Phirom Peterschmidt had waited a year for another shot at getting into the quarterfinals of the Class 2A state wrestling tournament.
So when the Mid-Prairie senior found himself facing an early 2-0 hole one minute into his opening-round match Thursday morning, he knew it was time to turn things around.
Peterschmidt scored six straight points after suffering an early takedown by Central Decatur’s Trenton Wells and advanced to the Class 2A 182-pound quarterfinals with an 8-4 win at Wells Fargo Arena.
“When he got that takedown, I just knew that it was time to go,” Peterschmidt said. “That first takedown, he pulled my leg out under him, so that was a little tricky. I just have to be careful and wrestle smart so I don’t get in those funky positions like that and I can just do my thing.”
A two-time state qualifier who finished seventh last year as a junior, Peterschmidt had dropped his opening match at state each of the past two seasons.
He wasn’t about to face the same fate Thursday.
Peterschmidt evened the match at 2-2 with a reversal 23 seconds after Wells’ takedown and added a two-point near fall as time expired in the first quarter to take a 4-2 lead.
“Losing in the first round last year served as motivation to really make sure I worked hard and got this first win,” Peterschmidt said. “I had his arm trapped and I knew that time was getting short, and I wanted to get out of that first period with a lead. I just grabbed his arm and went for the tilt.”
Peterschmidt’s near fall as time expired gave Peterschmidt a lead he would never give up.
Peterschmidt started the second period down and needed just 40 seconds to notch a reversal for a 6-2 lead.
He added a two-point near fall 30 seconds into the third period and only allowed Wells a pair of escapes after the early takedown.
“For him to get that tilt there at the end of the first, you could see it in the guy’s face that he knew he was in a war,” Mid-Prairie coach Justin Garvey said. “I think the first takedown, it lit a fire under him. He doesn’t like to give up points or get taken down and I think he knew he had to get to work after that.”
The opening-round win was the 29th straight for the fourth-ranked Peterschmidt (40-2) who is unbeaten against Class 2A competition and hasn’t lost since falling to Class 1A top-ranked 195-pounder Tyler Hoffman on Dec. 14.
Peterschmidt’s only other loss this season is to Oskaloosa’s Mason Wisse, who is ranked third in 3A.
“Having the tougher competition really helps you get ready for the tough guys you are going to have to face here at state,” Peterschmidt said. “That level of competition has helped.”
Peterschmidt will face top-ranked Cash Wilcke of BCIG-OA in the quarterfinals at 9 a.m. today.
Wilcke (45-1) advanced with a first-period pin of Oelwein’s Chase Reising.
“We have the No. 1-ranked guy in the next round coming up and I think that’s fine,” Garvey said. “When you get to this level, all the guys are good and you have to beat the best if you want to be the best.”
Solon sent a pair of wrestlers into the quarterfinals as senior 220-pounder Lance Evans and junior heavyweight Logan Linderbaum both pinned their opening-round foes.
Evans (28-0), the top-ranked 220-pounder in Class 2A, needed 3:46 to dispatch of No. 7 Spencer Benton (49-6) of Van Meter to remain unbeaten.
Evans scored a takedown in the first period and a reversal 24 seconds into the second period to take a 4-0 lead.
The senior then added a pair of three-point near falls to take a 10-0 lead before putting Benton on his back with 14 seconds left in the second period.
Evans will face No. 6 Tyler Johansen (38-2) of North Fayette today for a spot in the semifinals.
“Lance is pretty comfortable in every position, but once he got that kid’s arm on his back he is very, very strong and he has good leverage and good power with that arm on his back,” Solon Coach Brooks McLaren said. “That is one of his go-to moves, so you know when he gets that hooked up he is going to at least score some back points if not pin him.”
Linderbaum earned the first state tournament win of his career in his second trip to state with a first period fall of Dillon Wagner of Mediapolis.
The junior went 0-2 at the state tournament last year but wasted little time advancing to the quarterfinals this time around.
“It just feels good being back,” Linderbaum said. “Making it last year as a sophomore I didn’t really do my best but I came back here to prove myself.”
He scored a quick takedown and put Wagner on his back with a minute into the match recording the fall in 1:36.
Linderbaum (34-8) will face No. 7 Dalton Lape (31-6) of North Fayette in the quarterfinals.
Lape advanced with a pin over West Liberty’s eighth-ranked Dylan VanDusen in 4:51.
“Winning that first one is everything,” Linderbaum said. “Winning that first one and then being done for the rest of the day you get to rest for the next days to come.
Solon 120-pounder Louis Gnida (39-6) dropped his opening round match to fourth-ranked Dillon Cox of Atlantic but responded with a pin of Connor Ascheri of MOC-Floyd Valley in a first round consolation match to stay alive.