STORY CITY – The Ballard wrestling team had a successful showing at the Class 2A sectional meet in Story City Saturday as the Bombers advanced six wrestlers on to districts.
Going up against a strong sectional field that included two former top-10 teams in Webster City and Humboldt, Ballard placed third in the team standings with 207 points. Webster City won with 232 points and Ballard was just 12 points behind Humboldt’s runner-up score of 219.
Though his team fell a little short of qualifying for regional duals, Ballard head coach Nick Britton was pleased with the effort the Bomber wrestlers gave at Story City.
"Qualifying six guys to districts was good for us," Ballard head coach Nick Britton said. "Our wrestlers performed well. It’s the little things that are correctable that will make us better for districts."
Moving on to districts for Ballard will be Mitchell Broer at 132 pounds, Nathan Macki at 126, Kenton Brekke at 145, Will May at 160, Alex Silberstein at 220 and Bailey Heinen at 113. Broer was crowned a sectional champion and the other five Bombers all took second in their respective weight classes.
Broer is ranked third in 2A at 132 by The Predicament. He made short work of his two opponents at sectionals and made history in the process.
After receiving a first-round bye Broer pinned Roland-Story’s Treyton Witthuhn in just 52 seconds during the semifinals. That pin gave Broer the 150th victory of his career.
"That’s a lot of wins so I’m pretty proud of that," Broer said. "I’m glad I could celebrate it with my family."
In the championship round Broer pinned Humboldt’s Jake Miller in just 45 seconds. He will take a 35-5 record into districts next week at Webster City.
"Two pins – that is definitely how I wanted to handle business here," Broer said. "I’ve got to keep pushing from here to make it on top of the podium at the state tournament."
Macki just got back from a shoulder injury last week. The No. 7 126-pounder, according to The Predicament, received a bye and then defeated Humboldt’s Austin Gargano by fall in 5:40 to advance to the finals.
In the 126-pound championship, Macki took on 10th-ranked Parker Witthuhn of Roland-Story.
Macki fell behind 7-2 early in the third period, but came back with a takedown. Macki then nearly under-hooked Witthuhn for critical back points, but Witthuhn was able to just escape as Macki ended up on the short end of a 7-4 decision.
Brekke reached the finals at 145. He received a bye in the first round and toppled Gilbert’s Adam Davis by a 6-1 decision in the semifinals.
In the championship round Brekke went up against Webster City’s Jacob Powers. Powers took a 37-4 record into the finals, but Brekke gave him a good fight before losing by a 9-3 decision.
Silberstein and Heinen also made it to the finals.
Silberstein pinned Humboldt’s Cordes Olthoff in 1:34 during the first round, then knocked off Webster City’s Gustavo Gasca by a 5-2 decision to reach the 220-pound championship. In the finals Silberstein suffered a 7-3 loss to Roland-Story’s Jose Cruz.
Heinen received a bye, then defeated Webster City’s Cole Nokes by an 8-3 decision in the semifinals at 113. In the championship round he was handed a 13-2 major decision loss by Nevada’s Evan Rix.
May took a different route in advancing to districts.
In the opening round at 160, May topped Humboldt’s Gus Arnold by a 9-3 decision, and in the semifinals he nearly upset eighth-ranked Alex Oswald of Webster City before suffering a 5-4 setback. That put May in the consolation round, where he pinned Nevada’s Kody Harrelson in 1:29.
With the consolation victory and Oswald’s win over Gilbert’s Chase Whetstone in the finals, May earned a wrestleback to determine second place. May made the most of his opportunity, pinning Whetstone in 1:32 to qualify for districts.
Ethan Estabrooks (120), Derek Wright (138), Ben Claussen (182), Tyler Kyhl (195) and Easton Moody (285) each took third in their respective classes for Ballard at sectionals. Wright and Claussen both went 2-2 and Estabrooks, Kyhl and Moody picked up one victory each.
Jed Miller (106), Max Moulden (170) and Andrew Rasmussen (152) also scored one win apiece for Ballard on the day. Miller and Moulden both placed fourth and Rasmussen came in fifth.
The 2A district meet in Webster City takes place this Saturday at noon.
Final team scores: 1. Webster City 232 points, 2. Humboldt 219, 3. Ballard 207, 4. Gilbert 159, 5. Roland-Story 130, 6. Nevada 71.
Individual results – Ballard
106 pounds – 4. Jed Miller (1-2); 113 – 2. Bailey Heinen (1-1); 120 – 3. Ethan Estabrooks (1-2); 126 – 2. Nathan Macki (1-1); 132 – 1. Mitchell Broer (2-0); 138 – 3. Derek Wright (2-2); 145 – 2. Kenton Brekke (1-1); 152 – 5. Andrew Rasmussen (1-1); 160 – 2. Will May (3-1); 170 – 4. Max Moulden (1-2); 182 – 3. Ben Claussen (2-2); 195 – 3. Tyler Kyhl (1-2); 220 – 2. Alex Silberstein (2-1); 285 – 3. Easton Moody (1-2).