Hawks sneak past Bobcats in wrestling

ANKENY – Marshalltown wrestling coach Mike Mann said before Thursday’s season-opening dual with Ankeny that it would take a strong effort to beat the Hawks. But he also added that he would be disappointed if the dual was lopsided in favor of the home team.

Mann ended up being on target. And the Bobcats nearly turned in a strong enough effort but ultimately came up short, 39-34, after Ankeny recorded three straight pins at 126, 132 and 138.

The Bobcats lost the opening match when Peyton Williams suffered a close 8-6 defeat at 153 but took a sizeable lead when they ran off four straight wins, including pins from Josh Edel at 160 and Justus Bjelland at 195.

The Hawks got back into the match with a forfeit win at 220 and a win by fall at heavyweight, but Marshalltown regrouped to jump back in front when Ryan Bitker won his match by fall at 106 and Doston Harrelson picked up a major decision at 113.

Ankeny was given another forfeit at 120 to close the gap to 28-21 and then Nick Culver, Tyler Menneggy and Sam Escherich all scored consecutive pins to close out the win.

Anthony Fleck finished off the dual with a win by fall at 145. Derek Mann (170) and Ben Rebik (182) also scored wins by decision for Marshalltown (0-1).

The Bobcats will head to the Belle Plaine Invite on Saturday. Action there will begin at 8:30 a.m. The home opener will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday against Ankeny Centennial and Urbandale.