Lynx pile up 3 individual crowns, team title at ADM Invite

ADEL – In what has become a trend in recent years, the Webster City wrestling team dominated the ADM Tiger Invitational on Saturday for a wire-to-wire team-title celebration.

Behind champions Jacob Powers (145 pounds), 10th-ranked Alex Oswald (160) and fifth-ranked Dylan Fielder (195), the Lynx took home the championship bragging rights for the second consecutive season and fifth time in the last eight years.

WCHS rode 11 top-six place winners to 215 points and a comfortable 34.5-point victory over runner-up Dallas Center-Grimes (179.5). Illinois school Antioch (175) was third, while Waukee (154.5) and Atlantic (144) completed the first five among the 17 squads in attendance.

“This is a good tournament for us right now with where we’re headed,” WCHS head coach Ted Larson said. “Yeah, we ran away with it as a team, but there were some really good individuals sprinkled in there and I was happy with our fight all day.”

The marathon day lasted more than 12 hours, which is why Larson has already told tournament organizers that the Lynx won’t return next season.

WCHS pushed 10 grapplers through to the semifinals to build a sizable lead and the group combined to post a 35-18 record.

Powers, Oswald and Fielder all had tight championship matches. Powers (28-4) earned a high-scoring 10-8 decision over Atlantic’s Reid Nichols, Oswald (25-5) snuck by Antioch’s Kenneth Strohman 3-2, and Fielder (28-1) scored a takedown in the final 10 seconds and dusted off Ankeny Centennial’s sixth-ranked (3A) John Ware 5-2.

It was Fielder’s third win over Ware this season. The two have battled numerous times over the past three years; Ware has never come out on top.

“Dylan wrestles his match with him every time and Ware hasn’t been able to stop him from executing what he wants,” Larson said. “This was a closer match, but Dylan got that takedown late and that’s what I like to see – him working right up until the end.

“Jake and Ozzie both gutted out some close matches and really did well.”

Fourth-ranked heavyweight Gavin Dinsdale gave the Lynx a fourth finalist, but he lost by fall to ADM’s Nathan Heath in the first period.

Ryan Ferrari (138), Tanner Hild (152), fourth-ranked Connor Larson (170) and Brandon Patten (182) all rebounded from semifinal losses to grab the bronze. They all went 4-1.

Connor Larson dropped his third match of the season to ninth-ranked (3A) Hank Swalla of Ames, who went on to win the title. Swalla scored a takedown in sudden-victory for the 3-1 win.

“That was a heartbreaker, but Connor closed the gap with Swalla,” Ted Larson said. “Ryan Ferrari had a huge day to come out third and it was good to see Tanner (Hild) put a tournament together and feel good about it.”

Other place winners for the Lynx included Freddie Seeley (fifth at 120), Ty Schnathorst (sixth at 126) and Gus Gasca (fourth at 220).

WCHS hopes this victory springboards it into this weekend’s North Central Conference tournament in Fort Dodge. The Lynx won back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012 before settling for second behind Humboldt last season.

The NCC tournament will be held in the Iowa Central Community College gymnasium beginning at 10 a.m.