THE LAND OF OZ: Oswald cruises into 160 quarters

DES MOINES – Alex Oswald had 16 hours to stew on a loss – one that he knew he shouldn’t have been dealt. But rather than pout the Webster City senior got analytical.

The studious approach paid off.

Following that throw-your-headgear type loss to Clear Lake’s Logan Wilcke, 4-3, during the state duals on Wednesday, Oswald made the necessary corrections in time to dominate his Class 2A opening-round bout at 160 pounds during Day 1 of the Iowa High School State Wrestling Tournament yesterday morning at Wells Fargo Arena.

“I thought all about that loss (Wednesday night) and I was really upset with myself,” Oswald, ranked No. 8, said after he disposed of Sprit Lake Park’s David Trucksess, 6-1. “It told me that there was more I could work on and more I could improve on … it brought me down to reality, which I probably needed a little bit.”

Facing an upper-body thrower in Trucksess, Oswald (36-6) went about his methodical business and never trailed. He attacked the legs of Trucksess (28-11) for a first-period takedown, inched ahead 4-1 on a reversal in the second and added another takedown in the third.

And maybe most importantly, he stayed out of the power game of Trucksess.

“I knew he was a thrower, but I just knew I had to stick to my game plan and get my offense going,” Oswald said. “A win is a win … I don’t go out and pin them all the time and I win close matches, but I win them my way.”

Oswald, competing at the state tournament for the first time, advanced to this morning’s quarterfinals against a familiar opponent – J.J. Clark of Clarinda, who knocked off Colton Ranney (44-14) of Central Decatur, 7-4, in the opening round.

Oswald tripped up Clark (42-6), 4-1, when the two exchanged handshakes at the Don Miller Invitational in Fort Dodge back in December. The winner will advance to this afternoon’s semifinals and be assured of a spot on the medal podium Saturday night.

“I remember he’s physical just like (Trucksess),” Oswald said of Clark. “I’m not going to change anything; staying on my feet and staying in position are the biggest things.”