BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – The Fort Madison wrestling team continued its dominance of the Southeast Conference with a lopsided 64-3 win over Fairfield Thursday night on senior night and final home meet of the year at the Hound Dome.
The Hounds are now 3-0 in conference dual action. They have meets with Keokuk and Burlington left in the conference.
The night started honoring the senior wrestlers and cheerleaders before senior Owen Kruse went to work on Brecken Courtright at 120 lbs and scored a takedown 21 seconds into the match. Kruse would ride Courtright around the ring before securing the pin with :27 left in the first period to give the Hounds a 6-0 start.
Gage Roberts then scored a pin over Jacob Bland in the second period after leading 5-2. Trailing 2-0 in the early going after a Blake reversal, Roberts was able to escape for a 2-1 first period deficit. Roberts started the second period down, scored a quick escape, and then a take down and was able to convert that into the pin at the 1:33 mark.
At 132 lbs, Gavin Wiseman scored a 12-1 major decision over Fairfield’s Cohyn Roach. Wiseman, always quick off the whistle, shot for Roach, but the Trojan was able to fight off the attack temporarily. Wiseman would eventually get the 2 pts after gaining control about 15 seconds into the match.
The sophomore would score two more take downs and a near fall in the second period. He tacked on a reversal in the third period and being 12-1 kept pushing for the pin, but couldn’t get Roach rolled over before time ran out.
Junior Will Larson had shut out Dagan Burnett at 138 through the second period and was able to score a pin at halfway through the second period.
Aidan Pennock outlasted the Trojans’ Logan Adam at 145. Pennock got the first take down at the 1:23 mark and then the two were deadlocked with several restarts for rolling out of bounds. With 2:10 left in second period Adam was able to slip away from Pennock and get him to the mat to square things up 2-2.
The two grappled for position the rest of the way through the second and into the third before Pennock would shake off an Adam attack, getting his legs free and rolling him over at the 1:32 mark, and scored a 3-point near fall in front of the Hounds’ stands to take an 8-2 lead.
But Adam wasn’t through and somehow managed to slip out of Pennock’s grip for the escape with 35 seconds left in the match. Adam then got Pennock turned around in the center of the mat and was able to roll him over for a takedown to close the gap to 8-5. But time ran out on Adam as he was trying to leverage Pennock’s shoulders for the pin.
Junior Mason Schau at 152 lbs then went the full three periods with Peyton Cline for a 6-3 decision. Schau held a close 2-0 lead through one and went up 3-1 on an escape off the restart. Cline would get a takedown with :29 left in the second period, but Schau would escape again for a 4-2 lead going into the third.
Starting on top for the final period, Schau gave up the escape for a slim 4-3 advantage, but would get a takedown of his own with 1:04 left in the match and would hold on for the win at 160 lbs.
At 160, Nathan Steffensmeier took a few seconds to size up Fairfield’s Dalton Mondia and then threw him to the floor for the second fastest pin of the night in just :43. Mason Rohdy would then put Arya Patel to the mat in under a minute to put Fort Madison up comfortably 40-0.
Junior Levy Lowney gave the Hounds’ faithful an exciting match at 182 lbs. Lowney and Fairfield’s Caleb Heisel were knotted up at 2-2 each at the end of the second period. Lowney had scored a couple of escapes and Heisel got a takedown through the first two. But Lowney was able to hip Heisel to the ground in a headlock to take the lead 4-2. Heisel would escape with 43 seconds left in the match, but couldn’t muster another point and Lowney went on for the win.
Senior Diego Lozano took a play out of the Hounds’ football playbook, shooting the ‘A’ gap off the whistle and tackling Grady Flynn for the quickest pin of the night at 18 seconds.
Fairfield would get their only points of the night on a 9-4 decision at 220 when Cesar Castellanos downed Jarrett Settles, who needed an injury timeout to deal with a tweaked knee and never got back on track.
Danen Settles and Emmett Kruse would win by forfeit at 285 lbs and 106 lbs.
Freshman Matt Steffensmeier ended the night in style with a gutsy 4-3 win that required two points for a take down with less than a minute to go fore the win at
Steffensmeier trailed going into the final period 2-3. After starting the third period in the up position, Steffensmeier worked Westercamp around the mat, at points just barely holding the advantage. But with 40 seconds left, in front of the Hound bench, the freshman was able to get control and on top of Westercamp for a takedown and a 4-3 lead he would hold through the buzzer.
The Hounds travel to the 14-team J-Hawk Invitational on Saturday.