DES MOINES — Losing in Friday's quarterfinals definitely took an emotional toll on Clinton wrestlers Hunter Genco and Alex Caldwell.
But, you would never know it by the way they responded at the Iowa Class 3A state tournament at Wells Fargo Arena.
Both Clinton seniors rebounded from losses in the morning's quarterfinals with dominating performances in the wrestlebacks. Both guaranteed themselves top-six finishes and will compete in the consolation semifinals this morning with the opportunity to place as high as third this afternoon.
"It's a nice feeling to be on the awards stand; you want to get the highest place you can," said Caldwell, who placed sixth at 138 pounds in 2012.
It's not always an easy thing to do when you're coming off a loss, however.
"I had to prove myself and come back after a devastating loss," Genco said.
"That was heartache when Hunter lost," Clinton coach J.D. Lueders said. "He showed a lot of character. That's hard to do."
For the second year in a row, Genco lost to Indianola's John Gioffredi. Last year, Gioffredi rallied late to beat Genco. In the rematch, he scored all his points in the first period and won 4-2 in the quarterfinals at 126 pounds.
"Last year, I thought (Genco) left something on the mat; this year was different," Lueders said.
Gioffredi used a snap-down and go-behind for a takedown with 42 seconds left in the first period, then added a two-point near fall 16 seconds later.
"The two back points were definitely my mistake," Genco said. "I settled for a couple of seconds. Those were the two points that changed the outcome."
Genco escaped before the period, rode Gioffredi for the entire second period and scored a third-period escape but was unable to score any offensive points.