WOODWARD — Four Woodward-Granger grapplers will hit the mats Thursday in Session 3 of the 2A State Wrestling Tournament, which will begin at 6 p.m.
All four Hawks are seeking what all matmen will be pursuing — a spot of the final podium. Doing so — and securing at least eighth place — requires a wrestler to, at the least, record two wins before suffering a pair of losses.
The W-G quartet will each be participating on the big stage for the first time. Sophomore Peyton Nixon (113 pounds), senior Riece Graham (132), junior Dustin Harney (160), and senior Jon McKeever (170) will all be in action.
Nixon (35-6), ranked ninth, opens against Sheldon/South O’Brien senior Osvaldo Ocampo (35-4). The other side of the four-man pod has third-ranked freshman Anders Kittleson (26-0) of Crestwood facing freshman Royce Butt (27-6) of DeWitt Cental.
Graham (31-11) will open against Forest City senior Brock Moore (34-11), with West Delaware senior Reilly Dolan (25-6), ranked ninth, facing Webster City senior Chase Rattenborg (29-7) on the opposite side of the opening pairings.
Harney begins his state run with a 40-8 mark and will open with Ballard sophomore Gabriel Christensen (36-6). The same opening pod includes second-ranked Panorama senior Wyatt Appleseth (43-0), who faces Sergeant Bluff-Luton sophomore Garrett McHugh (36-13).
One of the four quartet pods at 170 is set with seniors, with McKeever (38-7) paired against Caden Collins (33-6) of Charles City. Also ready to go will be fifth-ranked Mitchell Jones (41-4) of Heelan Catholic, who faces ninth-rated Dylan Meiners (31-3) of North Polk.
Opening round losers will wrestle a second time Thursday against each other, with that winner staying alive. Winners Thursday will not compete again until Friday.
The 2A quarterfinals and second-round consolations are in Session 5 Friday at 2:30 p.m. with Session 6, at 7:30 p.m. featuring the 2A semifinals and third-round consolations.
Matches for places 3-8 are held in Session 7 at 10 a.m. Saturday, with the finals at 6 p.m. Saturday.