DES MOINES - What had the potential to be a promising day for the St. Edmond wrestling team turned into disappointment Friday at the Class 1A state tournament.
All four Gael quarterfinalists came up short in their bids for gold medals at Wells Fargo Arena.
Despite failing to achieve their ultimate goal, No. 8 sophomore Ryan Szalat (106 pounds), fourth-ranked junior Kaden McClintock (113), senior Dillon Nelson (182) and No. 1 junior Vinnie Harvey (220) all guaranteed themselves a spot on the podium for the green and white, while top-ranked senior Teddie Harvey (145) ended his decorated career with a pair of losses.
Messenger photo by?Dale Wooten
Vinnie Harvey of St. Edmond ties up Turkey Valley’s Luke Kuennen during a match Saturday afternoon in Des Moines. Harvey will meet Emmetsburg’s Tayler Wegner in Saturday’s 220-pound consolation semifinals.
"It's definitely not the way our kids had planned it, but this is the state tourney, and you never know what to expect," SEHS head coach Tanner Utley said. "We just didn't close out our matches. At the same time, I wouldn't trade these kids for the world. This was a learning experience for everyone."
After falling to Wilton's Tanner Greenwald in a 6-3 decision, Szalat (42-6) rebounded with a 2:48 pin in the consolation round against Treyton Virtue of Central Lyon/George-Little Rock. In his final bout of the afternoon, Szalat suffered a 7-3 setback to English Valley's Sheldon Ealy.
Szalat will now battle seventh-ranked Dylan Muckey (46-8) of Woodbury Central for seventh.
"It was nice to see Ryan bounce back after losing in the quarterfinals," said Utley.
McClintock (42-2) appeared to be on the verge of punching a finals ticket. Leading 4-3 with only four seconds remaining in the third period, the two-time state qualifier surrendered a takedown to Wapello's Jack Walker.
"Kaden was right there (near a win)," Utley said. "It looked like he had it."
In the quarterfinals, McClintock registered a 5-0 decision against No. 7 Isiah Brandt from Sumner-Fredericksburg.
Awaiting McClintock next is Cardinal's Ryan Cale (37-9).
Nelson (38-10) prevailed in both of his consolation matches for the Gaels by scores of 5-1 and 8-5, respectively, over Sibley-Ocheyedan's Dylan Brockshus and Taylor James of Akron-Westfield. Seeking his fourth straight victory, Nelson will now be challenged by Emmetsburg's top-ranked Andrew Wellik (39-1).
"Dillon has looked good all tournament long," said Utley. "He's been giving it all he's got."
Vinnie Harvey (43-1) was also in control during his quarterfinal fight until getting stuck at the 5:36 mark by No. 5 Ryan Parmely from Maquoketa Valley. Vinnie, who is making his second consecutive state trip, followed with a 10-5 decision Turkey Valley's fourth-ranked Luke Kuennen.
Emmetsburg's No. 9 Tayler Wegner (39-7) will be Vinnie's next opponent.
"Vinnie just dominated (Parmely) for the first two periods and then kind of let off the gas pedal," said Utley.
Teddie Harvey, a three-time state participant, was ousted with a 41-2 record this season. He finished with 141 varsity wins.
"Teddie had probably the toughest bracket in 1A, but I would put him up against any of those guys," Utley said. "He's really been a good leader for us this season."
Class 1A consolation semifinals will be held at 10 a.m. this morning.