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Solon wrestlers win Montezuma Invitational

The Solon wrestling team poses together after winning the Montezuma Invitational over the weekend. (contributed photo)

MONTEZUMA– After splitting two duals last Thursday in Williamsburg, the Solon wrestling team had a dominating day at the Montezuma Invitational on the way to a team title. 
The Spartans had eight of 14 wrestlers in the tournament finals and crowned five champions (Ben Carr, 120; Louis Gnida, 126; Graeson Dall, 152; Trevor Nelson, 160; and Logan Linderbaum, 285) along with three wrestlers finishing as runner-up (Christian Haight, 106; Cole Fritz, 138; and Kade Steuhm, 145).
Head Coach T.J. Bevans was very pleased with his squad’s performance. “We’ve set a strong tone in our practice room this year and we have been pushing these guys harder than we have in the past, and they have met the challenge,” Bevans said. “It is great for them to see some of their hard work pay off early in the season. We have a long way to go, but I am pleased with the start to our season.”
In addition to the eight tournament finalists, the Spartans received contributions from the rest of the team as well.
Jaden Owen placed fourth at 113 pounds, Trevor Yahr was fifth at 132 pounds, Dillon Diltz and Nick Bailey finished third at 170 and 195 pounds, respectively, and Michael Kline was fifth at 220 pounds.
Bevans was pleased to see how well the younger members of the team competed.
“It’s not easy to be an underclassman wrestling at the varsity level, but our young guys battle and compete,” Bevans said. “We had three sophomores and a freshman make the tournament finals, and we crowned three underclassmen champions. That is a rarity for any program. Sophomore Ben Carr was especially impressive, pinning his way through the tournament.”
Solon also got strong contributions from its three returning state qualifiers. “Kade (Steuhm), Louis (Gnida), and Logan (Linderbaum) are good leaders for our young guys,” Bevans said. “They are great examples of how we want our wrestlers to perform on the mat. Those guys compete every day and help to set the tone for our team. It was our goal to dominate the tournament and we went out and did that. As a coach, to this point, I couldn’t be more proud of this group.”
The Spartans take the mat again on Thursday, Dec. 11, in a home dual against Dyersville Beckman and Mount Vernon. The meet begins at 7 p.m. in the high school gym. It is “pack the gym” night and fans are strongly encouraged to come and support the team.

Montezuma Invitational Team Results:
1. Solon 223.5
2. Iowa Valley 156.5
3. East Marshall 147.5
4. Pella 138.0
5. Pleasantville 133.0
6. Lynnville-Sully 95.0
7. Tri-County Montez. 88.0
8. North Mahaska 64.0
9. Lone Tree 52.0
10. BGM 32.5