We're getting closer to the high school wrestling postseason and teams across Northern Iowa are gearing up for the home stretch. Thursday night's quadrangular at Forest City saw four teams compete against one another with the hope of getting better.
Above all, however, Thursday night saw one very special wrestler hit a very special milestone.
Kellen Moore, a Forest City junior, earned the 100th win of his career on Thursday in the first match of the night. Moore's spectacular achievement came against Michael Janssen of Northwood-Kensett by Fall in just 30 seconds.
"That was great to see," said Forest City head coach Steve Staudt. "Kellen's been a great kid for us. He works hard and does things the right way. The fact that he got his 100th win at home his junior year with another year to go is a huge accomplishment. Hats off to Kellen for all the work he puts in. It's fun to have the home crowd be able to celebrate it."
It was also a big night for Forest City as a team. With wins over Northwood-Kensett (54-28), Saint Ansgar (51-30) and Garner-Hayfield-Ventura (45-32), the Indians improved their conference record to 7-8 on the season.
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It was also a strong night for Northwood-Kensett as they went 2-1 on the evening. Close victories over Saint Ansgar (39-36) and GHV (41-36) gave them the second best finish on the night. Though they're still in the bottom half of the conference standings, it's winning the close contests that will help boost their confidence moving forward.
"I thought we did pretty well," he said. "We're a little banged up and we have some holes in our lineup. We know that we need to get some bonus points...I think our seniors came through and got us our bonus points when we needed them to."
The Cardinals managed a strong victory over Saint Ansgar (48-30) and played Forest City closer than anyone else on Thursday. The Cards trailed just 27-26 at one point before Forest City closed out strong. The win gives GHV four TOI victories on the season, though head coach Cory Jenniges said there's always room for improvement.
"Some times we need to know the match situation and maybe not go for the big move," he said. "Maybe a win's okay and we don't need to go for the fall. Some times these kids get a little excited and want to try a big move and it may be something we haven't even taught yet. Staying in good position and just good basic wrestling (is what we need)."
For Saint Ansgar, it was a challenging night. They entered the evening tied with Forest City in the Top of Iowa standings at 4-8, but had the opposite night of the Indians in going 0-3. Head coach Barry Kittleson noted that his team was missing a few wrestlers on the night.
"We're a little short handed so we were under the gun right off the bat," said head coach Barry Kittleson. "The kids wrestled well. We won the matches we were capable of winning."
It was the home team, however, that had the biggest night. In addition to picking up his 100th win, Moore went 3-0 on the night and remains unbeaten since the calendar flipped. More over, the Indians moved up into the top half of the TOI standings because of the sweep. Staudt said, however, the most important thing is that Forest City is continuing to improve.
"We keep talking about getting better every time we go out to wrestle," he said. "We're down to crunch time. We're a few weeks away from conference and a few weeks away from sectionals so the postseason's upon us. As long as the boys keep doing what they're doing and keep improving every day they're in good shape to hopefully make some noise in the postseason and surprise some people."