DES MOINES | This was supposed to be Hunter Hagen's redemption tour.
Hagen lost in last year's state title match, and was striving all year to get back there and win it this time. Unfortunately, he fell just shy of that goal, but still brought home fourth place.
Hagen was denied a second straight trip to the finals with an 11-7 loss at 195 vs. Sibley-Ocheydan’s Hunter DeJong in the Class 1A semifinals on Saturday night. Hagen trailed 8-7 late in the third, gave up an intentional escape with less than 10 seconds to go, and was unable to land a shot as time expired.
In Saturday's placement matches, Hagen won his opener to get into the third-place match, and then fell to a familiar foe - Gabe Irons of Lake Mills. Irons finished off Hagen for the fifth time this year with an 8-4 decision.
Hagen scored a pin in Friday's quarterfinals to reach the semifinal, this one coming in 2:57 vs. Sumner-Fredericksburg’s Brock Meyer.
For Hagen, it was good just to get back to winning.
“They just kind of boost my confidence, you know?” Hagen said of his first two matches. “I’m back in the swing of things getting different competition instead of having Lake Mills four or five times in a row.”
West Hancock junior Tate Hagen had a rough go of it in his first appearance at state. Hagen fell by decision in his opener, 6-2 to I-35's Jacob Steinlage, and then lost his consolation match 5-3 to Pekin's Kaden Baker.