Powers grabs gold at DC-G Invite

GRIMES – Jacob Powers is always fighting two opponents when he steps onto the wrestling mat – the guy on the other side of the circle and his own lung capacity.

Defeating either is never easy, yet that’s exactly what the Webster City senior 145-pounder did at Saturday’s Dallas Center-Grimes Mustang Invitational.

Powers – prone to an asthma attack whenever his body decides to rebel – did the most prudent thing possible by finishing his matches quickly en route to the third tournament title of his career. The 2013 state qualifier needed just over three minutes of mat time to dust a pair of opponents by fall and stay unbeaten on the young season.

“I have to take a breathing test and use an inhaler before every match … (Saturday) it worked,” Powers said. “My chest didn’t hurt that bad.”

Powers was the lone success story of an otherwise miserable championship round for the Lynx. WCHS took a 10 -point lead over Creston/Orient-Macksburg into the gold-medal round, but a 1-6 showing by the Lynx allowed the Panthers to jump ahead and claim the title with 214 points. The Lynx accepted silver with 207, following by the host Mustangs with 187.

C/O-M won four of five championship matches. Its only loss, ironically enough, came at the hands of Powers, who dominated Joey Huntington before applying a headlock and earning the pin in 2:47.

“Yeah, it worked out pretty well,” Powers said.

Powers, the top seed, received a pair of early-round byes. He tossed Carroll’s Reid Stracke to his back for the fall in just 20 seconds in the semifinals.

“This was huge for (Powers) after what he’s been going through with his respiratory problems,” WCHS head coach Ted Larson said. “It’s no different than if you’re battling any kind of pain. He’s always worried he’s going to have that asthma attack, so to get through this is huge.”

Freddie Seeley (120), fourth-ranked (Class 2A) Connor Larson (170), Brandon Patten (182), fifth-ranked Dylan Fielder (195), Gus Gasca (220) and Gavin Dinsdale (285) all placed second for the Lynx.

Fielder’s day began with his 100th career victory – he’s the ninth in school history to do so – and included a 7-5 semifinal-round decision over top-ranked (3A) John Ware of Ankeny Centennial.

Fielder was unable to penetrate the defensive shield of C-O/M’s Trevor Frain in a 6-2 championship-round setback. Frain – ranked third (2A) at 170 – wrestled with one knee on the mat, which forced Fielder to tie up rather than attack the legs from the outside.

“Getting 100 wins is pretty cool and you can only take the positives out of this,” Fielder said. “(Frain) kept his distance from me and that was smart. I just really couldn’t get anything going.”

Seeley owned fifth-ranked (1A) Cole Needham of West Marshall in the semifinals, 11-5, but another upset wasn’t in the cards, as he lost by technical fall to No. 3 (3A) Trevor Murano of Dallas Center-Grimes in the finals.

“Freddie has really come a long ways and he had a good day,” Ted Larson said. “It was another day for him to build on.”

Connor Larson got caught out of position in a scramble and lost by fall to third-ranked (1A) Dale Hilleman of West Marshall in the finals.

“Anytime that you’re in a position where you end on your back is tough,” Ted Larson said. “It was a scramble and he got caught. We just have to make sure we don’t get caught in those situations again.”

Patten, Gasca and Dinsdale all dropped decisions in the last round. Dinsdale took eighth-ranked (1A) Garrett Johnston of Panorama to the ultimate tiebreaker, but was unable to escape from the bottom over the final 30-second period.

The Lynx depth produced 12 place winners. Alex Oswald (160) secured bronze; Tanner Hild (152) placed fourth; Cole Nokes (113) was fifth; Tanner Hoveland (132) and Ryan Ferrari (138) were seventh.

“We had a lot of good matches for the full day and we really wrestled well,” Ted Larson said. “It’s disappointing because we didn’t wrestle to our full potential (in the finals), but is it the end of the world? No.

“This didn’t come out the way we wanted it to, but it’s how we respond to (Saturday) that matters. This is our first tournament and we can’t panic. We just have to go back to work.”

That work in front of an audience will continue on Thursday when WCHS heads to Fort Dodge to tackle St. Edmond and Iowa Falls-Alden in a North Central Conference triangular.