AMES - Behind the strength of two individual champions, the Ballard wrestling team turned in a strong fourth-place showing at the Jack Mendenhall Invitational Saturday.
Ballard, the No. 5 team in the Class 2A individual and state tournament team rankings by The Predicament, tied an Iowa City High team rated No. 7 in 3A for fourth out of 17 teams after both teams scored 150 points. Three 3A teams — Cedar Rapids Prairie, West Des Moines Valley and Cedar Rapids Kennedy — finished atop the team standings with 174.5, 173 and 172 points respectively.
Jarrett Miller and Tate Battani were the two Bombers to win individual gold at the tournament. Miller went 3-0 and Battani finished 4-0.
Miller competed at 138 pounds. Ranked No. 2 in 2A, Miller opened with a bye, then pulled off an 11-4 victory over West Des Moines Valley’s Caleb Corbin and followed that with a 3-1 win over Perry’s Zach Stewart. In the finals, Miller knocked off Cedar Rapids Prairie’s Trent Wennermark — the No. 9 145-pounder in 3A — by a 7-4 decision to remain perfect on the season at 26-0.
Battani — ranked No. 4 at 160 in 2A — pinned Cedar Rapids Kennedy’s Kale Crawford in three minutes, two seconds, then earned a 12-2 major decision over Valley’s Blake Underwood. In the semifinals, Battani edged Clarion-Goldfield/Dows’ Reymundo Vasquez — rated No. 7 at 160 in 2A — by a 6-4 decision.
In the championship round Battani faced off against Iowa City’s Wilfred Kadohou — the No. 6 wrestler at 160 in 3A. Battani scored a late fall to get the championship, pinning Kadohou right before time expired in the third period to put his record at 21-6.
Skyler Noftsger and Ben Lee came in second at 152 and 182 respectively for Ballard.
Noftsger, rated third in 2A, went 2-1. He opened with a bye, pinned Kennedy’s Jay Oostendorp in 38 seconds and pulled off a 3-0 decision over Glenwood’s Jordan Renshaw to reach the finals.
Noftsger dropped a tiebreaker to Valley’s Grant Stotts — rated third in 3A — by a 3-2 score in the championship match.
Lee, also ranked third in 2A, went 3-1 Saturday.
Lee opened by pinning Nevada’s Jacob MacVey in 41 seconds, followed that by sticking Kennedy’s Cade Parker in 3:12, then won by injury default over Glenwood’s Anthony Sherry. In the championship match, Lee suffered a loss by technical fall to Valley’s Joel Shapiro — the No. 1 wrestler at 182 in 3A.
Colin Anderson came in sixth at 285 and Joe Hofbauer (195), Jim Chism (132), Gerald Gute (170) and Alex Bangs (120) each took seventh for Ballard. Josh DeTar also placed as he finished eighth at 220.
Anderson went 2-3. He pinned Nevada’s Corbin Jones in 46 seconds during the opening round, edged Boone’s Jordan Angle by a 6-4 decision in the consolation second round for his two victories.
Hofbauer and Chism each went 4-1.
Hofbauer bounced back from an opening round loss to Ames’ Gabe Greenlee. He then pinned Iowa City’s Jason Lemus in 5:32, topped Clarion-Goldfield/Dows’ Salvador Fregoso by a 7-1 decision, stuck Carroll’s Brennon Kofron in 1:49 and won by a 7-4 decision over Dowling Catholic’s Tom Derry.
Chism rebounded from a 12-8 loss to Cedar Rapids Prairie’s Ted Zangerle in the opening round. He won a 7-3 decision over Perry’s Jacob Nelson, pinned Dowling Catholic’s Vinnie Lopez in 59 seconds, earned an 11-2 major decision over Omaha (Neb.) Skutt Catholic’s Tony Sloboth and pulled off a 5-0 decision over Odebolt-Arthur/Battle Creek-Ida Grove’s Jarrett Hewitt.
Gute went 3-2. He pinned Perry’s Cole Snyder in 30 seconds during the opening round, knocked off Valley’s Brendan Myers by a 7-0 decision in the consolation third round and scored a fall over Boone’s Tanner Harvey in 54 seconds during the seventh-place match.
Bangs finished 2-2. He pinned Carroll’s Caden Neumann in 1:14 during the consolation third round, then won the seventh-place match over Dowling Catholic’s Eric Gilge by fall in 5:18.
DeTar went 2-3. He opened with a fall over Prairie’s Logan Andeway in 21 seconds and added a pin over Clarion-Goldfield/Dows’ Kain Nelson in 36 seconds during the consolation third round.
Gage Long (126) and Josh Borg (145) each picked up one victory during the tournament for Ballard.
Final team scores: 1. Cedar Rapids Prairie 174.5 points, 2. West Des Moines Valley 173, 3. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 172, 4. (tie) Ballard and Iowa City High 150, 6. Glenwood 146.5, 7. Clarion-Goldfield/Dows 131, 8. Omaha Skutt Catholic 98, 9. OABCIG 91, 10. Indianola 81.5, 11. Dowling Catholic 77, 12. Perry 61, 13. Pocahontas Area 57, 14. Boone 55.5, 15. Ames 48, 16. Carroll 30, 17. Nevada 17.
Individual results - Ballard
120 pounds - 7. Alex Bangs, 2-2. 126 - Gage Long, 1-3. 132 - 7. Jim Chism, 4-1. 138 - 1. Jarrett Miller, 3-0. 145 - Josh Borg, 1-3. 152 - 2. Skyler Noftsger, 3-1. 160 - 1. Tate Battani, 4-0. 170 - 7. Gerald Gute, 3-2. 182 - 2. Ben Lee, 3-1. 195 - 7. Joe Hofbauer, 4-1. 220 - 8. Josh DeTar, 2-3. 285 - 6. Colin Anderson, 2-3.