Ashton Honnold won his weight class at the prestigous 69th annual John J. Harris Tournament Saturday in Corning. He had to fight all the way to the bitter end to finish the job.

Ranked fifth by IAWrestle at 215 pounds, Honnold faced Class 2A No. 7 Jaydn Cooper of Winterset in the championship.

Knotted 1-1 after regulation, having each given up an escape to the other during the second and third periods, neither wrestler could get a takedown in the intitial one-minute overtime period.

In the second overtime, Cooper reversed Honnold and Honnold scored an escape as Cooper led 3-2. Another escape for Honnold tied the match again at 3-3.

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The match went to sudden death, and while Honnold was unable to get an escpae called on the edge of the mat, he eventually got another chance and escaped Cooper, reversed him, and got the win.

In winning the championship, Honnold survived a bracket that had four state-ranked wrestlers in it. His dad and co-head coach Brad Honnold commended his strategy and his will to win.

“In his last match, we preached to Ashton to trust his offense and his gas tank, as he is one of the hardest working kids in the state,” coach Honnold said. “Ashton pushed the pace for eight and a half minutes and got out to get the victory. Best part is we saw some emotion out of him, and our crowd. That tells us we’re right where we want to be mentally as we head to the final stretch of the season as they are excited, huntry, and ready for the postseason run.”

Honnold’s victory wasn’t the only bright spot on the day for the Wolverines, who finished 10th, scoring 91 points.

Trent Warner, ranked ninth at heavyweight, got another win against Adair-Casey/Guthrie Center’s Payton Jacobe for third place.

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Jacobe, ranked 10th, has gone back and forth with Warner the last few years and Warner won 3-2 this time. Creston’s Max Chapman, ranked ninth in 2A, beat Warner in the semifinals in a 4-2 decision, then Warner bounced back for a tight win over Mason Nally of Clarinda to make it to the third place bout.

Coach Honnold commented that Warner is peaking at the right time, after coaches saw how hard he wrestled Saturday.

Seniors Bradley Gebbie (132) and Carmine Shaw (144) were each fifth on the weekend for the Wolverines.

Gebbie lost in the quarterfinals but immediately followed it up with two wins, before losing in his third consolation match, which sent him to the fifth place match, where he won by medical forfeit over Winterset’s Kasen Cochran.

Shaw lost to Clarke’s Uriah Fry in the semifinals with a pin in 1:02. He came back and lost to Panorama’s Landon Kirtley in a 5-4 decision to make it to the fifth-place match where he pinned Winterset’s Gavin Day in 1:42.

The Wolverines were schedule to wrestle Thursday, Jan. 25 at Southeast Warren against the Warhawks and Southwest Valley, then wrestle Saturday at the ACGC Charger Invitational — another large tournament.

NV/OM has one more quad at home on Feb. 1, against Audubon and Southeast Polk, before district tournament action takes place Feb. 10 at Interstate 35 High School.

“We hoped to get five or six placewinners, but we knew that would mean wrestling better than our seeds in some weight classes. We moved some guys around in the lower weights to have them where we want kids to compete at districts in a couple weeks. Nine scored points and six finished in the top eight while four earned medals. Out of 25 teams, that’s not too bad,” Honnold said. “[Our upcoming schedule] will keep us on that path toward having 13 or 14 kids ready to wrestle their best in three weeks at Truro.”


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