For Emma Grimm, her performance a season ago simply wasn’t good enough. Competing as a Charles City Comet in her first season of wrestling at any level, Grimm finished in sixth place at the state tournament.
On Saturday, as an Osage Green Devil, Grimm made a big leap forward, but couldn’t quite bring it home, losing in the 126-pound state final to Sydney Park of Davenport Central.
In her first match, the Osage junior advanced to the state semifinals, beating Sophie Barnes of Lewis Central by fall at 2:43. In the semifinal round, Grimm took on defending state champion Avery Meier of host team Waverly-Shell Rock. Three minutes and 32 seconds into the match, Grimm brought Meier down in a headlock and pinned her to the mat.
The green-clad Osage crowd erupted.
Grimm began wrestling only a season ago, under coach Ryan Fank at Charles City. Now, having transferred to Osage and wrestling for Fank yet again, Grimm went up against the No. 1-ranked 126-pound wrestler in the state – Sydney Park of Davenport Central.
Grimm came agonizingly close, but couldn’t quite pull out the victory, falling to Park by a 6-3 decision. Although she made a big improvement from last year, Grimm couldn’t help but feel disappointed.
“It’s the best and worst feeling in the world,” Grimm said. “You’re the first loser, basically. But I’ve made a big improvement, and for only wrestling for two years now, I’m very happy with how I ended. Next year is just going to be even better.”
Fank could be seen consoling each and every wrestler after their loss, and after Grimm’s close call, the two sat together by the wall as Fank offered encouragement. With one year left, Grimm still has time to get to the top of the podium.
“What it is now is we have to continue to make steps forward,” Fank said. “We’re seeing the progress, and seeing the writing on the wall. We’ve just got to keep doing it. That’s what Emma said, she's going back to work Monday. She knows what she’s got to work on. She’s ready to get to it. She says 'next year is my time.’”
Senior Makayla Mostek was the other Green Devil to advance to the semifinal round, after beating Bailey Weeks of Vinton-Shellsburg by fall at 3:37 in the quarterfinals.
In the semifinal match, Mostek lost by a 6-0 decision to Mami Selemani of Iowa City West. In the consolation semifinals, Mostek lost again, this time by fall to Mya Lindauer of Epworth, Western Dubuque in 34 seconds.
Losing out on a state championship was a tough way for Mostek to finish her senior season.
“It’s hard to take MaKayla’s loss,” Fank said. “She’s put in a lot of time. She’s done a lot. It sucks for that one, because it’s a girl that puts in a lot of time, and you just kind of see that get taken from her.”
Later on, Mostek found a bit of redemption, beating Kennedy Eastman of Waverly-Shell Rock by fall to take home fifth place at 145 pounds.
You have free articles remaining.
The morning started off in tough fashion for North Iowa wrestlers. In a 106-pound match, Green Devil Jalynn Goodale lost in the quarterfinals to Alaina Sunlin of Monticello by fall at 2:43 to end her state title hopes. Goodale ended up finishing in seventh place, clinching a spot on the podium after beating Charles City’s Marissa Gallup by fall.
Leah Grimm also lost in the 170-pound quarterfinals, falling to Humboldt’s Kendal Clark by a 7-4 decision. Later on, Grimm won the consolation semifinal in a tiebreaker round, a raucous match that brought the crowd to its feet. But in the third-place match, Grimm lost by fall to Morgan Griffin of Sioux Central, to finish in fourth place.
Osage’s Abigail Cockrum lost her quarterfinal match in the 285-pound division, and then advanced to the consolation semifinals after a win by forfeit. Cockrum lost in the semifinals by fall to Grace Brown of Newton, and then lost the fifth-place match to Destiny McBride-Dannels of Colfax-Mingo. Cockrum wound up placing seventh.
As a team, Osage finished fourth in the standings.
Charles City’s Marissa Gallup lost in the 160-pound quarterfinal, followed by teammate Toni Maloy at 126, as three Comets wrestlers were eliminated in quick fashion.
Gallup won her first consolation match, beating Raelynn Smith of Cedar Falls by a 10-3 decision. But Gallup fell in the consolation quarterfinals, losing to Adyson Lundquist of Southeast Valley by fall at 41 seconds, and fell again in the seventh-place match to Osage's Goodale.
Maloy won her first two consolation rounds, and wound up finishing in eighth place.
At 285 pounds, Kalysta Rodriguez lost her quarterfinal match to Salima Omari by fall at 42 seconds. Rodriguez won her first consolation round match, beating Avery Wilson of Colfax-Mingo by fall at 1:19, and placed fourth overall after losing in the third-place match to Grace Brown of Newton.
In the 132-pound weight class, freshman Lilly Luft finished in fourth place after losing the third-place match to Alexis Ross of Fort Dodge. Junior Allie Cross took fifth place at 145 pounds.
Charles City placed second in the team standings with 128 points, behind only host team Waverly-Shell Rock, which finished with 156.5.
Senior Kennadi Colbert took fourth place in state at 138 pounds after losing to Macy Smith of Waverly-Shell Rock in the third-place match.