McGeough, Mathis lead MFL MarMac to second place at Bulldog Invite

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Junior Kashton Mathis wrestled his way to first place in the 145-pound weight class at the Jan. 16 MFL MarMac Invitational. He was one of the team’s two individual champions. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Sophomore Karter Decker (138 pounds) continued to wrestle well on Saturday, earning second place at the MFL MarMac Invitational.

The Bulldogs have gotten a lift—sometimes literally—from a strong group of freshmen, including 132-pound Bryce Radloff. He finished third at Saturday’s tournament.

Holden Mathis, wrestling at 120 pounds, was another freshman who placed third.

Tristen Koehn, seen here pinning a Waterloo West wrestler, got redemption in Saturday's third-place match, winning by fall over Saint Ansgar’s Derek Peterson, who’d pinned him to start the day.

Gabe McGeough was the 160-pound champion. The junior has dominated throughout the season, losing just once.

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

The MFL MarMac wrestling team continued its string of strong tournament performances on Jan. 16, placing second in the MFL MarMac Invitational. The Bulldogs scored 193 total points, trailing only Crestwood, which finished the day with 285. Wapsie Valley scored 149 points, placing third in the eight-team field.

Leading the Bulldogs were juniors Gabe McGeough and Kashton Mathis, who were tournament champions in their respective 160-pound and 145-pound classes.

“Gabe dominated,” said head coach Chet Bachman, while Mathis bounced back from a tough previous week. “He didn’t do well the week before, but it just shows that, if you have a good mind set and a good week of practice, you can flip the page.”

Three more wrestlers—Andrew Heins (126), Karter Decker (138) and Jacob Trudo (285)—finished second. It was especially meaningful for Heins, who’s worked his way back from an injury-plagued season a year ago.

“This was his first finals of the season,” said Bachman. “He was on his game.”

Placing third at the tournament were freshmen Holden Mathis (120), Bryce Radloff (132) and Tristen Koehn (152).

“Holden Mathis really wrestled well. He was close to getting in the finals,” Bachman shared. 

Koehn got redemption in his third-place match, winning by fall over Saint Ansgar’s Derek Peterson, who’d pinned him to start the day.

Radloff, too, got redemption, beating Anamosa’s Easton Wheeler in the third-place match. Wheeler narrowly defeated him at a tournament the previous weekend.

At 113 pounds, Konnor Barat-Klimesh earned fourth place, while Austin Schlee was fourth at 170 pounds.

“Austin Schlee had a good day for his first varsity tournament of the year,” said Bachman. “He got some good points for us.”

Finishing fifth in their respective weight classes were Koal Klenk (106), Austin Nickolai (182) and Logan Brown (220).

According to Bachman, Saturday was a marked improvement from last week, when a busy schedule had the Bulldogs wrestling over half a dozen matches in a three-day span.

“Last week, they were kind of wore out,” he said. “This week, the kids were more ready and rested. They wrestled better.”

But it’s the nature of the sport—and life in general.

“It’s a grind every season. There are ups and downs, short weeks and long weeks,” Bachman added. “When they graduate, they’ll have to deal with those things on a daily basis. We want to prepare these guys for life, not just the sport.”

This week, MFL MarMac will wrestle at North Linn on Thursday, Jan. 21. A Jan. 23 tournament at North Butler has been canceled, and Bachman did not anticipate filling the spot in the schedule.

“Right now, we just have to manage where we’re at,” he said. “It would be nice for some guys to get some matches, but it’s also a time for some to feel good about where they’re at.”

Girls wrestle at Independence Tourney

Three female members of the MFL MarMac wrestling team competed in the Independence Girls Tournament on Jan. 16. 

Senior Aleyna Rodriguez was the top finisher for the Bulldogs, placing third in class G-24. After getting pinned in her semi-final match, she bounced back in the third place contest, picking up a fall over South Winn’s Isabelle Kipp.

MFL MarMac sophomore Kadence Pape also continued to wrestle well, earning fifth in class G-5. Although Pape lost her opener, she went on to pin her next two opponents, to go 2-1 on the day.

In class G-11, Cortney Schroeder finished eighth.

The girls will be tested even more this week, competing at the Iowa Wrestling Officials and Coaches Association (IWCOA) Girls State Wrestling Tournament on Jan. 22-23.

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