By Kurt Ritzman
Assistant Sports Editor
Four local wrestlers advanced to the finals of the 39th Bob Lueders Invitational on Saturday.
None of the four were able to win their final match and get that elusive tournament title. For the second year in a row, Clinton heavyweight Jake Oldaker lost a heartbreaking final to a Cedar Rapids Washington wrestler.
After losing last year to Ty Burrell — the top-ranked wrestler in Class 3A — in the tiebreaker, Oldaker went a stop further. This time he lost to No. 8 Zac Gillis in the ultimate tiebreaker.
Oldaker and Dustin Caldwell, who was runner-up at 152 pounds, led Clinton to a fifth-place finish with 140 points. West Carroll’s Zach Hartman and Morrison’s Calvin Harridge also placed second. The River Kings scored 112 points last year but placed fourth.
Linn-Mar of Marion won for the second year in a row with 209.5 points, 49 fewer than it won with last year. Davenport Assumption was the runner-up for the second straight year with 201 points, 11 fewer than last year. Lena-Winslow (Ill.) placed third for the second consecutive year.
Oldaker and Gillis exchanged escapes during regulation to enter the one-minute overtime period tied at 1. Neither was able to score in overtime. Oldaker started the first 30-second tiebreaker in down position. Oldaker was awarded a point for Gillis having clasped hands. Gillis tied it with an escape. In the ultimate tiebreaker, Gillis won with an escape.
Oldaker was one of four wrestlers to have back-to-back runner-up finishes.
Caldwell faced a familiar opponent in his final, Davenport Assumption’s Nick Georgean. In a dual meet Thursday, Georgean beat Caldwell by 11-3 major decision. In the finals it was a 15-5 major decision.
“I didn’t place last year, so it’s definitely a big improvement,” Caldwell said. “I wanted first obviously, but he’s a tough opponent. He beat me Thursday night. I’ll see him one more time (this Saturday at the Mississippi Athletic Conference tournament), so we’ll see what happens then.”
Caldwell, a junior, has one more chance to get a Lueders title, but for now he was relatively pleased with his runner-up finish.
“It’s definitely important to me and it’s important to (Clinton coach JD Lueders), too,” Caldwell said. “We just want to show what we’ve got.”
Caldwell started his day by pinning Shaun Beyer of Cedar Rapids Kennedy and then won by decision 5-0 and 3-1 to reach the finals.
“It was a long day, on-off, on-off,” Caldwell said. “Then, you get on the mat and the adrenaline is going. You’re ready to go.”
Caldwell’s twin brother, Alex, also finished high on the awards stand with a third-place finish at 145 pounds.
“It started off pretty good, then kind of slowed down after my loss in the semis,” Alex Caldwell said. “But I had to stay focused. You can’t lose focus after one match. I brought the intensity back and finished it up hard.”
He finished his day with a pin in 2:29 against Richard Janney of Wilton. It was Caldwell’s third pin of the day.
“It’s better than losing, I’ll tell you that,” Caldwell said with a laugh. “I like ending the day on a good note. It would have been a lot better if I would have won it obviously, but it wasn’t in the cards tonight.”
His only loss came by 5-3 decision in the semifinals to unbeaten Joel Northrup of Linn-Mar. In the finals, Northrup gave Lena-Winslow’s Quincy Kalk-brenner his first loss of the season by 2-1 decision.
“He’s a good wrestler,” Caldwell said of Northrup. “He’s beaten me twice already, but who knows what could happen at state.”
The River Kings also got a third-place finish from Dillion Chase at 160 pounds.
Central DeWitt finished the highest among other local teams, grabbing ninth with 90 points. The Sabers were led by Jake Feldpausch, who beat Clinton’s Justin Guilliams 8-2 in the third-place match at 195 pounds.
Right behind Central DeWitt was West Carroll, which was 10th with 81.5 points.
Hartman advanced to the final at 132 pounds but lost 10-3 to Wilton’s Logan Mays.
“I feel I had a really good day, especially to come over to Iowa,” Hartman said. “That Wilton kid, I wish I got him.”
Hartman pinned Andy Daugherty from Western Dubuque in the second round and then beat a familiar opponent, Ryan Nadig of Lena-Winslow.
“(Daugherty) came out strong and I got the move that I wanted,” Hartman said. “I got him stuck there early, which made my day a little bit easier. I wrestled Nadig in a dual earlier this season and I pinned him. I still knew it was going to be a tough match because he’s really technical.”
Morrison, which placed 18th with 27 points, got a runner-up finish from Harridge at 195 pounds.
One benefit to the tournament is getting to face wrestlers from different areas.
“It gives us all different looks,” Alex Caldwell said. “Every wrestler has a different style. If I wrestle the same kids over and over, I’m just going to be used to that. Then when I get a different look it’s hard. But we’re going to a lot of different tournaments and seeing different competition, so that makes it easier for me.”
“I think it’s really important,” he said. “My moves aren’t always going to work. I can come here and work other things against a higher class of competition.”
BOB LUEDERS INVITATIONAL
1. Linn-Mar 209.5; 2. Davenport Assumption 201; 3. Lena-Winslow 169; 4. Mount Vernon 165.5; 5. Clinton 140; 6. Wilton 135; 7. Western Dubuque 112.5; 8. New Hampton 97; 9. Central DeWitt 90; 10. West Carroll 81.5; 11. Dubuque Senior 73; 12. Fairfield 69; 13. Milton (Wisc.) 55; 14. Cedar Rapids Washington 49; 15. Dubuque Wahlert 48; 16. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 42; 17. Muscatine 28; 18. Morrison 27; 19. Dubuque Hempstead 21; 20. Clinton JV 16; 21. Davenport Central 10; 22. Waterloo East 9; 23. Davenport North 7.
Championship match results
106 — Chase Lynn (DS) m. dec. Connor Cleveland (NH), 9-0; 113 — Matt Wempem (LM) dec. Brendan Gould (DA), 5-0; 120 — Leighton Gaul (NH) pinned Alijah Jeffery (LM), 5:23; 126 — Damon Griffin (LM) dec. Tony DeVreise (DA), 8-6 ot; 132 — Logan Mays (W) dec. Zach Hartman (WC), 10-3; 138 — Kyle Springer (DA) m. dec. Austin McPeek (LM), 14-3; 145 — Joel Northrup (LM) dec. Quincy Kalkbrenner (LW), 2-1; 152 — Nick Georgean (DA) m. dec. Dustin Caldwell (C), 15-5; 160 — Trey Ryan (MV) pinned Sawyer Anderson (NH), 2:43; 170 — Daniel Abresch (MV) pinned Koy Snider (W) 5:43; 182 — Logan Staver (LW) dec. Andrew Holladay (LM), 8-6; 195 — Ty Harmston (LW) m. dec. Calvin Harridge (Mor), 15-2; 220 — Brennan Koerperich (WD) dec. Justin Green (LM), 8-2; 285 — Zac Gillis (CRW) won by ultimate tiebreaker over Jake Oldaker, 3-2.