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Cardinal grapplers take second at Ottumwa invite

Published: Monday, Jan. 7, 2013 12:11 p.m. CDT

Despite being short-handed, the Newton wrestling team grabbed an impressive second-place finish at a tournament in Ottumwa on Saturday.

Finishing second behind Class 3A No. 8 Burlington by just two points, all 12 of the Cardinals’ wrestlers finished in at least fourth place and earned an overall record of 42-18 on the day.

“This was a good tournament for us at this time of the year with lots of matches, and winnable matches for every wrestler,” Newton coach Bill Reed said. “We scored points from positions we had worked on over break, and it was neat to see the guys start to put things together all on the same day.”

Among the 12 competitors, four Cardinals brought home first-place individual finishes. At 106 pounds, sophomore Koby Hull battled back from a few deficits to end the day with five pins to go along with a title. Fellow sophomore Dakota Dawson also took first in a more dominant fashion at 132, as did junior Ray Schroder at 195. Senior Derrick Hurt rounded out the Cardinal champs with a 5-0 record and five pins on the day.

Taking second for the Cards were sophomore Jeff Thongvanh at 160 and junior Joey Wright at 220. Wright has yet another solid day filling in for the sick Jacob Williams and giving up a few pounds, while Thongvanh finished with a 3-2 record to secure his final standings.

The Cardinals got four third-place finishes, most of which were at the lower weights. Freshmen Jac Fisher (113), Alex Bentley (120) and Bryce Tish (126) all impressed Reed with how they faced tougher competition during the tournament, while senior Jacob Herduin (152) wrestled what Reed called “one of his best varsity tournaments over the last two years.”

Rounding out the field for the Cardinals with fourth-place finishes were freshman Nicoli Allspach (145) and junior Sean Cook (170). Cook earned pins in each of his two victories that guaranteed him a top-four finish, while Allspach managed his placing in what was considered the toughest bracket in the field.

The Cardinals will resume their busy schedule on Thursday with a triangular at Oskaloosa against the host Indians and Keokuk before heading to a tournament at Adel-DeSoto-Minburn on Saturday.

“Now we need to get back to work,” Reed said. “This next week’s competitions are going to be good challenges for us.”

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