What we learned from Ballard's showing at the Mendenhall Invite and Collins-Maxwell's first dual win

Joe Randleman
Ames Tribune

The Ballard wrestling team produced one champion and a pair of fourth-place finishers at the Jack Mendenhall Invitational Saturday in Ames.

The Bombers also had one wrestler take fifth and another finish seventh at the Mendenhall Invite. They defeated North Polk (59-17) and came up short against Carroll (39-33) in a Raccoon River Conference double-dual meet Jan. 6 at Carroll.

Ballard's Rhett Hedrick placed fourth at 152 during the Jack Mendenhall Invitational Saturday in Ames.

The split at Carroll put Ballard at 7-6 in dual competition on the season.

Collins-Maxwell went 1-2 at a home quadrangular dual meet Jan. 6 at Maxwell. The Spartans defeated English Valleys/Tri-County by a 41-33 score and lost to Baxter (48-30) and Belle Plaine (51-18)

On Saturday Collins-Maxwell participated in the Steve Deike Duals in Hampton. The Spartans went 0-4, losing to Belmond-Klemme (42-24), Bondurant-Farrar (52-23), Hampton-Dumont-CAL (78-3) and the Southeast Polk JV (72-12) to fall to 1-15 on the season.

Here is what we learned from the Bombers and Spartans performances on the mat:

Christensen gets statement victory

Ballard junior Gabe Christensen is ranked fourth in Class 2A at 182 pounds. He defeated Ankeny's Cade Bennethum, ranked third in 3A, by a 9-7 decision in the championship round to claim his title Saturday.

Christensen went 3-0 during the tournament to remain undefeated on the season at 17-0.

"It feels good to keep winning," Christensen. "I knew (Bennethum) was good. I just knew I needed to keep my weight back, wait for him and do what I needed to do."

Christensen jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but Bennethum rallied to tie the score by the end of the first period. Christensen picked up an escape 10 seconds into the second period and went up 6-3 with a takedown 33 seconds into the period.

Christensen held an 8-7 lead at the end of a frantic second period. He added a second takedown with 58 seconds left in the period, but gave up an escape and a takedown later in the period.

An escape by Christensen in the third period resulted in the final margin. He fended off a big shot by Bennethum with 10 seconds left to keep his unbeaten record intact. 

"He likes to throw," Christensen said. "I knew if I took my time and didn't give him a big move the match was mine."

Christensen also won by major decision over Pocahontas Area's Deontez Williams (20-12) and edged Papillion-La Vista (Neb.)'s Coleton Hagginby sudden victory, 6-4, to reach the finals.

Hedrick, Krogh place fourth for Ballard

Freshman Rhett Hedrick and senior Kale Krogh both came in fourth for Ballard at the Mendenhall Invitational.

Hedrick wrestled at 152. He pinned Papillion-La Vista's Isaac Pamaran in 2:40, lost by technical fall to 12th-ranked (3A) Andrew Price of West Des Moines Valley (15-0), pinned Ankeny's Teagan Peiffer in 1:38 and scored a 3-1 win over Boone's Gage Stevens.

In the third-place match Hedrick lost by major decision in a rematch with Price by a 9-1 score.

Krogh received a bye in the first round then lost by fall to Boone's Hector Garcia. Krogh came back to pin Papillion-La Vista's Jace Wheeler in 1:47 and Clarion-Goldfield-Dows' Daniel Chavez in 4:59 before losing by fall to Cedar Rapids Prairie's Carter Dawley in the third-place match.

Nick Wacha placed fifth at 220 and Beau Warg seventh at 220 for Ballard.

Ballard's Thomsen Harrison takes down Boone's Kyle Sharpin during their  145-pound wrestling match at the Mendenhall Invitational Mendenhall wrestling tournament in Ames Saturday.

Wacha won three matches by fall and suffered a 6-0 loss to Spencer's Logan Huckfelt and an 8-2 setback against Indianola's James Naughton. Warg pinned Ames' Josh Grey in 25 seconds and defeated Ankeny's Carter Smith by a 7-3 decision and he suffered two losses by fall.

Ballard dominates North Polk

Ballard earned eight wins by fall, one by technical fall and one by disqualification in its dual with North Polk Jan. 6 at Carroll.

Jacob Harrison (126), Daniel Hyman (138), Thomsen Harrison (145), Hedrick (152), Christensen (182), Warg (195), Wacha (220) and Krogh all won by fall against North Polk. Jack Shepherd received the win by disqualification at 120 and Luke Hartsook pulled off a 21-6 tech fall over the Comets' Brady Reinhart at 132.

In the loss to Carroll the Bombers received pins from Krogh and Tucker Vitzthum (113). Hedrick pulled off a 7-1 decision over Justin Riesberg at 160 and Christensen, Warg and Wacha each received a forfeit.

Spartans get first dual victory 

Collins-Maxwell's win over English Valleys/Tri-County Jan. 6 was its first dual triumph of the season.

Clayton Leslie, David Clark and Brody Sampson all won on the mat for Collins-Maxwell against EV/TC. Leslie pinned Benjamin Coffman in 1:38 at 152, Clark stuck Omar Guillen in 1:23 at 160 and Sampson scored a 15-0 technical fall over Luke Moore at 182.

Lucas Ness (170), Marshall Day (195), Zach Haus (106) and Gracie Leslie (126) each received a forfeit.

The Spartans produced two wins by fall in their loss to Baxter. Sampson pinned Jace Bottorf in 19 seconds at 195 and Benjamin Connolly took down Zoey Gliem in 1:10 at 120.

Clayton Leslie, Day and Haus each picked up a forfeit against the Bolts.

Collins-Maxwell's Clayton Leslie takes down English Valleys/Tri-County's Ben Coffman during their 152-pound  match at a home wrestling quad dual Jan. 6 at Maxwell. Leslie pinned Coffman in 1:38.

Clayton Leslie and Haus each won by fall and Day received a forfeit in the loss to Belle Plaine. Leslie pinned Gabe Kaplan in 50 seconds and Haus stuck Evan Grieder in 2:20.

In the dual tournament at Hampton Clark picked up a win by fall against Belmond-Klemme and Bondurant-Farrar. Haus scored a pin and Sampson won by technical against Bondurant-Farrar, Day and Sampson both won by fall against Southeast Polk JV and Sampson beat Hampton-Dumont-CAL's Braden Hansen by a 6-2 decision at 182.