Powell places 3rd for Indians
Spirit Lake Park senior Dakoda Powell continued his climb up the Class 2A podium on Saturday.
The three-time state qualifier became a three-time state place-winner with a pair of wins in Friday's consolation round. From there, he climbed his way to the top of the back side of the bracket, finishing third at 220 pounds.
It was the highest finish of his career, after placing sixth as a sophomore and fourth as a junior.
While the No. 2-ranked wrestler entering the tournament admitted it wasn't what he had ultimately hoped for before stepping on the mat inside Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Powell was happy that he could end his prep career with a win.
"I'm feeling pretty good, although you don't grow up saying I want to get third at the state tournament," Powell said immediately after his third-place victory. "You're always kind of saying you want to go for first, and that's always been the goal. It sucks that I came up short, but it feels good. I went through a lot of adversity the past couple of days from being a move or two away from possibly being in the finals or a second away from not even placing, so it's a rollercoaster of emotions right now."
Powell began his tournament run with a 5-3 decision win over West Liberty's Kobe Simon on Thursday — the 150th victory of his career.
However, Powell suffered a setback in Friday's quarterfinal, as he was caught out of position and pinned by ADM, Adel's No. 8-ranked Kaden Sutton near the end of the third period, placing him in the consolation bracket. Sutton went on to place second in the tournament behind champion Cody Fisher of Woodward-Granger.
Spirit Lake Park coach Andrew Lundgren said a wrestler can go one of two ways following a loss at the state tournament. Fortunately, his star senior bounced back.
Powell pinned Atlantic's No. 10-ranked Cale Roller in 1 minute, 51 seconds before earning a 9-0 major decision victory over No. 9-ranked Jarrett Meyer of Central Lyon/George-Little Rock.
"I'm really proud of him to be able to come back," Lundgren said on Friday. "That was a tough [loss]. That's where the emotions can come in. If you get the kid that takes a tough loss and can't get themselves correct emotionally and mentally, it can be really hard to get their best back on the mat. I think [Powell] was able to flush that. We went back to the hotel, cooled down a little bit, got a little bit of food and I think that's helped. I think he's going to come out here [Saturday] ready to work and climb that podium as high as he can."
Powell did just that, picking up a 10-4 decision win over Solon's No. 3-ranked Mike Hoyle in the consolation semifinals before pinning Simon in a rematch for third place in 1:42.