Central DeWitt’s Keaton Zeimet ended his first prep wrestling season with a trip to the state meet and a fifth-place medal at 106 pounds.
Saturday, Zeimet gave himself the opportunity to do even better as a sophomore.
Competing in front of his home fans at the 2A District 2 meet, the Saber pinned his way to a championship and, in the process, punched his ticket to a second straight state tournament.
The top returning placewinner at 106 pounds, Zeimet earned the top seed – a new change for 2019 – at this week’s state meet and will face Bishop Heelan freshman Jacob McGowan in first round action Thursday night.
Just as he did in the sectional meet a week earlier, Zeimet ended his matches quickly, winning both by fall.
The sophomore needed just 59 seconds to flatten Arnie Galvan of Mount Vernon in the semifinals.
Waiting for Zeimet in the finals was freshman Ethan Forker of Davenport Assumption, who pinned West Delaware’s Blake Engel in the other semifinal.
The rematch of the sectional final lasted longer, but the result was the same as Zeimet reversed Forker to his back early in the second period and pinned him in 2:40 to clinch his second straight crown.
Unfortunately, Zeimet will be the lone Saber in action in Des Moines as teammates Robert Howard and Carter Donovan finished third and fourth, respectively.
A third-period reversal for Mount Vernon’s Lincoln Holub helped him break a 3-3 tie with Howard in the semifinals at 113 pounds.
Howard rebounded from the 5-3 setback by pinning Monticello’s Owen Ray in 3:35, but Holub fell by fall to Center Point-Urbana’s Cole Whitehead in the finals to prevent the Sabers sophomore from wrestling back for second.
Donovan dropped his semifinal bout to eventual champion Luke Radeke of Vinton-Shellsburg at 138 pounds to set up a third-place match with Anamosa’s Mitchell Engelbart.
The two met in the finals of the sectional tournament with Engelbart scoring a fall.
The rematch went the distance with Donovan cutting into a 10-3 deficit with an escape and a takedown before ultimately falling 12-7.
Zeimet tops the bracket
at 106 pounds
After years of using a random draw to determine the first-round pairings at the state wrestling meet, the Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) elected to begin seeding the wrestlers starting this year.
Using TrackWrestling – a website that Iowa prep teams use to conduct meets – the IHSAA seeded the top eight wrestlers at each weight and then used a random draw to determine their first-round opponents.
Zeimet earned the top-seed at 106 pounds in Class 2A and was randomly paired with freshman Jacob McGowan of Bishop Heelan.
McGowan is 28-20 in his first season and recently finished second at the district meet to Spirit Lake Park’s Jonathon Burnette (who earned the seventh seed).
A win in the first round would set up a quarterfinal match against the winner of West Liberty’s Alex Beaver (33-11) and Albia’s Carter Anderson (30-4). Anderson earned the eighth seed.
Blaine Frazier of Notre Dame (43-3) and Camron Phetxoumphone of Webster City (36-4), both freshmen, earned the fourth and fifth seeds, respectively, and loom as semifinal foes, while second-seed Jacob Mielke of Pocahontas Area (38-2) and third-seed Carter Fousek of Crestwood, Cresco (36-4) are the top seeds in the bottom of the bracket.
First round action in Class 2A will kick off at 6 p.m. with Zeimet set to be part of the first group to take to the mat.