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Linderbaum, Hoyle win WAMAC titles

Solon 2nd at WaMaC
Solon junior Mike Hoyle reacts after pinning Devin Ludwig of Western Dubuque to win the WaMaC tournament title at 170 pounds Jan. 27 in Maquoketa. (photos by Mary Hadenfeldt)

MAQUOKETA– With two champions and 11 total place winners, Solon’s varsity wrestlers took second at the WaMaC Conference wrestling tournament Saturday, Jan. 27, at Maquoketa.
Senior Tyler Linderbaum cruised to the title at 285 pounds, while junior Mike Hoyle dominated some quality opponents for the top spot at 182.
The Spartans had five wrestlers in the finals, with sophomores Zeb Gnida (120) and Jax Flynn (160) and senior Zach Wegmann (220) grabbing runner-ups.
West Delaware overtook Solon in scoring to win the team title with 214.5 points. The Spartans’ 195 was a comfortable second ahead of Williamsburg with 180.5
“Even though we finished second, I was very pleased with how we wrestled throughout the day,” Solon Head Coach Blake Williams said. “Heading into the WaMac tournament, we knew there were three-to-four teams that could contend for the title.”
West Delaware would be the favorite, he said, along with Williamsburg and South Tama.
“We knew we would have to wrestle our best at each and every weight to come out on top,” Williams added. “The 16-team WaMaC conference is one of the toughest conference tournaments in the state.”
After starting out “quite a ways back,” Williams said Solon actually had a slim lead after the semifinals. West Delaware had a good consolation round and fared well in placing matches to overtake the Spartans, he said.
“Our goal was to contend for another title,” he said. “We were in contention throughout the day, but came up a little bit short.”
Linderbaum won all three of his matches by fall, pinning Lucas Dawson of Independence (1:31), Western Dubuque’s Nathan Simon (3:30) and Preston Shultz of Mount Vernon (1:31).
Hoyle opened with a 19-4 technical fall over Coy Martin of Mount Vernon, and followed it win pins against South Tama’s Dalton Rosenburg (5:02) and Devin Ludwig of Western Dubuque (4:34)
“Mike Hoyle was seeded third and beat two opponents who he had lost to earlier in the year,” Williams reported. “Both of those opponents were ranked in the top six in the state. If he wrestles for six minutes without relaxing, he will be tough to beat. He did that Saturday and that should give him a lot of confidence moving forward.”
Flynn was the seventh seed in the tournament, but came from behind in both his quarterfinal against No. 2 seed Cavin Malloy of Williamsburg (a 9-6 decision) and No. 3 seed Pedro Rodriguez of South Tama County (a 6-5 decision) to reach the championship at 160.
“Jax wrestled with a lot of determination,” Williams said, noting Flynn had previously lost to Rodriguez. “He proved that seeds and past results don’t really matter in a tournament. He did this without practicing or competing this week due to having stitches above his eye from his last match in Ida Grove.”
Flynn was pinned by Dyersville Beckman’s Luke Hageman (38-1) in the title match.
Wegmann had been battling illness all week, Williams said.
“He showed a lot of guts wrestling Saturday,” he continued. “He was definitely not at 100 percent but found a way to win two close matches to get to the finals.”
The 220-pounder took a 6-5 decision over Williamsburg’s Isaac Maser and a 6-5 decision over Clear Creek Amana’s Tanner Cochran before falling 6-0 in the finals to Hunter Crawford of Independence.
Gnida also wrestled very well to get into the finals, Williams said, where he was defeated by a very tough wrestler from Center Point-Urbana (CPU). 
Gnida lost a 7-2 decision to CPU’s Caleb Fuessley in the finals after pinning Marion’s Ismail Havyarimana (5:54) in the quarterfinal and scoring an 8-0 major decision over Jack Streicher of Mount Vernon.
Aidan Dall (126) and Zack Bevans (152) placed fourth for the Spartans, while Christian Haight (132) and Andy Brokaw (138) captured fifth. Adam Bock (195) was sixth and Seamus Poynton (170) seventh to round out the placements.
The Spartans will begin postseason competition Saturday, Feb. 3, when they host the sectional tournament. First- and second-place team and individual winners advance. Regional duals will be held Tuesday, Feb. 5, with the district tournament Saturday, Feb. 10, in DeWitt.
Solon ended the regular dual season 18-5 after hosting Benton Community Thursday, Jan. 25. The Spartans surrendered a single decision in a lopsided 62-3 win on Senior Night.
“The Benton meet was a nice way to send out our three seniors (Linderbaum, Wegmann and Haight) on Senior Night,” Williams said. “I thought the guys wrestled aggressively and with urgency which is what we are looking for.”
Haight and Brokaw produced pins for Solon, while Lucas TePoel (113) earned a technical fall, and Caleb Ebert (145) and Bevans had major decisions. Benton forfeited at four weights.