STATE WRESTLING: STC’s season ends short of ultimate goal

DES MOINES – Wrestling just one day at the state wrestling tournament is certainly not the goal of any one grappler who gets the chance to step onto the mats at Wells Fargo Arena.

And once you qualify for the Iowa High School State Wrestling Championships, the expectations and goals naturally climb.

However, South Tama County seniors Kolton Smith and Dalton Vest ran into some tough draws for their opening-round matches and both were eliminated with 0-2 records Thursday.

“You can’t whine about the draw,” STC coach Nate Van Dyke said. “It’s the nature of the tournament. Everyone is tough down here. You just try to compete and win the match.

“Once you qualify, the next goal is to get on the podium. You hate to see things end in two matches. That is not what they came down here for. Once you get to state, you don’t want to be satisfied with just being here.”

Smith won just seven matches – four of which were forfeits – his freshman season but wound up a two-time state qualifier and even won a match at state in 2013.

His run this season ended with an 8-1 loss to Creston/Orient-Macksburg’s Trevor Frain (53-3), 8-1, in round one and then Smith was sent home with a 10-1 loss to Sioux Center’s Mitchell Sandbulte (36-8) in the consolation wrestleback.

“He will take that last one hard because that will be the last time he’ll wrestle again because he will go play baseball in college,” said Van Dyke. “It’s a tough loss but coming from seven wins as a freshman to a two-time state qualifier in what is not his primary sport, you can’t feel bad about that.”

Vest won just one match during his freshman year and it was his final match at the sectional meet. He was coming off a 36-win season as a junior but his senior campaign ended Thursday with two consecutive losses.

Vest (24-12) was pinned in 24 seconds in his opening-round match against fifth-ranked Christian Brobst of Sioux City Bishop Heelan.

He then fell behind 4-0 after one period against Creston’s Seth Maitlen in the consolation wrestleback and couldn’t recover. Maitlen, who is ranked seventh, improved to 40-10 with a 5-0 decision.

“Being it was his first time here, he bounced back well,” said Van Dyke of Vest’s second match. “He put himself in bad position in the first period and went down 4-0 but take away that and it was a close match.

“They both had great careers. I am not satisfied with it, but there are some good things you can take from this experience.”

Notebook

Frain was fourth at 160 and Brobst was seventh at 195 at the state meet last year. Smith will play baseball for Kirkwood Community College next season.