Newton senior Claire Breuer drove 30 minutes at least three times a week in the offseason to get more mat time.
Breuer is one of the most experienced Cardinal wrestlers this season and she will be asked to lead the squad throughout the winter.
She showed her teammates on Tuesday that wrestling hard for six minutes can lead to positive results and her narrow win at 140 pounds was one of the highlights of Newton’s 33-15 home loss to Southeast Polk.
“If it’s 4-4 going into the third period, Claire usually wins those matches,” Newton head girls wrestling coach Chad Garvis said. “If it’s close in the end, I’m confident she will win. She won a lot of those close matches last year. The third period is always her best period. She was aggressive and scored when she needed to.”
Freshman Lilly Fuchs got the Cardinals’ first win of the season as she took a forfeit at 190. Stella Cupples had the most impressive victory as she scored a win by fall in 28 seconds.
Newton was 2-3 in contested matches and the Rams had a 5-1 advantage in forfeit victories. There were three double forfeits.
“I was happy with how we wrestled. We got some wins, we wrestled hard and no one was just standing around,” Garvis said. “We have some new wrestlers and we don’t see some things at practice that we’ll see in matches. Now we can work on some of those things.”
The Cardinals trailed 12-6 after Fuchs took the forfeit.
Freshman Kylee Adams weighed in at 105 but bumped up a weight to get a match at 110. She trailed 3-0 after one period, 5-1 after two and lost 9-3.
Southeast Polk’s Jackee Rodriguez-Acosta scored four of those points by countering shots taken by Adams, who will eventually be the Cardinals’ starter at 100.
“I gave her the choice to wrestle up and she took on a tough match,” Garvis said. “That opponent almost made state last year. It was a good match for her to have and a good one to get under her belt.”
The Rams went up 15-6 after the Rodriguez-Acosta win and then a forfeit at 115 pushed the margin to 21-6.
Cupples, who plans to be the eventual starter at 110, weighed in a 115 but wrestled at 120. She made quick work of Shelby Schrock, scoring the only takedown of the match in the first 20 seconds and securing the fall a few seconds later.
“I wish they would have bumped up a girl to give Stella a better match, but that’s OK,” Garvis said. “If Stella is on and has a good day, I don’t think anyone can beat her. She has to stay in that space and stay positive. She’s right there. She can be a place winner if she puts it all together.”
Breuer was in a battle at 140 against Emily Herman. The Cardinal senior trailed 2-1 after one. A reversal by Breuer at the end of the second period made it 4-all after two.
Breuer’s takedown with 1:23 to go in the match pushed her into the lead at 6-4, but Schrock countered with a two-point reversal.
A reversal by Breuer with 40 seconds left made it 8-6 and she held on to win by one.
“I’m always just thinking of the next thing,” Breuer said about the back-and-forth match. “What can she do that I can react to to get those points? I just tried to have some fun out there, do my best and keep it moving.”
Southeast Polk had a lot of success countering shots taken by Newton and scoring its own takedowns off those shots.
Breuer said that is something you learn to anticipate with experience.
“It’s a feel thing I think,” Breuer said. “As we learn and get experience, I think we’ll get a lot better at it.”
Notes: The Cardinals did not have junior Ella Machin because of an injury. She hopes to be back in the starting lineup soon. … Kamiya Lepley scored a pair of JV wins by pin on Tuesday. She spent 1 minute, 10 seconds total on the mat.