BELLEVILLE — Junior Kobe Grossman needed overtime to earn his first-career Capitol Conference title leading the Marshall wrestling team to a runner-up team finish in the 2020 league meet, held Saturday in Belleville.
Grossman earned a 4-2 sudden victory over Lodi senior Zach Potter to claim the 145-pound title. It came one year after Grossman finished third in the annual conference tournament.
Grossman (21-3) earned his finals berth by pinning Cambridge’s Ivan Sopkovich in 1 minute, 44 seconds in the quarterfinals and Lake Mills’ Victor Tanev in 3:29 in the semifinals.
Marshall finished with 178 points, behind champion Lodi (328.5) and just ahead of Waterloo (171).
“After a tough week of illness throughout our team, a second-place finish was the best we could hope for,” said Marshall head coach Doug Springer.
Looking for his third conference championship in as many years was Dylan Horstmeyer. The senior and No. 1 seed at 170 entered the weekend undefeated 38-0 and reached the finals with convincing pins over Columbus’ Malani Aragon (in 1:15) and Waterloo’s Jakob Garza (in :22).
But in a showdown with No. 2 seeded Sawyer Helmbrecht of Lodi, Horstmeyer suffered a third-period pin falling in 4:50 to the three-time champion, representing his first loss of the season.
“Dylan got caught on his back early in the match and then never could get it going his way after that,” Springer said.
Two other Cardinals reached the finals, only to suffer the same fate as Horstmeyer. At 182, senior Jack Moen (35-9) pinned Jevin Burbach of Columbus in :48 in the semifinals, but was pinned in 1:03 by Lodi’s Ben Simplot.
“Jack did a good job attacking, but was unable to finish his takedown and couldn’t get out from the bottom,” said Springer.
At 285, junior Mitchell Gomez (19-17) pinned Waterloo’s Gavin Wright in 3:36 in his semifinal match, only to get pinned by Lodi’s Wyatt Ripp in :22 in the finals.
“Mitchell had a spectacular tournament where he made it to the finals for the first time in his short career. He was aggressive in the finals and attacked well,” Springer said.
Earning thirds for Marshall were Drew Johnson (34-11) at 120, Angel Lopez (25-20) at 152 and Charlie Lewis (33-7) at 220.
“Charlie suffered from getting byes to the semifinals where he struggled getting started in his match. After taking that loss he got all first-period pins,” Springer said.
Juan Alonso’s second-place finish at 120 pounds led Waterloo to third place.
Alonso (33-5), currently 10th in his weight class in the latest Division 3 rankings, pinned Luther Prep’s Nate Wendland in 2:30 and Sugar River’s Matthew Loshaw at 5:06 to reach the finals, where he lost to Lodi sophomore Chandler Curtis by fall in :41. Curtis was fifth in the latest Division 2 rankings at 126.
Jonathan Aguero (132), Jordi Aguero (145), Francisco Moreno (195) and heavyweight Wright each placed third for the Pirates.
At 132, Jonathan Aguero (26-13) finished 4-1 with two pins and one decision. His only loss was a 10-9 decision to Poynette’s James Amacher in the semifinals.
At 145, Jordi Aguero (25-9) went 4-1 with one pin and two decisions. Moreno (21-17) went 4-1 with one pin and two decisions. Wright (22-13) went 4-1 with two pins.
Lodi won its 28th straight Capitol Conference. The Blue Devils had eight champions.
Both Marshall and Waterloo will compete in the WIAA Division 3 Johnson Creek Regionals Saturday. Wrestling begins at 10 a.m.
The top two wrestlers in each weight class advance to sectionals.
CAPITOL CONFERENCE MEET
Team scores: Lodi 328.5, Marshall 178, Waterloo 171, Poynette 157, Sugar River 126, Lake Mills 124, Luther Prep 122.5, Columbus 101.5, Cambridge 98, Lakeside Lutheran 75