Your Prep Sports
DES MOINES – Inside the venue every wrestler dreams of reaching Gage Marty found himself in the spot nobody ever wants to be in.
Midway through the second period of his 220-pound opening-round match on Thursday Marty found himself starring into the bright lights of Wells Fargo Arena from his back.
“I don’t know what I was thinking,” Marty said. “I just said ‘I’m not getting pinned. I just had to dig through it.”
Dig through he did and Marty came out clean on the other side.
Marty (33-8) battled off his back and into the Class 2A quarterfinals for the first time in his career with an 11-6 win over Tino Tamayo of Charles City.
“I kept calm and after I got the reversal I regrouped and just went from there,” Marty said. “I had to keep wrestling.”
The first opening round win for tenth-ranked Marty didn’t come without a harrowing few seconds in the second period.
Marty seemed to be in complete control, building a 3-0 lead with a takedown with 23 seconds left in the first quarter and an escape seven seconds into the second.
In the blink of an eye and one five-point move from Tamayo Marty trailed 5-3.
It was almost much worse as Marty battled off his back for several seconds before completing a reversal that evened the match at 5-5.
“Gage did a great job of not panicking and getting back to where he was,” Solon coach TJ Bevans said. “We knew we were the better wrestler we just had to get back out of that bad situation.”
Once he got back to even Marty once again went to work.
He took a 7-5 lead with a two-point near fall with 17 seconds left in the second quarter.
Marty then put the match away with a pair of third-period takedowns.
“He started a little slow, both our guys started a little slow, it’s a long day with the night session and that wasn’t the best version of our wrestlers but we will be much better tomorrow and I have full faith in that,” Bevans said. “Any time you get out of here 2-0 you are happy.”
Marty was especially happy.
He lost his opener last season but battled through the backside of the bracket to finish seventh.
On Friday afternoon Marty will face third-ranked Crew Howard (45-1) of Clarinda for a spot in the semifinals.
“Last year it was really a grind being on the backside of the bracket,” Marty said. “To get that first match of the year it was kind of relief.”
Class 2A State Wrestling Tournament
At Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines
Team scores (Top 10; area teams) – 1. West Delaware 36; 2. Independence 18; 3. Davenport Assumption 17; 3. Crestwood 17; 3. Osage 17; 6. Bondurant-Farrar 12; 6. Clarion-Goldfield-Dows 12; 6. Winterset 12; 9. East Marshall 11.5; 10. Camanche 11; 10. Union 11.
Opening Round (Area Wrestlers)
160 – Hayden Taylor (Solon) tech. fall River Belger (Burlington Notre Dame) 20-5
220 – Gage Marty (Solon) dec. Tino Tamayo (Charles City) 11-6
Friday’s Quarterfinal Matches
160 – No. 1 Hayden Taylor (36-0) Jr., Solon vs. No. 6 Landon Kirby (27-4) Sr., Grinnell
220 – No. 10 Gage Marty (33-8) Jr. Solon vs. No. 3 Crew Howard (45-1) Sr., Clarinda