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Wayne wrestles for Pride of Iowa
By Jason W. Selby
Dec 23, 2013, 10:01

Blayde Baker takes down Chariton’s Connor Grgurich with a fireman’s carry. Photo by Scott Schick
At the Dec. 21 tournament in Bedford, 2 Wayne wrestlers fought their way to the medal stand.

In the 152-pound weight class, Blayde Baker finished 3rd. In the 1st round, he lost 12-0 to eventual Pride of Iowa champion Schmelzer of Southwest Valley, pinned Moore of East Union in 0:36, pinned Weiland of Nodaway Valley in 3:39, and in the 3rd place match pinned Madonia of I-35 in 2:49. Baker’s record is now 8-9 on the season.

In the 220-pound weight class, Tate VanDyne placed 2nd. He beat Jiminez of Southeast Warren 7-1, beat McMillan of Bedford 4-1, and lost by fall to Harper of I-35 in the championship in 3:40. This final match was tied late in the 2nd period before Van Dyne got caught for the fall. His record is now 13-4 on the season.

“It was a great day for these two boys,” Head Coach Joe Nekvinda said. “Tate avenged an early season lost to the Bedford boy, and wrestled very smart against all 3 of these tough seniors. Blayde got beat in the 1st round by a very physical Senior from Southwest Valley, but came back strong to pin 3 opponents to get on the medal stand.”

Four freshman boys traveled to a junior varsity tournament Saturday at Stuart and gained some valuable experience. Connor Runyon and Brian Boggs both won 2 out of 3 matches to place 2nd at their weights. Runyon has struggled on varsity at 170 pounds, but showed improvement when he got to wrestle matches at his actual weight of 160.

In a home quad meet on Thursday, Wayne only had 5 wrestlers in the varsity lineup. They were beaten 54-18 by Moravia, 69-6 by number 3 rated Albia of 2A, and 57-6 by Chariton. Van Dyne led the Falcons with 2 falls and a forfeit win. Baker lost 2 close matches and received one forfeit. Jessy Williams lost twice by fall and got one forfeit. Runyon and Boggs both lost to all 3 schools by fall.

“The very young Falcons are taking their lumps from some very experienced kids,” Nekvinda said, “but they are fighting hard and gaining valuable experience."

The Falcons’ next match will be Jan. 16, 3:45 p.m. against Southeast Warren and Pleasantville at Liberty Center.

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