Aidan Noonan was a 113-pound man on a mission for the Cascade wrestling team Jan. 5, as he dominated all three of his opponents for a championship finish at the Gary Curtis Invitational in Riverside.
Noonan — a spotless 30-0 this season — began his march to the top of the podium by pinning Iowa City Regina’s Seth Lenz in 1:33. He showed his skills as a mat technician in his semifinal match, posting a 16-0 technical fall versus Washington’s Matt Collett, and in the championship match with an 8-0 major decision against Logan Arp, from South Tama County.
Noonan contributed 24.5 points to Cascade’s 43-point team total, which was good for 13th place. The Cougars had just seven wrestlers compete.
The team order of finish was: Washington (196.5), Muscatine (170), South Tama County (144), Alburnett (110), Highland (103), Columbus/Winfield-Mt. Union (94), New London (86), Iowa City Liberty (83), Mid-Prairie (82.5), English Valleys-Tri-County (75), Iowa City Regina (64), Cedar Rapids Prairie junior varsity (47), Cascade, and West Branch (26).
Connor Conlin notched a fifth-place showing at 138. Casey Koppes (145), Ted Weber (160), Angel Nunez (170), Ben Miller (182) and Kodey Miles (220) failed to place.
If it was any condolence, at least the Cougars didn’t have a long trip back home Jan. 3, after falling to Solon and Beckman Catholic at a triangular in Dyersville.
Solon and Beckman wrestled each other first, as it was a conference match-up, and that was apparently all the Spartans needed to shake off any “mat rust” from the holiday break, as they then overwhelmed the Cougars, 72-6.
The match began at 120 pounds, and a deep and talented Solon squad kept Cascade off the scoreboard until the final match, where Aidan Noonan scored a pin of Jakobe Lahr in 28 seconds.
In matches that went the distance, seventh-ranked Nolan Noonan lost a 10-7 decision to Zeb Gnida at 132 and Conlin fell to Aidan Dall, 10-4.
Koppes, Brady Graff (152), Weber, Angel Montiel-Moncada (170), Miller and Miles lost by falls, and the Cougars forfeited at 106, 120, 126, 195 and 285.
The match against Beckman was a barn-burner, with both squads wrestling the lead away from the other more than once.
Beckman accepted a forfeit at 106 for the first six points, but Aidan Noonan got them right back with a pin of Levi Feldman in 51 seconds.
Cascade forfeits at 120 and 126 put the Cougars in an 18-6 hole, but Nolan Noonan stuck Nick Hageman to close the gap to 18-12.
Grant Hoeger pinned Conlin, but Casey Koppes (145) returned the favor versus Ty Fangman and Graff held Cole Domeyer down in 37 seconds to knot the match at 24-24.
Weber suffered a third-period pin, but Montiel-Moncada accepted a forfeit to tie things up once more at 30-30.
Miller accepted a forfeit but the Cougars had nobody to go at 195, leaving the score at 36-36. Miles earned a hard-fought 5-1 decision versus Jason Koopman to give the Cougars a three-point lead, but the Cougars forfeited at 285 for the final margin of loss. Coach Travis Andrews said of the Beckman/Solon matches, “It was good being able to see teams we’re normally not able to dual during the season. Against Solon I thought a few guys needed to be more aggressive on their feet and push the pace in their matches. Beckman is at sectionals for the first time at Cascade so it was key to have them on the schedule this year. The dual we had with them was exciting for our guys. Granted, we had to forfeit a few matches, but the matches the guys were in they battled and fought the whole time.”