COLUMBUS – The #9 Columbus wrestlers beat #8 Norfolk for the 2nd time this year, picking up pins in the lower weights to carry them to victory.
Norfolk began the dual with a solid 4-2 decision courtesy of Aaron Dittmer at 120.
But at 126, Alex Korte – a late switch with Carter Kucera at 132 handled Travis Lamm 9-1 giving Columbus the lead after the major decision.
Kucera stayed unbeaten at 132, pinning Jackson Reeves at 0:31.
But Norfolk would respond at 138, with freshman Joshua Licking defeating Camdyn Iwan 9-5, cutting Columbus’ overall lead to 10-6.
But the Discoverers would take control of the match starting at 145. Cade Fullner pinned Blake McDonald at 5:02, and Avery McMeekin took a 5-1 win over Brayden Splater to extend the Columbus advantage.
After Zachary Hintz of Norfolk beat Blayze Standly 5-1, Carson Zwingman and Kasten Grape nabbed back-to-back pins at 170 and 182 respectively, giving the Discoverers a 31-9 lead.
But Norfolk would start to rally at 195. Dalton Freiberg and Anthony DeAnda – both ranked in the top five in Class A – fought to an ultimate tie-break in their first match on December 8th, won by DeAnda. The two wowed the crowd Tuesday by going the distance again, except this time it was Freiberg who came away with a 3-2 UTB win.
The Panthers then got back-to-back pins of their own. Class A #1 M.J. Montgomery stayed unbeaten at 220 by pinning Eddie Loredo at 3:14. Conner Cowling also stayed unblemished at 285 with a pin at 3:43 against Tristan Colford.
At that point, the match was still within reach for Norfolk, trailing 31-24 with two matches to go. Columbus’ Clay Cerny built an 11-1 advantage over Norfolk’s Weston Godfrey, but nearly made a fatal mistake, allowing Godfrey to turn him over in the 2nd period and almost get a pin that would have made it a one-point deficit in the team standings. But Cerny turned through the pin attempt and held on for a 14-4 major decision win.
Tanner Kobza closed out the win for Columbus with a pinfall victory over Caleb Roemhildt at 113.
Columbus improves to 22-5 in duals this year. They next head to the UNK Midwest duals in Kearney this weekend. Norfolk falls to 18-7 in duals ahead of a home dual with Elkhorn on Thursday.