Courier sports staff
Nine different Ottumwa wrestlers placed on Saturday at Centerville’s Big Red Invitational, leading the Bulldogs to a fifth-place finish with 126 points. Ninth-ranked (3A) senior Karsten Van Velsor led the way as the only Bulldog grappler to wrestle for a title.
Van Velsor pinned his first two opponents in the 138-pound bracket before picking up a 13-3 major decision over Bonderant-Farrar’s Alan Perry. Top-ranked Creston senior Jake Marlin outpointed Van Velsor in the title match, winning 8-4 to give Creston three total champions and the team title with 201.5 points.
Ottumwa also got third-place finishes by Nathan Cary (113), Conner Mier (195) and Kevin Childs (heavyweight).
The hosting Big Reds finished the day with 95 points, scoring a ninth-place finish as a team with six placwinners. Centerville had two wrestlers compete for titles with Bradley Irwin taking home the 132-pound championship with a 12-7 decision over Chariton’s Tanner Poush.
The Chargers finished 13th as a team with 76 points. Besides Poush, Devin Harberts also advanced to the championship round on Saturday before falling in a close 4-2 decision to Clarinda’s Cole Race in the 126-pound final.
Fairfield tied for 11th place as a team with Central Decatur after scoring 77 points on the day. The Trojans had five placewinners including two finalists.
Fourth-ranked senior Seth Davisson lost a top-five battle to Knoxville’s Aaron Crossett, falling 8-3, in the 170-pound final. Senior Jacob Mineart, ranked 10th at 220, battled sixth-ranked Winterset senior Blake Glenn before falling in overtime, 6-4, on a sudden-victory takedown.
Ottumwa will return to CIML Metro Conference action on Thursday night. The Bulldogs will head to Des Moines East, who will join Chariton in competing at Norwalk on Tuesday.
Several area teams will also be competing on Tuesday. Centerville joins Clarke at Pella while Fairfield hosts Wapello.