CHEROKEE - Estherville Lincoln Central didn't have an easy road at the Class 2A Sectional Meet in Cherokee.
The Midgets did well to get five wrestlers to advance to this Saturday's district meet in Spencer with four athletes in competing in wrestlebacks at Cherokee.
Three of the four won to place second and they, along with sectional champions Blake Gjerde (145) and Chase Bonner (220) will make the trip to Spencer.
Estherville Lincoln Central’s Thomas Bortvit (138) avenged an earlier season loss to Spencer’s Tyson Samsel to place second at Saturday’s Class 2A Sectional Meet in Cherokee.
EDN photo by David Swartz
The upset of the day came at 132 pounds as Oscar Ramirez lost for the first time this season to Spencer's Levi Gilmore. The two wrestlers had met twice this season with Ramirez winning a major decision on Jan. 3 and he pinned Gilmore at the Lakes Conference meet on Jan. 25.
Saturday, the two were tied 0-0 after the first period with Ramirez getting a reversal in the second period. Gilmore received a penalty point and then scored a takedown to get a 3-2 lead, but Ramirez escaped in the final 5 seconds to tie the match at 3-3. But in sudden victory, Gilmore was still the aggressor as his takedown proved the difference.
Ramirez then had to wrestle back to place second, but had little trouble in winning by technical fall, 18-3, over Humboldt's Mike Madsen.
"Oscar just need to finish his shots," said ELC coach Dan Hewitt. "But this may be a good match for him to refocus down the stretch."
At 145 pounds, Gjerde was workman-like in winning a sectional title. He opened the day against Bishop Heelan's Bo Russ and scored a takedown and three near-fall points in the first period and eventually won by technical fall, 15-0.
In the final, he faced Spencer's Hunter Cauthron and led 10-0 before pinning his opponent in 2:55.
"Blake dominated," said Hewitt. "There was no one at his level here today. It will be tougher at district."
Bonner spent the least time of any ELC wrestler in taking first place. He needed just 1:04 to pin Humboldt's Cordes Olthoff. In the finals, he faced Bishop Heelan's Omar Marquez. The two had met at the ELC Duals on Jan. 12 and Bonner had won 6-5. Saturday, he pinned Marquez in 1:46.
"Chase stepped up a level," said Hewitt. "I think he's growing up. This Saturday will be a big test."
At 138 pounds, Thomas Bortvit didn't have an easy road. He started the day by pinning Bishop Heelan's Andrew Puetz in 4:54, but then lost to Humboldt's Thaylan Bowman by fall in 3:00. He came back with an 8-2 decision over Cherokee's Andy Pitts to earn a wrestleback. He then pinned Spencer's Tyson Samsel in 5:49 to place second.
"I knew this weight was up for grabs and I love seeing Thomas make it through," said Hewitt. "He avenged loss to both the Cherokee and Spencer wrestlers. But he's still got work to do."
At 152 pounds, Billy Snyder also finished second. He started the day with a 9-6 decision over Spencer's Jacob Sandvig, but then lost by fall in 1:36 to Humboldt's Tyler Rutz in the final. He then had to wrestle back against Bishop Heelan's Christian Engel. Snyder came up with a takedown in the first period and held on for the 2-0 victory.
"Billy didn't have his stuff in the final," said Hewitt. "I think he over-thought the match."
At 120 pounds, Cole Budach ended up with a missed opportunity to place second. In the semifinal, he lost by fall to Spencer's Bailey Hawn in 1:56. He came back in the consolation bracket by pinning Laurens-Marathon's Kayle Heideman in 29 seconds. That earned him a wrestleback against Humboldt's Austen Gargano. Budach took a 4-2 lead in the third period on a takedown, but then gave up a penalty point and an escape as Gargano tied the match Gargano then scored a takedown in the final 10 seconds to get the 6-4 victory.
Jake Bortvit (170) also earned his way into a wrestle back. After opening the day with a pin against Cherokee's Mason Meitzenhimer in 1:51, he lost by fall to Spencer's Blaine Johnson in 3:35. In the consolation bracket, he won an 11-2 major decision over Laurens-Marathon's Matt Koenig. But then he lost by fall in 44 seconds to Humboldt's Adam Mickelson in the second-place match.
Grant Lausen finished fourth at 160 pounds while Joel McCoy took fifth at 106 pounds.
District wrestling in Spencer starts at noon on Saturday.
Class 2A Sectional
Team Scores at Cherokee
Estherville Lincoln Central 148.0
Bishop Heelan Catholic138.0