Woodward wrestling meets toughest slate of season in Perry

Sean Cordy
Correspondent
Tjaden Smeltzer in action on Saturday, Jan. 16 in Perry.

Competing among 18 other teams, including a number of premier programs at Saturday's invitational in Perry, Woodward-Granger placed 10th overall with eight Hawks earning individual placements in the top eight.

Topping the charts for Woodward, Peyton Nixon (113 pounds) made his case to stay ranked No. 10 in Class 2A as he walked away with a third-place medal. Winning four of five matchups, his only loss came via a first-round pin under Webster City's Camron Phetxoumphone (No. 1, Class 2A). Nixon himself had two first-round wins.

Alex Evans (285, 5th) had the next highest ranking among the Hawks as he finished with a 3-2 mark. At 15-5 on the season overall, Evans' biggest win came in the quarterfinal round over Panorama's Jared Henderson, who sits at 14-13 this year. That was followed by a loss to West Delaware's Carson Petlon (No. 1, Class 2A).

Alex Evans during the Perry Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 16.

Nixon and Evans were far from the only Hawks to run into top competition. As the top-ranked team in Class 2A, West Delaware and its eight ranked athletes won the whole event with 295 points while Logan Magnolia (No. 3, Class 1A) came in second place with a mere 200 points.

A slew of other ranked wrestlers were scattered throughout Woodward's day. Dustin Harney (152, 6th) finished 2-3 overall after losses to two top-10 ranked opponents. Despite those losses, Harney remains the team's wins leader with a record of 27-4.

Woodward-Granger's Jon McKeever following a match on Saturday, Jan. 16 in Perry.

Jon McKeever (170, 6th) was also put through the wringer. After a bye and a quarterfinal win, the senior lost his next three bouts, marking his first time this season with multiple losses.

Alex Saxton (106, 6th) and Brayden Simons (145, 6th) also finished in sixth place. Jackson Potter (160, 7th) and Riece Graham (126, 8th) rounded out the team's placements. Kade Polich grappled two wins but was unable to place after being relegated to the consolation bracket after round one. Joel Harney (120), Jayden Flugge-Smith (132) and Devan Brown (195) each won one match.

Riece Graham wrestles an opponent on Saturday, Jan. 16 in Perry.

Next Up

The Hawks have a quad meet Tuesday at ACGC.

Devan Brown in action on Saturday, Jan. 16 during an invitational in Perry.