As Zach Less walked off the mat Wednesday, he could feel the momentum of the state duals swinging in the direction of his opponents.
Two days later, he helped swing the pendulum back in his favor.
The West Delaware senior exacted revenge and marched into tonight’s finals with a victory in the semifinals of the Class2-A state wrestling tournament Friday night.
“It’s our turn to get this championship,” Less said. “And no one is going to take it away.”
No. 2 Davenport Assumption beat West Delaware by one point in the finals of Wednesday’s state duals. Today, the Hawks get another chance at the elusive title.
Top-ranked West Delaware finished the night with 121 points, 35 ahead of second-place Mediapolis, and is in prime position to claim its first traditional state title since 1991.
Assumption, which handed West Delaware its only dual loss of the season, is third with 73 points. Assumption’s victory began to take shape when junior Brendan Gould, ranked fifth, knocked off Less, ranked second.
“I knew I would have him in the semis,” Less said. “I just had to get through.”
When the opportunity came, Less took advantage, holding off a series of last-second shots to pick up a 2-1 decision.
“I just think it shows that he’s gotten better since Wednesday,” West Delaware coach Jeff Voss said. “That’s been our focus every day of the tournament, is to try to get a little bit better. Not focus on the past and just focus on the present.”
The present looks very good for the Hawks, who moved five wrestlers into tonight’s finals.
“Everything is going our way right now,” Less said.
Three-time state champions Jake Marlin of Creston/Orient-Macksburg and Brandon Sorensen of Denver-Tripoli advanced to the finals in their respective classes and will go for their fourth titles.
Sorensen, ranked No.1 at 145 pounds, breezed through the semifinals with a 7-3 decision.
Marlin, ranked No.1 at 138 points, tied the state’s all-time pins mark of 146 set by former Williamsburg star Austin Blythe with a first-period fall in the quarterfinals.
Later in the night, he advanced into the finals with a 23-9 major decision.
“I’m not thinking about it,” Marlin said of his shot at state history.
Spirit Lake Park’s Doug Miner, ranked No.2 at 120 pounds, will go for his third state title.
106 — Patrick Woods, West Delaware, 47-1, vs. Brock Rathbun, Center Point-Urbana, 44-2.
113 — Zach Less, West Delaware, 44-2, vs. Fletcher Green, Washington, 38-5.
120 — Doug Miner, Spirit Lake Park, 46-4, vs. Shadow Leshen, Albia, 54-1.
126 — Kyle White, Central Springs, 55-1, vs. Max Thomsen, Union (LaPorte City), 51-0.
132 — Colton McCrystal, Sergeant Bluff-Luton, 52-0, vs. Cole Erickson, Mediapolis, 48-1.
138 — Jake Marlin, Creston-OM, 55-1, vs. Adam Staudt, Charles City, 38-6.
145 — Brandon Sorensen, Denver-Tripoli, 59-0, vs. Zach Muller, West Delaware, 39-9.
152 — Jackson VanKirk, Perry, 47-5, vs. Logan Thomsen, Union (LaPorte City), 49-1.
160 — Logan McQuillen, Monticello, 45-5, vs. Trey Ryan, Mount Vernon, 45-1.
170 — Brice Wilcke, Clear Lake, 42-3, vs. Adam Drain, Mediapolis, 50-1.
182 — Steven Holloway, Mediapolis, 48-3, vs. Chase Shedenhelm, Denver-Tripoli, 57-1.
195 — Riley Denny, Centerville, 46-7, vs. Keaton Hulett, Creston-OM, 53-1.
220 — Tyler Dolieslager, BHRV, 47-3, vs. Adam Reth, West Delaware, 47-0.
Heavyweight — Dean Broghammer, West Delaware, 49-0, vs. Chad Pohlmeier, Bondurant-Farrar, 43-2.