—by Todd Thorson

This year’s Jim Kinyon Norsemen Invitational was held Saturday, Dec. 21 despite the impending winter storm warning looming that evening. Moving the competition along at a fast pace, local organizers and volunteers pulled off yet another successful Norsemen Invite. With 11 teams competing, the field was a highly competitive one at that. The Norsemen managed to place four wrestlers in the finals, but only one came away with a title. Jose Cruz scored 26 of his team’s 146 total points en route to the 195 lb. crown. Tyson Manzer (120), Parker Witthuhn (126) and Danny Dankel (285) all made the finals, but ended up as the runner up in their respective weight classes.

Grinnell left town with the team title, piling up an impressive 257 points; 58 1/2 points ahead of second place finisher East Marshall (198 1/2). Gilbert finished third withy 182 points. Hampton-Dumont came in fourth with 175 and had the most champions, going five for five in their championship matches. Grinnell and East Marshall also had five finalists, with Grinnell crowning three champions and EM one. South Hamilton finished sixth with 131 1/2 points, trailing the fifth place Norsemen by 14 1/2 points. Winterset followed with 121 1/2, then came Prairie Valley (99), Eagle Grove (77), SE Webster (52) and Riceville (33). SH and Winterset each went two for two in their title matches.l

Cruz recorded pins in his final two bouts after drawing byes in the first two rounds. He took just :54 to dispose of Jaryd Young of EM in the semifinals, then recorded a fall in 1:15 over Jared Kennan of Grinnell in the title match.

After a first round bye, Tyson Manzer recorded a fall in each of his next two 120 lb. matches in 1:24 and 4:29 to make the championship. Stephen Proffitt ofEM decisioned Tyson 9-5 in the title match.

Parker Witthuhn also received a bye in the first round of the 126 weight class, then pinned his next two opponents in 1:19 and 3:26. In the title bout Parker fell to Mason Miller of Winteset 12-6.

In the 285 division Danny Dankel received a bye to start his day, then proceeded to pin his next two opponents in 1:17 and 5:12. Mario Pena of Hampton-Dumont managed to pin Danny in the championship match in 5:14.

Coming in fifth for the Norsemen were Zach Anderson (106), Treyton Witthuhn (132), Ryan Hadaway (182) and Tanner Stille (220). Bill Joslin placed sixth for the Norse at 152. And Noah Bartmess was seventh at 160. William Clark (138) and Colton Osmundson (145) also participated for the Norsemen.

"We came ouyt a little sluggish at the beginning and it took us awhile to get our rhythm (going)," said Coach Leland Schwartz, "but we started wrestling better as the day went on. A couple of our guys didn’t wrestle as well as they would have liked, but it showed us what we need to keep working on individually and as a team. Some of the guys are showing some huge improvements from where they started the year."

Tuesday night’s double dual meet at home against Nevada and PCM was postponed due to bad weather and will be rescheduled for Feb. 3.

The release of the first two collectible trading cards, part of a new promotion by the wrestling program this year, was also held Saturday during the early part of the tournament. The promotion features some of the past great wrestlers in Roland-Story history and it began with Jon Wing and Scott Dunn. Wing, Story City, a four year starter for the Norse, was the second wrestler in R-S history to qualify for state, placing third in 1977 as a junior. Dunn, who resides in Omaha, graduated in 1984 and was also a four year starter for the Norsemen. Scott placed sixth at state at 119 lbs. as a junior in 1983.