Roland-Story crowns three champions at Jim Kinyon Invite: Norsemen get two dual wins at Perry

Joe Randleman
Ames Tribune

The Roland-Story wrestling team left the Jim Kinyon Norsemen Invitational with three individual championships and a fourth-place finish in the team standings Saturday in Story City.

The Norsemen scored 152 points to edge Knoxville's score of 149.5 for fourth out of 12 teams at the prestigious tournament. Hampton-Dumont-CAL won with 237 points, Winterset was second with 226 and the Southeast Polk JV team third with 217.5.

Roland-Story senior Eli Thorson celebrates after pinning Southeast Polk JV's Holden Hansen in the championship match at 170 pounds during the Jim Kinyon Norsemen Invitational Saturday at Roland-Story High School in Story City, Iowa. It was Thorson's first Kinyon Invite championship.

In addition to its three champions, Roland-Story also had one wrestler take second and another place fourth.

On Dec. 14 Roland-Story defeated Prairie City-Monroe, 48-36, and Perry, 57-21, in a Heart of Iowa Conference double-dual meet at Perry. The two victories put the Norsemen at 6-1 in duals on the season.

Here is what we learned from how the Norsemen wrestled last week:

Blume lives up to No. 1 ranking

Roland-Story sophomore Kade Blume is the defending Class 2A state champion at 106 pounds. Blume is ranked No. 1 at 106 in 2A, but he went up to 113 to claim his second consecutive Kinyon Invite championship Saturday.

Blume pinned Southeast Polk JV's Thong Phan, East Marshall/GMG's Wyatt Benson and Knoxville's Marco Alejo to claim his title and improve to 16-0 on the season.

"This is a great tournament and it's great to represent my school and my family," Blume said. "They did everything for me."

Blume is battling a knee injury, but that didn't slow him down much Saturday.

He pinned Phan in 1:51 and Benson in just 30 seconds to reach the finals.

In the championship match Alejo tried to keep Blume locked up to prevent him from getting in a good shot. But in the final 30 seconds of the first period Blume took Alejo down and kept him there, scoring a fall with 10 seconds left. 

"I'm kind of not my best right now, but I did everything in my power to wrestle hard," Blume said. "He (Alejo) just wanted to squeeze and squeeze and squeeze, I so I hit a quick slide-by on him and he left his arm hanging. I turned it into an over-top pin."

Eslick is aggressive

Roland-Story's Christian Eslick entered the tournament ranked sixth in 2A at 152. But he's looking to wrestle at 145 during the postseason.

Saturday was Eslick's first time wrestling at 145 this season. He didn't waste any time overpowering his three opponents on his way to a spot atop the podium.

Eslick pinned Winterset's Zach Mortvedt in 3:10, Hampton-Dumont-CAL's Gage Plagge in just 55 seconds and Knoxville's Chaz Graves in 1:25.

"This is my first week at 145 and I wanted to let everybody know that I'm going to be really relevant here," Eslick said. "I wanted to make a statement."

In the championship match against Graves it took Eslick just nine seconds to get a takedown and he followed it with a three-point nearfall. Eslick was up 7-2 when he got Graves shoulders to the mat to score the fall.

Roland-Story's Christian Eslick goes for a pin against Knoxville's Chaz Graves during their 145-pound championship match in the Jim Kinyon Norsemen Invitational Saturday in Story City.

"There's always a way to score," Eslick said. "Just move my hands and move my feet, wait for something to open up and take it."

The three victories put Eslick at 20-0.

Thorson gets his title

Eli Thorson won an individual title at the Kinyon Invite for the first time as a senior. Thorson took first at 170 after pulling off an 11-2 major decision over Saint Ansgar's Lorne Isler, pinning Hampton-Dumont-CAL's Jakyb  Kapp in 1:28 then scoring a fall over Southeast Polk JV's Holden Hansen in 3:19.

"It feels amazing," Thorson said. "It's my home tournament. Working my way through the bracket and standing first position on the podium feels really good. This is a big accomplishment for me."

Thorson finished second last year at the Kinyon Invite.

"Last year conditioning stopped me from a lot of wins," Thorson said. "I've been putting a lot of extra work in the room. This year I've been working hard conditioning and grinding at practice."

Thorson improved his record to 14-2.

Powers, Johnson place in top four

Logan Powers and Hesston Johnson each placed in the top four for Roland-Story.

Powers took second at 138. Powers pinned South Hamilton's Alan Gandara, won a 5-1 decision over Gilbert's Kekoa McKinney, scored a 4-0 victory over Winterset's Keegan Jensen to reach the finals, where he lost by major decision (12-2) to second-ranked Dominik Ridout of East Marshall/GMG.

Johnson was fourth at 160.

Johnson pinned Southeast Valley's Reed Andrews in 3:39 and won by an 8-2 decision over Grinnell's Gavin Gilman in his first two matches. He lost by a 13-8 decision to Hampton-Dumont-CAL's Carl Barkema in the semifinals, came back to pin East Marshall/GMG's Tim Benson in the consolation semifinals then lost by fall to Winterset's Eduardo Garcia in the the third-place match.

Johnson concluded the tournament with a 17-2 overall record.

Norsemen earn 15 pins at Perry

Roland-Story combined for 15 pins over its two duals against PCM and Perry Dec. 14.

The Norsemen won eight matches by fall against Perry and seven versus PCM.

Blume (113 pounds), Colin Streit (126), Powers (145), Johnson (160) and Ian Tripp (182) each earned two pins on the evening. Thorson (170) scored a pin and a technical fall, Devin Webb (106) a fall and a major decision, Eslick (152) a pin and a win by forfeit and Noah Wakefield (120) and Thomas Tjaden (195) one fall apiece for Roland-Story.