HUXLEY — Woodward-Granger big men Cody Fisher (220 pounds) and Tyler Lawrenson (285), both seniors, won their respective weight classes at the Class 2A District 3 tourney Saturday, thereby earning spots in the state tournament.
They were nearly joined by fellow Hawk senior Cale Pritchett (170), who lost a heartbreaking 3-2 decision in a wrestle-back match, with freshman Peyton Nixon (106) earning crucial experience that will likely pay off in the future.
Top-ranked Fisher is defending his 220-pound state title and is now 48-0 in the process. There was precious little drama along the way Saturday, with the ISU recruit pinning BCLUW sophomore Aiden Farmsworth (14-16) in just 49 seconds and then pinning No. 8 Cayden Meskan (40-9), a Gilbert junior, in just 80 seconds in the finals. Meskan also moves on, winning automatically in the second-place match by prior victory.
Fisher is now a staggering 194-10 in his stellar prep career, which includes state runner-up finishes at 195 pounds as both a freshman and a sophomore.
“He just goes about his business,” W-G head coach Dave Smeltzer said. “It isn’t anything flashy, it is just as effective as it is possible to be. The match starts, and it is just a matter of time …”
Lawrenson earned a return trip by improving to 26-3. He missed the first portion of the season while recovering from a shoulder injury and has been impressive since.
He opened Saturday with a 13-1 major decision against Nevada sophomore Camdan Vincent (22-14). Lawrenson earned the title by besting Gilbert senior Jacob Torresi, 3-2, in the finals. Torresi won by “prior” to place second and also advance.
“I am very happy for Tyler,” Smeltzer said. “This was his goal all along and he has worked very hard to come back from the injury and get here. He deserves it. Now we shoot for the podium.”
Pritchett (39-9) just missed a first-ever appearance. He suffered a 7-6 loss to South Tama County junior Brayden Smith in the semifinals, but posted an 8-1 win over West Marshall junior Ben Kielman (26-11) to stay alive.
He was granted a wrestle-back when Smith defeated Gilbert senior Aiden Carr (40-8), 3-1, in Sudden Victory I in the the finals.
Unfortunately for the Hawk faithful, Carr pulled off a 3-2 decision to end Pritchett’s season.
“I really feel for Cale, who has come so far,” Smeltzer said. “That is what happens sometimes — it only takes a split second and you can have it taken away. It is tough because he is a senior, but he can be proud of what he did for us.”
Smeltzer said Nixon would learn from his experience. The freshman finished 38-10 after placing fourth.
He was pinned, in 3:39, by 38-2 BCLUW sophomore Carter Kolthoff, who went on to win the bracket. That sent Nixon into the consolation bracket, where he dropped a 14-6 major decision to Perry junior Riece Graham (25-5) who was ranked 10th.
The Class 2A state tourney begins Thursday at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines in Session II, at 1:30 p.m. First round and first round consolation matches will be held at that time.