Comets Koehler, Lasher advance to Class 2A quarterfinals; Maloy still alive in consolations
By John Burbridge email@example.com
DES MOINES — As with most any fan — or as he refers to himself … “spectator” — of the sport of wrestling, Alex Koehler is always looking to get a better view of the action.
So when he attended last year’s Iowa State Championships, he wasn’t satisfied with the vantage.
“Next year, I want to be down there,” he said at the time.
The Charles City senior earned an upgrade to this year’s tournament by way of winning his second-place wrestleback at last weekend’s state qualifier in Iowa Falls. And Koehler is not giving up his great seat, yet.
In the Class 2A 182-pound first round, Koehler stormed past Waukon’s Blaine Swenson in a 9-3 decision while advancing to Friday’s quarterfinals.
Swenson took a 2-0 lead with a takedown before Koehler responded with an escape and went on score four consecutive takedowns before a too-little, too-late escape from Swenson capped the scoring.
In his first state appearance as a “non-spectator,” Koehler (25-12) will face Wahlert’s Boone McDermott, who advanced by way of a fall 3:47 into his match against Kyle Benson of Sergeant Bluff-Lufton.
Unlike his fellow senior teammate, Nate Lasher has been to Well Fargo Arena before without having to negotiate the turnstyle. Going up against Webster City’s Carson Hartnett in the opening round of the 132-pound bracket, Lasher gave Charles City fans, spectators and non-spectators a scare when he was getting counted out for back points when a lightning-quick prone move by Hartnett had him in a near-fall predicament.
Lasher (21-7) fought out of it before grinding out a 11-9 decision to advance to the quarters where he will face Northeast Iowa Conference foe Ryan Steffen of Crestwood, who advance with a 3-2 decision over Zach Stewart of Perry.
AJ Maloy is the third Charles City wrestler whose season is not over. In the 220-pound bracket, Maloy fell behind Benton Community’s Blade Durbala in the first period when the latter wrestler was able to record a takedown at the edge of the circle.
Maloy was playing catchup from that point on, but couldn’t quite catch Durbala, who earned the 5-3 decision.
Maloy (29-8) responded with a 54 second fall over Chance Strough of Clarinda in the consolation bracket where the multiple state qualifier will try to salvage an at-best third-place finish.
As for the Comets’ upstart 145-pound Dylan Koresh … midnight finally struck for the Charles City sophomore after an impressive and surprising run through the conference, sectional and district tournaments.
Koresh lost his opening round 6-2 decision to Winterset’s Justin Smith before being eliminated when sustaining a fall 1:13 into his consolation match against West Delaware’s Mitchel Mongold.
Koresh finished the season with a 25-15 record after winning 16 matches as a freshman.