Knutson, Avila, Sexton headed to medal rounds

By Becky Walz,

Following Friday’s semifinal, fourth and fifth consolation rounds, the Viking trio of Gavin Knutson, Mason Avila and Tommy Sexton are headed to the medal rounds which will be held Saturday for all classes.
After the third day of Class 2A wrestling, Decorah has accumulated 48 points and sits in a three-way tie for 11th in the team standings with Anamosa and New Hampton/Turkey Valley.
At 106 pounds, Knutson needed one win Friday morning to advance to the medal rounds and the freshman got it in the fourth-round consolation match over Atlantic’s Taye Jordan by a 10-8 decision on a pair of first-period take-downs and a near-fall to lead 6-1. Knutson added to his lead with an escape and take-down in the second period but Jordan’s reversal put the Decorah freshman on the defense and earned an escape late in the round. Knutson gave up two points to the Atlantic wrestler in third on stall points but came away with the win. In the fifth-round consolation match against Quinn Arellano, Knutson threw the Van Meter grappler in 37 seconds. The Viking is guaranteed at least sixth place as he will open the medal rounds against Nevada’s Urijah Courter (36-1).
In the semifinals at 132 pounds, Mason Avila managed a pair of escapes from Kaiden Dietzenbach of Burlington Notre Dame, one in each the second and third periods; however, Dietzenbach’s trio of take-downs on Avila and an escape was enough to take the win 7-2 and a spot in the championship bout. Avila will compete in the consolation semifinals Friday against Aaron Boone of Washington to finish as high as third.
William Fullhart concluded his freshman season in the fourth-round consolation match against Jackson Jaspers of Mount Vernon with a 12-2 major decision loss. Jaspers utilized a first-period take-down and near-fall to lead 5-0. In the second, Fullhart gave up an escape and was drawn down to the matt, allowing Jaspers an 8-0 advantage with two minutes left two wrestle. The Vikings freshman managed a take-down in the third and a two-point near-fall to earn his four points, but couldn’t make up the deficit. Fullhart ends the season with a 32-12 record.
Stepping onto the mat in the 190-pound semifinal, Tommy Sexton was edged 3-1 by Ben Bryant of North Polk to fall into the bouts for third through sixth place Saturday. Following a scoreless first period, Bryant chose bottom and took an escape to get the first points on the board. In the third period it was Sexton’s choice to take the defensive stance and earned his own escape. Bryant utilized a take-down with three second remaining to advance to the championship match as Sexton moves to the consolation semifinals. Saturday, the Decorah matman will battle Cael Burmester for a chance to claim third.

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