DES MOINES – Prairie City-Monroe junior Lucas Roland has been training for a shot at a state championship since as long as he can remember.
His lifelong goal could become reality Saturday.
Second-ranked Roland advanced to the 170-pound championship in the late session Friday night. Now he gets a chance at redemption against top-ranked Kolton Bartow of Dubuque Wahlert. Bartow beat Roland twice at the state tournament last year, on his way to third place at160.
Roland hopes to be the first individual state champion at PCM.
“I am not done. I have some work still left to do,”Roland said. “That was a tough one and a good opponent. It’s a great feeling to be this close. I am almost there.”
Roland heads to the finals at 48-1. After his technical-fall win in the opening round, he won back-to-back decisions to reach the title tilt. He defeated Mount Vernon’s Paul Ryan, 8-5, in the semifinals. Ryan is ranked fifth at 160 but moved up to 170 for the postseason.
“Luke’s being training for this since he was in junior high,” PCM coach Jeff Nicholson said. “He had some injuries his first two years that hurt his chances. Last year, he had both tendons in his thumb torn. He had no thumbs really and still got fifth. He’s had his sights set on this for along time.”
Three of the Mustangs’ six state qualifiers will return home with a medal. Junior Wes Cummings (160) and freshman Colby Tool (138) can both still finish third. They each won a pair of consolation matches Friday to get to the semifinals of the backside of the bracket.
Second-ranked Cummings enters the final day of the state wrestling tournament with a record of 49-3. He’s had a trio of pins since his opening-round loss to third-ranked Luke Hageman of Dyersville Beckman. He advanced to the consolation semifinals in the final session Friday with a second-period pin over No. 8 Cale Reicks of New Hampton.
“It’s definitely hard to come all the way back from a first-round loss,” Nicholson said. “He’s been charged up. He had time to process the loss and got after it today.”
He’ll begin his day Saturday against No. 6 Zach Williams of Osage.
Tool is peaking at the right time. He suffered an opening-round 4-3 loss to eighth-ranked Matthew Doyle of Independence. Since then, he’s rattled off three straight wins, including a pin over Cam Rice of Columbus Community.
“It was a high paced match against a good opponent,”Nicholson said. “Colby out-wrestled him, tired him out and got the pin. Colby has gotten a lot more technical. He’s been trying to improve on the things that we have been working on, and it’s showing. He is peaking at the right time.He’s on a good run.”
Those wins earned Tool (35-9) another shot at Doyle. They’ll start their day in a consolation semifinal match Saturday.
Seventh-ranked PCM sits in seventh in the team standings heading into the final day. The Mustangs have 46.5 points and trail ninth-rankedDavenport Assumption and Centerville by 1.5 points for fifth.
No. 2 Dubuque Wahlert has a big lead on the rest of the field. It leads sixth-ranked South Tama County 19 points, followed by top-ranked New Hampton (59) and fourth-ranked Ballard (48.5).
The area lost two more wrestlers in Friday’s second session. Both Lynnville-Sully senior Josh Dunsbergen and Colfax-Mingo junior Cauy Fitch lost their consolation wrestlebacks and were eliminated after going 1-2.
Dunsbergen, who ended his final prep season 37-7 and will wrestle at Buena Vista next season, thought he had his match won. He scored an escape and got a takedown in the closing seconds, but Sibley-Ocheyden senior Mitchell Paca stayed calm and scored a matching-winning five-point move in the final seconds. Paca won the match 8-4.
“It was a tough match between two very similar wrestlers,” Lynnville-Sully coach Jason Walston said. “It came down to the last minute. Josh got out and got the takedown. He tried to hold on. It’s just unfortunate that that match was for a medal.”
Colfax-Mingo’s Fitch (48-8) also went 1-2 on the weekend. He lost his only consolation match of the day 15-8. Dillon Lynnott got an early lead with several takedowns in the first and second periods. He never trailed in the match.
“He needs to use this disappointment as motivation for next year and maybe do things a little bit different,” Colfax-Mingo coach Erin Hume said. “Hopefully we can get him to take that next step, which is to get on that medal stand.”