DES MOINES — It was a heartbreaking experience for Riceville's Chance Throndson in his final state wrestling tournament.
One year removed from winning a state title, Throndson was shut down early as he fell one win short of placement to walk out without a medal.
Throndson got his title defense kicked off Thursday night the right way, albeit it was about as close as it could’ve been to going the other way.
Throndson picked up a 1-0 victory over 10th-ranked Ben Smith of Iowa Valley to reach Friday’s Class 1A quarterfinals.
“That’s all it takes is a point to win any match out there, no matter who you are,” Throndson said.
Smith and Throndson wrestled to a scoreless tie through two periods, and with his choice to start the third, Throndson chose down in a tight match he knew one point would probably make the difference.
With 1 minute, 14 seconds to go, Throndson got up for an escape, and then the stalemate continued through the final minute and Throndson held on for the win.
All eyes were on Throndson coming in as he came in with one state title already under his belt and a No. 1 ranking. But the pressure? Nothing he couldn’t handle on Day 1.
“I mean, there’s a little bit of pressure, but there’s always going to be pressure down here,” he said.
The second day is where things fell apart.
Throndson lost a 9-2 decision vs. third-ranked Cooper Siebrecht of Lisbon in the quarterfinals, and then lost his consolation match 8-4 vs. Interstate-35's Ethan Elliot.