Courier sports staff
OSKALOOSA — The Ottumwa wrestling team finished 1-4 at the Oskaloosa dual tournament on Saturday.
The Bulldogs sole victory was a 42-39 win over East Marshall/GMG. Ottumwa’s dual losses came against Knoxville (52-30), Dowling Catholic (70-6), Waterloo West (55-24) and Oskaloosa (51-30).
Karsten VanVelsor had a terrific day on the mat, pinning all five of his opponents.
“He’s been wrestling well so far all year,” coach Kevin Cochran said. “He’s even wrestling up a weight class from where he’s going to compete at. Overall, I’m really impressed with his intensity and where he’s at mentally.”
VanVelsor’s pin against Dowling Catholic’s Harrison Farrell in the 145 pound class gave the Bulldogs their only points in their dual against the Maroons.
VanVelsor (145), Connor Mier (220), Isaiah Cox (195) and Nathan Cary (113) all pinned their opponents in Ottumwa’s successful dual against East Marshall.
Cox picked up another victory, this time in the 182-pound class, when he pinned Knoxville’s Travis Poffenberger in 1:30. In addition, VanVelsor, Mier, Kevin Childs (285) and Scott Wilson (152) all scored falls against their Panther opponents.
VanVelsor pinned the Waterloo West’s Cody Rodebush in 3:45 in the 145 pound class. In addition, Bulldog Chase Wood won by fall over Warhawk John Ramirez at 160 in 2:38.
Cochran said his team, which has been snake bit by injuries thus far this season, wrestled a little too tentatively Saturday.
“We just didn’t show the aggressiveness and open up on offense the way we needed to,” he said.
Cochran noted that some of this tentativeness may stem from the youthful makeup this year. And injuries have made Ottumwa’s already young team even younger.
The Bulldogs who didn’t compete at the tournament because of a sickness or an injury included Garrett Goodwin, Justus Skinner, Shawn Foster and Marcus Luthi.
The Bulldogs compete at Des Moines Roosevelt Thursday.