln Thursday at Evans Middle School in a CIML Metro Conference dual.
Team Scores: 1. Burlington 168.5, 2. Newton 162.5, 3. Ottumwa 137, 4. Des Moines East 133, 5. Fairfield 102, 6. Des Moines Lincoln 72, 7. Davenport North 42, 8. Ottumwa JV 25.
106 — 1. Koby Hull (N), 2. Logan White (Burl.), 3. Tyler Powell (DM Lincoln). 113 — 1. Ty McGhee (DM Linc.), 2. Nathan Cary (O), 3. Jac Fisher (Newt.). 120 — 1. Matt Schmitt (DM East), 2. Alfred Buford (Burl.), 3. Dalton McCarroll (Fair), 126 — 1. Dallas Terry (Burl.), 2. Jovonte Lawrence (DM East), 3. Bryce Tish (Newt.), 132 — 1. Dakota Dawson (Newt.), 2. Garrett Grimshaw (Burl.), 3. Chance Raleigh (DM East), 138 — 1. Josh Davis (DM East), 2. Ammon Shaner (Fair.), 3. Josh Coakley (Burl.). 145 — 1. Austin Boyd (Burl.), 2. Karsten Van Velsor (O), 3. Aaron Gevock (Fair.), 152 — 1. Nate Luna (DM Linc.), 2. Chase Wood (O), 3. Justin Leonard (Fair.), 160 — 1. Dalton Witte (Burl.), 2. Jeffrey Thongvanh (Newt.), 3. Markram Ibraheem (DM East), 170 — 1. Seth Davisson (Fair.), 2. Isaiah Cox (O), 3. Landon Summers (Burl.), 182 — 1. Matt Seabold (Burl.), 2. Austin Robbins (DM East), 3. Brett Scott (Fair.), 195 — 1. Ray Schroder (Newt.), 2. Jordan Trowers (Davenport North), 3. Conner Mier (O), 220 — 1. Jacob Mineart (Fair.), 2. Joey Wright (Newt.), 3. Alex Contreras (DM East) HWT — 1. Derrick Hurt (Newt.), 2. Kevin Childs (O), 3. Vincent Clark (Burl.).
Ottumwa Varsity Individual results
106 — Clark 4th 2-3, 113 — Cary 3rd 4-1, 120 — 5th 1-4, 126 — Courtney 6th 0-5, 132 — Wyatt Schlotter 4th 2-3, 138 — Juan Aldaba 5th 1-4, 145 — Karsten Van Velsor 2nd 4-1, 152 — Chase Wood 2nd 4-1, 160 — Tad Howard 5th 1-4, 170 — Isaiah Cox 2nd 4-1, 182 — Skylar Genners 4th 2-3, 195 — Conner Mier 3rd 3-2, 220 — Lucas Lunsford 6th 0-5; 285 — Kevin Childs 2nd 4-1.