Courier sports staff
Newly ranked, undefeated and seeded first at 145 pounds.
Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont’s Tucker Black had plenty of momentum going for him as the Bill Van Horne Invitational got under way. Ottumwa senior Karsten VanVelsor, however, stopped that momentum in the championship battle of area state qualifiers on Saturday.
VanVelsor, ranked ninth in Class 3A at 138 pounds, beat the newly ninth-ranked (1A) EBF junior with a late first-period fall to win his second straight tournament title. The Bulldogs’ top grappler improved to 16-1 with three more pins, giving Van Velsor nine pins in a row dating back to a five-fall weekend last week at the Oskaloosa duals, as the Bulldogs finished sixth as a team in Pella with 136 points.
Van Velsor was one of three Bulldog wrestlers to make it to the finals of their respective weight classes. Both Junior Conner Mier (10-4) and senior Kevin Childs (11-5) settled for second after falling to Mount Pleasant grapplers as Mier lost by fall to Jacob Dilks at 1:42 in the 215-pound final while Childs lost 6-0 to Emmett Wester in the heavyweight championship match.
EBF was not without success on the day in Pella. The second-ranked team in Class 1A settled for a eighth-place finish with 89.5 points, but saw Jeren Glosser win three more matches to maintain a perfect 13-0 record with three pins in just over seven minutes for the fifth-ranked sophomore in Class 1A at 120 pounds.
“We had almost our entire starting lineup out due to illness,” Rockets head wrestling coach Brett Little said. “It was not a good day for us.”
Another top-ten South Central Conference squad did have a good day. Albia, ranked ninth in Class 2A, finished third as a team with 152.5 points to finish just 30 behind meet champ South Tama and only 9.5 out of second.
The Blue Demons led the tournament with four wrestlers claiming championships on Saturday. Third-ranked juniors Shadow (120) and Brett (160) joined 10th-ranked freshman Bryce (132) as the Leshen trio joined third-ranked junior teammate Griffin Osing (160) in bringing home titles for head coach Dave Wenger’s squad.
“We really didn’t know what to expect as we began the day,” Wenger said. “Our lineup continues to change almost daily with injuries and sickness and Saturday was no exception.
“With that said, it’s pretty obvious that we have become pretty versatile at certain spots in our lineup. Shadow, Bryce, Brett, and Griffin scored their third consecutive tournament championships on the year and continue to score maximum points for our team.”
The Blue Demons also edged out Oskaloosa by 1.5 points despite the Indians scoring a trio of championships in Pella. Third-ranked 113-pound 3A sophomore Skylar DeJong moved to 10-0 with three wins including an 8-2 win over Dallas Center-Grimes junior Trevor Murano in the finals while 182-pound junior Mason Wisse (10-1) and eighth-ranked 195-pound senior Dane Jones (12-1) also brought home titles for Osky.
Albia and Oskaloosa will be back on the mat for a triangular at Fairfield while EBF hosts Cardinal and Davis County on Tuesday night. Ottumwa will be off until hosting new CIML Metro Conference rival Indianola at Evans Middle School Gym on Thursday.
Bill Van Horne Invitational
TEAM SCORES: 1. South Tama 182.5, 2. Dallas Center-Grimes 161, 3. Albia 152.5, 4. Oskaloosa 151, 5. Mount Pleasant 147, 6. Ottumwa 136, 7. Norwalk 101, 8. Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont 89.5, 9. Pella 52.5.
106 — 1. Jaret Probasco (South Tama), 2. Colten Mertens (Mount Pleasant), 3. Alec Clark (Ottumwa), 4. Dylan DeFreece (Norwalk). 113 — 1. Skyler DeJong (Oskaloosa), 2. Trevor Murano (Dallas Center-Grimes), 3. Nathan Cary (Ott), 4. Conner Eads (MP), 5. Bryce Ellenbecker (ST), 6. Trevor Baack (N). 120 — 1. Shadow Leshen (Albia), 2. Nate Caves (Osky), 3. Tyler Lanphier (MP), 4. Garrett Goodwin (Ott), 5. Dalton Kardell (DCG), 6. Michael Riordan (N). 126 — 1. Jeren Glosser (Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont), 2. Zach Johnson (N), 3. Kade Steuhm (ST), 4. Chase Petty (Pella), 5. Alex Lanphier (MP), 6. Bobby Belzer (A). 132 — 1. Bryce Leshen (A), 2. Andy Raudabaugh (DCG), 3. Lucas Shope (ST), 4. Cody Brown (EBF), 5. Mitchell Schaffner (Osky), 6. Rob Pohren (MP). 138 — 1. Bailey Chyma (ST), 2. Austin Pierangeli (N), 3. Jason Crosby (EBF), 4. Blake Lawless (A), 5. Kyle Langstraat (P), 6. Nick Brushaber (DCG). 145 — 1. Karsten Van Velsor (Ott), 2. Tucker Black (EBF), 3. Levi Kaufman (ST), 4. Jesse Anderson (DCG), 5. Hugh Sinclair (A), 6. Jesse Cowie (N). 152 — 1. Griffin Osing (A), 2. Blake Wolinski (DCG), 3. Dillon DeJong (P), 4. Casey Rudolf (N), 5. Michael Alderson (MP), 6. Shawn Foster (Ott). 160 — 1. Brett Leshen (A), 2. Dakota Clausen (DCG), 3. Cody Jones (Osky), 4. Jayton Phillips (MP), 5. Cory Archer (EBF), 6. Scott Wilson (Ott). 170 — 1. Erik Lux (ST), 2. Cole Baker (DCG), 3. Andrew Landgrebe (Osky), 4. Nathan Johnson (N), 5. Isaiah Cox (Ott), 6. Joe Sager (A). 182 — 1. Mason Wisse (Osky), 2. Kevin Onstot (N), 3. Kyle Llewellyn (ST), 4. Christian Summers (A), 5. Richard McCloud (Ott), 6. Bryce Dawson (P). 195 — 1. Dane Jones (Osky), 2. Colton Aplara (MP), 3. Jason Whited (DCG), 4. Logan Van Brogan (P), 5. Bryce Climer (ST), 6. Skylar Genners (Ott). 220 — 1. Jacob Dilks (MP), 2. Conner Mier (Ott), 3. Drea Lamb (Osky), 4. Chance Wuersta (EBF), 5. Devin Ginn (DCG), 6. Dalton Vest (ST). HWT — 1. Emmett Wester (MP), 2. Kevin Childes (Ott), 3. Bryce Shutt (DCG), 4. Levi Bogue (ST), 5. Tim Cole (A).