By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
MOUNT PLEASANT – Alex Aguirre’s senior season started with a thud.
Actually, it was more of a crack.
A broken thumb on the first day of practice forced Aguirre to get a late start on his final prep season.
The early injury couldn't stop Aguirre from ending his season how he always wanted, at the state meet.
Aguirre secured his first trip to state with a 7-5 win over Oskaloosa’s Josh Diehl in the 120-pound title match at the Class 3A, District 5 meet in Mount Pleasant.
“When I found out it was broken I was disappointed but I definitely felt like I could still go to state,” Aguirre said. “I just came back more excited and I just loved it more than I ever have. This is the most fun I have had wrestling.”
Aguirre joined top-ranked Nelson Brands and No. 7 senior Carter Rohweder in winning district titles on Saturday as West High qualified five wrestlers for next week’s Class 3A state meet at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
Juniors Hans vonRabenau and Guy Snow each earned runner-up finishes to secure bids to the state meet as West High finished third in the team standings.
“It was a pretty good day for us, I thought we had a shot at 170 and 195 and that kind of hurt but you get the good with the bad sometimes,” West High coach Mark Reiland said. “We will go with those five and move on.”
The good for the Trojans on Saturday included Aguirre.
His broken thumb caused him to miss all of preseason practice and the first two weeks of competition.
It couldn’t keep him from prepping to make his first ever trip to the state meet.
“When I broke my thumb I was pretty disappointed but I knew I had a lot of time to get back,” Aguirre said. “While I was hurt I was lifting or I would run outside to get my cardio up and I was just trying to prepare myself for the rest of the season.”
Aguirre went 22-16 during the season and picked up a second-period pin of Pella’s Matthew Widmar and an 8-3 decision over Cedar Rapids Prairie junior Ted Zangerle to reach the final.
In the title match, Aguirre broke a 5-5 tie with a takedown of Diehl in the final 15 seconds to claim the district title.
“He’s a lot more mature, a lot more physical than he was two or three years ago,” Reiland said. “He has really wrestled pretty solid this year and today was kind of the exclamation point.”
Aguirre (25-16) will face eighth-ranked Cam Shaver (30-12) of Cedar Rapids Kennedy in his state meet opener on Thursday.
Shaver won the only meeting with Aguirre during the regular season 5-3 in a dual in January.
“He’s had some close matches with some good kids it’s just a matter of getting the job done,” Reiland said. “Hopefully this will open up his eyes a little bit.”
Junior Guy Snow joined Aguirre as a first-time state qualifier and did so in dramatic fashion.
Snow (39-14) was pinned by City High’s Jordain Buckland in the 220-pound title match but won a 4-2 decision over Prairie’s Alex Heisdorffer in the wrestle back to secure a spot at state.
A reversal in the waning seconds of the first 30-second ultimate tiebreaker period allowed Snow to clinch a state berth.
State tournament returnees Brands, Rohweder and vonRabenau round out the West High qualifiers.
Brands continued his season domination with a title at 152 pounds.
The top-ranked 152-pound in the state had a pair of pins to improve to 50-1 on the season.
Brands will be seeking his second straight state title next week and opens the state meet against Johnston junior Elliot Pohlmeyer (36-13).
Rohweder added a title at 160 pounds with a 9-2 win over fourth-ranked Tyger Whitters of Cedar Rapids Prairie.
No. 7 Rohweder (42-7) controlled the match from the outset, using a takedown nine seconds into the match to take a 2-0 lead that was never threatened.
“Getting that first takedown is huge,” Rohweder said. “When you get behind it wears on you and that’s what I wanted to do.”
Tenth-ranked von Rabenau (22-7) fell to fifth-ranked Conrad Braswell of Cedar Rapids Prairie in the 106-pound title match 14-5.
Class 3A, District 5
Team scores – 1. Cedar Rapids Prairie 230; 2. City High 221; 3. West High 160; 4. Oskaloosa 139; 5. Fort Madison 99.5; 6. Mount Pleasant 95; 7. Ottumwa 75; 8. Pella 67.5.
(First place matches/State Qualifiers)
106 – 1. Conrad Braswell (CRP) major dec. Hans vonRabenau (ICW) 14-5.
113 – 1. Ryan Steffensmeier (FM) major dec. Nathanael Shoemaker (OTT) 16-3.
120 – 1. Alex Aguirre (ICW) dec. Josh Diehl (OSK) 7-5.
126 – 1. Lucas Harmening (CRP) dec. Lance Bormann (ICH) 2-0 SV-1.
132 – 1. Trenten Wennermark (CRP) dec. Joey Harney (ICH) 6-2.
138 – 1. Harlan Steffensmeier (FM) dec. Casey Hogan (CRP) 7-0.
145 – 1. Drew Sams (OSK) dec. Chase St. John (CRP) 9-5.
152 – 1. Nelson Brands (ICW) pinned Wilfred Kadohou (ICH) 4:29.
160 – 1. Carter Rohweder (ICW) dec. Tyger Whitters (CRP) 9-2.
170 – 1. Jason Beebe (OSK) dec. Joey Mitchell 2-1 UTB
182 – 1. Brock Hunger (ICH) dec. Preston LaGrange (CRP) 5-0.
195 – 1. Jacob Dykes (ICH) major dec. Kyler Salazar (OSK) 9-1.
220 – 1. Jordain Buckland (ICH) pinned Guy Snow (ICW) 2:26.
285 – 1. Keegan Poole (PEL) dec. Callan Tomlin (OSK) 3-1.