MONROE — PCM’s wrestling team was a bit short-handed for its tournament on Saturday and Colfax-Mingo head coach Erin Hume brought just six of his guys to the party.
But both the Mustangs and Tigerhawks had one champion and several others claimed top-five finishes at the PCM Mustang Invitational.
PCM’s Colby Tool won his second PCM tournament title, and C-M’s Noah Strohmeyer climbed to the top of the podium for the first time at PCM.
The Mustangs entered 11 wrestlers in all, had six top-five finishes and placed sixth with 94 points. Four of Colfax-Mingo’s six wrestlers were in the top four as the Tigerhawks tied Gilbert for ninth with 59 points. Gilbert also brought just six wrestlers.
“The kids seem to be getting better. I like our improvement and I like where we are at at this point in the season,” PCM head coach Jeff Nicholson said. “I think we did OK today. There’s a couple matches I would like to have back. Outside of those, we won most of the matches we were supposed to win.”
This tournament was canceled last year. PCM was the team champion the previous two seasons. But the Mustangs didn’t have the services of two-time PCM tourney champion and Class 2A No. 4 Landon Fenton at 145 and heavyweight Kinser Sloan was a late scratch, too. Both wrestlers missed the tournament because of a non-COVID-19 illness.
Solon won the tournament title with 168 points. The Spartans had 19 wrestlers entered in the 12-team tournament. Iowa Falls-Alden and its 11 wrestlers were second with 139, edging Carlisle’s 14 wrestlers and Pella’s 13 wrestlers who each scored 138.5 points. Pleasantville brought 15 wrestlers and placed fifth with 124.
“I think we wrestled at or above our expectations,” Hume said. “This is a tough tournament and I thought our kids showed up. We got a lot of compliments from other coaches on how well our kids’ wrestled. I am happy with the day.”
The Mustangs had two finalists. Class 2A No. 3 Tool (24-1) won all three of his matches at 152 by pin to win his second home tournament title.
“The kid he wrestled in the finals was ranked earlier this season at 145,” Nicholson said. “Colby had some good shots against a quality kid. There’s things we have to get better on. His goal is not to win the PCM tournament. His goal is to win a bigger tournament.”
Remington Fry also made the finals at 106, going 2-1 with two first-period pins. Hewitt Brinegar was third at 120 as he won 12-5 before losing by fall in the semifinals. He won the third-place match 9-2.
“I would like to have the final at 106 back and I would like to have Hewitt’s semifinal match back,” Nicholson said. “Those are ones we were winning in when we got pinned.”
Two Mustangs were fourth and another placed fifth. Nate Richards (14-9) placed fourth at 182 and Cooper Sloan was fourth at 220. Both wrestlers went 1-2 on the day. Cooper Sloan (18-9) lost a pair of close decisions.
The fifth-place finish came from Donovan Nickelson (16-9) at 195. He lost his first match to 3A No. 5 Gabe Hemsted of Carlisle but won his next three bouts by pin.
Class 1A No. 7 Strohmeyer (17-2) won his first PCM tourney title after placing third in 2019. He was coming off a tough loss on Thursday night but won both of his matches by first-period pin. His win in the 113-pound finals came against a Knoxville wrestler he split with last season.
“I am really happy with Noah. He bounced back from a tough loss on Thursday,” Hume said. “He’s a kid I can count on to be at his best at the end of the season and we expect him to do that. He showed up today. Any time a kid wins a tournament, it’s a good day.”
C-M’s next best finisher was John McGill, who was third at 126. McGill (22-4) had a tough bracket that included two state qualifiers, including 2A No. 5 Cael Ihle of Gilbert. McGill won his first match 5-4 and claimed an 11-2 win in the third-place match.
“He’s a tough kid who loves competition. He doesn’t like to lose and hasn’t done much of it this year,” Hume said. “The top two guys were state caliber kids. They are both seniors and very good.”
Hunter Stevens (18-7) finished fourth at 152 and Kenny Schlosser (7-2) was fifth at heavyweight for the Tigerhawks.
Stevens was 1-2 with a win by pin and two losses by fall, including one against Tool. Schlosser lost for the first time this season, but pushed 2020 state qualifier Kody Huisman of Pella to the final seconds in the semifinals.
I think we wrestled at or above our expectations,” Hume said. “This is a tough tournament and I thought our kids showed up. We got a lot of compliments from other coaches on how well our kids’ wrestled. I am happy with the day.— Colfax-Mingo head wrestling coach Erin Hume
Schlosser took the lead by one point with an escape with 10 seconds go in the match, but Huisman rallied with a late takedown and eventual pin in the final second.
“I think we can take something away from everyone’s matches and say this is what we have to do now to get better moving forward and be ready for the end of the season,” Hume said. “A tough tournament like this can give us something to build on the rest of the year.”
Notes: The tournament featured Solon’s Hayden Taylor, who is nationally ranked and ranked No. 1 at 160 in Iowa. ... PCM did not allow spectators for the event. Only parents of PCM wrestlers were allowed in to help run the tournament. ... Knoxville (93) finished seventh and Central Decatur (83.5) was eighth. The other two teams in the 12-team tournament were Chariton (40.5) and Des Moines North-Hoover (24).