BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – It was the last night for seniors on the black and red wrestling mat at the HoundDome, and all four seniors got wins, as Fort Madison put away Burlington 60-21 Friday night.
Seniors Sam Hayes at 195 lbs., and Alex Lauber at 220 lbs. both recorded pins and Dayne Corday and Elton Kruse both won by forfeit.
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The Bloodhounds have one more dual meet with North Scott on Wednesday before state qualifying takes place at districts in Cedar Rapids at Prairie High School on Feb. 9 beginning at noon.
Hayes, who’s been hampered with health issues during the season, has been ranked by The Predicament and Iowa Wrestle as high as 3rd in the state. He currently sits at 6th in both publications’ most recent listings.
He squared off against Burlington’s Elias Cordero and, at the whistle, the two got locked up and moved to the east side of the mat near the circle. Cordero got a hold of Hayes’ leg and the two spun to the ground.
Hayes countered and spun on top of Cordero, where about 30 seconds later the referee slapped the mat.
“In the beginning, if you haven’t wrestled somebody you kinda gotta feel ’em out for so long, but then you get your stuff going,” he said. “He got in on my leg. It was a good scramble actually, and then I was able to finish it off,” Hayes said.
Despite the health issues, Hayes said he’s going into districts with the same mentality.
“I’m going in the same way as if I didn’t get injured. My mindset is one set at a time, but dominating every match… every second,” he said.
Lauber, who hasn’t seen a lot of match action this year, slipped in at the 220 lb. class for a senior night match against the Grayhounds’ Nash Garlow.
Lauber recorded a take down right at the end of period 1, a take down that was questioned by the Burlington sideline. In period 2, Lauber scored an escape after starting down, and recorded another take down that he rolled into a pin 19 seconds into the period.
Lauber’s pin put the meet out of Burlington’s reach, but junior Danen Settles iced the win with a fall in his heavyweight match against Burlington’s Tyler Bailey.
Settles had the match in hand early after getting a quick take down about 30 seconds off the whistle. Settles slid over on top of Bailey and was able to wrench him over and get the pin chest to chest.
Junior Nathan Steffensmeier scored a dramatic 3rd period fall with a lateral drop when he hugged up Burlington’s Owen George at 145 lbs. and then twisted him to the ground at the 4:20 mark.
Steffensmeier trailed 4-3 at the end of one, but a high-scoring second period yielded a take down and a 2-point near fall before George scored a reversal. Steffensmeier escaped to end the 2nd period and then escaped again after starting the 3rd period down.
He executed the drop for a two-point take down and a 3-point near fall in the third before getting the pin.
“When he sets it up properly that’s his go to move, but sometimes he throws himself onto his own back,” Smith said of Steffensmeier’s move. “He’s gotta get better at being patient and making sure it’s there. He forces it sometimes.”
The Hounds also got pins from Gavin Wiseman at 126 lbs and Diego Lozano at 182 lbs.
Smith said the Hounds are building momentum at the right time.
“Our guys are feeling good and they’re getting a good head of steam. Their attitude – their energy – their effort has all been good,” he said. “So they just need to keep it up.”
Complete results of Friday’s meet are below.
120: Dayne Cordray (FOMA) over (BURL) (For.) 126: Gavin Wiseman (FOMA) over River Belger (BURL) (Fall 1:08) 132: Duncan Delzell (BURL) over Will Larson (FOMA) (Dec 12-5) 138: Quinton Ross (FOMA) over (BURL) (For.) 145: Nathan Steffensmeier (FOMA) over Owen George (BURL) (Fall 4:20) 152: Bryce Angle (BURL) over Jakob McGowan (FOMA) (Fall 1:21) 160: Preston Terry (BURL) over Chance Decker (FOMA) (Fall 2:00) 170: Landon Wynn (BURL) over Chance Hocker (FOMA) (Fall 1:58) 182: Diego Lozano (FOMA) over Drake Bailey (BURL) (Fall 0:27) 195: Sam Hayes (FOMA) over Elias Cordero (BURL) (Fall 1:06) 220: Alex Lauber (FOMA) over Nash Garlow (BURL) (Fall 2:19) 285: Danen Settles (FOMA) over Tyler Bailey (BURL) (Fall 1:40) 106: Owen Kruse (FOMA) over (BURL) (For.) 113: Elton Kruse (FOMA) over (BURL) (For.)