GUTHRIE CENTER — Woodward-Granger junior Tanner Vermaas and senior Race Brant each finished in third place in their respective weight classes, with Hunter Pierce finishing fourth and Aaron Sperling eighth at the Tiger Invitational Saturday.
One of the largest events in the state, the invite featured 23 teams, with Class 2A No. 4 Clarion-Goldfield-Dows winning the team title by a wide margin with 206.5 points. AHSTW was second at 156.5 and Ogden third at 123, with W-G placing 13th in the field with 69.5 points.
Vermaas (47-5) is ranked eighth at 182 pounds and added an additional honor by claiming his 100th career victory at the tourney.
He began his day with a bye before pinning Riley Algreen of WCV in 3 mintues, 19 seconds. Manson-NW Webster’s Nathan Kruger (34-6), who is ranked 10th in 1A, scored an 8-4 decision over Vermaas to knock the Hawk standout into the consolation bracket. He responded with a 52-second fall against Beau Boswell of East Union, then claimed third place with a 14-6 major decision against Isaac Benton of Van Meter.
Brant (46-6), who had topped 100 wins earlier this month, pinned Noe Guzman of Underwood in 65 seconds and Dakota Henningar of CGD in 3:44 in his first two bouts at 152. Gabe Pauley (AHSTW, 42-5) slipped past Brant with a 3-2 decision in the semifinals, but the Hawk senior used a pin of Griswold’s Jacob Dickinson in 1:26 and a 7-2 decision over Chance Rice (NW Webster) for third place.
Pierce (32-15) lost by fall in the quarterfinals but came back with pins over Coledon Bethel (SE Valley) in 2:49) and over Ben Ehlers (AHSTW) in 1:21 to reach the third-place match, where a 4-2 loss left the Hawk lightweight with fourth place at 106.
Sperling (23-20) was the only other W-G grappler to place. He was 2-2 with a pair of pins in finishing eighth at 170.
Ty Turner (36-13) was 1-2 with a technical fall victory in the 113-pound class, and Austin Scharlau (26-20) with a pin in the 160-pound division to account for the remaining individual victories for the Hawks.
Tae Calderon (5-3) was in action at 120, Cole Carman (26-16) at 132 and Thomas Govig (15-19) at 195, but all three were bounced after being unable to record a win.
W-G left the 126, 138, 145, 220 and 285 pound classes open.
The W-G also had four junior varsity wrestlers in action Saturday.
Colt Palmer and Gabe Yingst recorded three pins apiece as the former was first in JV 3, and the later first in JV 8. Jacob Kepford placed second in JV 16, and Logan Palmer was third in JV 9.
Woodward-Granger will travel to Perry Saturday for the Class 2A Sectional 16 tournament. The two neighboring schools will be joined by Gilbert, Greene County, Kuemper Catholic and SE Valley at the tourney, which begins at 12 p.m. First and second-place finishers advance to the District 8 tourney in Webster City Feb. 13, where they will face the top two finishers in each division for Sectional 15 in Garner, which includes Garner-Hayfield-Ventura, Algona, Clarion-Goldfield-Dows, Forest City, Humboldt and Webster City.