Bombers send five to districts: Ballard places second at 2A sectional meet in Knoxville

Joe Randleman
Tri-County Times
Mason Askelsen

KNOXVILLE – The Ballard wrestling team is sending five wrestlers to districts following the Class 2A Sectional 1 meet Saturday. 

Ballard produced four sectional champions and one runner-up. The Bombers scored 206 points to place second as a team behind 10th-ranked Bondurant-Farrar's score of 225. 

The Bombers’ three ranked wrestlers – Mason Askelsen (fifth at 195 pounds), Gabe Christensen (seventh at 160) and Gage Long (eighth at 138) all won sectional titles. 

Gabe Christensen

Askelsen remained undefeated on the season at 26-0 after pinning Prairie City-Monroe's Donovan Nickelson and Saydel’s Bennett Durham. Askelsen stuck Nickelson in 3:18 during the semifinals and took care of Durham in just 39 seconds during the championship round.  

Christensen topped North Polk’s Sean Golwitzer by a 4-0 decision in the semis and pinned Bondurant-Farrar's Aiden Carl in 3:21 during the finals to improve to 34-6. Long pushed his record to 35-7 by winning a tough 6-4 decision over Saydel’s Austin Chally in the semis and following that up with another grind-it-out victory over Knoxville’s Andon Trout by a 3-1 decision. 

Gage Long

Reese Broer also won a sectional title at 132 for the Bombers. Broer pinned Bondurant-Farrar's Kanon Ekstam in 4:44 during the semifinals and earned a 9-1 major decision over Knoxville’s Luke Spaur in the finals to take a 21-9 record into districts.

Reese Broer

Nick Wacha advanced with a second-place finish at 220.  

Wacha earned a 7-2 win over North Polk’s Benjamin Ewing in the semis. Wacha lost by a 1-0 decision to PCM’s Cooper Sloan in the finals and had to do a wrestle-back, where he pinned Bondurant-Farrar's Quinten Fulton in 27 seconds to secure a trip to districts. 

Nick Wacha

Luke Hartsook (120), Lane Kahler (126), Jeremiah Wilkinson (170) and Brady Ehresman (285) each placed third in their respective classes to come up one spot shy of qualifying for state. 

Hartsook went 1-1. He lost by fall to Saydel’s Kolton Keller, came back to pin Knoxville’s Drake Marvelli in 55 seconds, but didn’t get a wrestle-back. 

Kahler was 2-2.  

Kahler pinned North Polk’s Colton Manock in 1:30 in the quarterfinals and lost by fall to Bondurant-Farrar's Chase Fiser in the semifinals. Kahler came back to stick Saydel’s Clayton Myers in 3:54 during the third-place match to earn a wrestle-back, but he lost a 5-3 battle with Knoxville’s Daniel Gorskikh to fall just shy of making state. 

Wilkinson and Ehresman both went 1-1 on the day. 

Wilkinson was pinned by Bondurant-Farrar's Porter Smith and rebounded with a fall over PCM’s Zeb Padget in 1:04 during the third-place match. Ehresman lost an ultimate tiebreaker to PCM’s Kinser Sloan in the semifinals and rebounded to pin Bondurant-Farrar's Isaiah Larson in 3:14 during the third-place match. 

Nicholas Onstot and Jack Shepherd each went 1-2 and placed fourth for Ballard. 

Onstot wrestled at 106 and pinned Knoxville’s Dane Gullion in 40 seconds during the quarterfinals. Shepherd competed at 113 and scored a quarterfinal fall over PCM’s Alex Courtney in 1:09. 

The five Ballard wrestlers to move on from sectionals will compete in the 2A district meet in Adel this Saturday. The meet will begin at noon. 

Final team scores: 1. Bondurant-Farrar 225 points, 2. Ballard 206, 3. North Polk 178.5, 4. PCM 162, 5. Knoxville 147.5, 6. Saydel 86. 

Individual results – Ballard 

106 pounds – 4. Nicholas Onstot, 1-2. 113 – 4. Jack Shepherd, 1-2. 120 – 3. Luke Hartsook, 1-1. 126 – 3. Lane Kahler, 2-2. 132 – 1. Reese Broer, 2-0. 138 – 1. Gage Long, 2-0. 145 – 4. Wyatt Borg, 0-2. 152 – 5. Blake Fleischmann, 0-1. 160 – 1. Gabe Christensen, 2-0. 170 – 3. Jeremiah Wilkinson, 1-1. 182 – 6. Jayden Swain, 0-2. 195 – 1. Mason Askelsen, 2-0. 220 – 2. Nick Wacha, 2-1. 285 – 3. Brady Ehresman, 1-1.