Greenlee’s got company: Unbeaten senior joined by freshman Brent Slade as state qualifiers for Ames
MARSHALLTOWN - Gabe Greenlee slammed his hand on the mat, stood up and yelled out an emphatic ‘yes!’ and hurried into the locker room at the conclusion of the championship round at the Class 3A District 6 wrestling meet Saturday.
The Ames senior had just pinned Marshalltown’s Julian Gomez in the title match at 285 pounds to take a 31-0 record into the traditional state tournament held this upcoming Thursday through Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
“I just felt really confident going into it,” Greenlee said. “I collected myself before the match, and when it was time to go, I just hit everything hard and I learned if I go into the match with the right mindset everything I try is going to work.”
It only took one minute, 16 seconds for Greenlee to dispose of Gomez. He pinned Ankeny Centennial’s Logan Boyle in 3:03 during the quarterfinals and defeated Newton’s William Muckler by a 5-0 decision in the semifinals.
Greenlee, ranked No. 1 at 285 in 3A, will be headed to state for the third year in a row. He placed fifth at 220 pounds as a sophomore and was runner-up to Bettendorf’s Griffin Liddle at 285 last year.
“There’s nothing I’m going to do in the next four days that’s going to be the difference between winning and losing state – the work is already done,” Greenlee said. “I’ve just got to keep doing what I’ve been doing.”
Ames head coach Andy Fecht said Greenlee’s biggest area of growth since last year is his awareness on the mat. Greenlee plans on using that to his advantage to end up on top of the podium next Saturday.
“It was kind of tough last year and realizing I’m not good enough on top, I’m not good enough on bottom and I’m not good enough on my feet,” Greenlee said. “It was hard to look at yourself and tell yourself you need to get better at all three positions. I worked a lot this summer on all three positions and I feel technically I’m a lot better, stronger and quicker and my mat awareness and experience is just a lot better.”
Greenlee already gained revenge on Griffin earlier this year by defeating him by a 3-1 decision at the Ed Winger Classic in Urbandale. He wouldn’t mind another shot at Griffin as well as third-ranked Maddux Borcherding-Johnson of Norwalk — whom he defeated by sudden victory in last year’s state semifinals.
“I’ve proved to myself I can beat them,” Greenlee said. “I’m honestly looking forward to get the chance to wrestle them again because I know I can widen that gap.”
A big difference for Greenlee from last year is he won’t be going to state alone. Freshman teammate Brent Slade is headed to ‘The Well’ after placing second at 145 pounds on Saturday.
“It feels good,” Slade said. “It’s fun.”
Slade (27-4) is ranked sixth in 3A, but he had two top-five wrestlers to contend with in his bracket. Fifth-ranked Brennan Amos of Newton had defeated Slade in Grimes earlier in the year and top-ranked Joel Jesuroga of Southeast Polk handed him a 7-0 loss at Ed Winger.
“I kind of came in here a little nervous,” Slade said. “The semifinal match was kind of a stressful match.”
Slade opened with a fall over Urbandale’s Brody King to set up his match with Amos. Slade may have had butterflies going into the match, but it didn’t show as he was constantly the aggressor – scoring four takedowns and adding three back points to win by an 11-3 major decision.
“He has so much mat savvy,” Fecht said. “He can score points in just about every position.”
Slade admitted revenge was on his mind.
“I wanted that back for sure,” Slade said. “Once I got my feet moving and started getting my offense he really couldn’t stop much.”
Slade came up short against Jesuroga in the finals. But he put up a tremendous fight against the top-ranked wrestler in the state, only losing by a 7-5 decision.
“I went in there with the attitude that there’s nothing for me to lose,” Slade said. “I wrestled like myself.”
Slade pulled within 5-3 early in the third period, but Jesuroga countered with a takedown 25 seconds into the period. Slade continued to fight hard and in the final seconds he picked up a takedown to get with two points and take some momentum into state.
“He’s definitely in the mix of things at the state tournament,” Fecht said. “I’m excited to see how he ends up down there.”
Ames ended up fifth in the team standings with 104 points. Top-ranked Southeast Polk easily won the team championship with 269.5 points.
Dominick Arce-Matos (22-9) finished one spot shy of qualifying for state at 113. Arce-Matos took third with a 2-1 record after pinning Urbandale’s Steve Bui in 3:10, losing by a 7-2 decision to Ankeny Centennial’s Cael Wiener in the semis then pinning Marshalltown’s Damien Rodriguez in 4:12 during the third-place match.
Brady Burkheimer (170), Kyle Church (182) and Kyler Hall (220) each placed fifth and Landan McManus (126), Laverne Borntreger (132), Jordan Corrieri (138) and Ian Jurgensen (152) all came in sixth in their respective weight classes for Ames.
Final team scores:
- Southeast Polk 269.5 points
- Ankeny Centennial 199.5 points
- Dallas Center-Grimes 143.5 points
- Marshalltown 115 points
- Ames 104 points
- Urbandale 102.5 points
- Boone 84 points
- Newton 80 points
Individual results – Ames
- 113 pounds – 3. Dominick Arce-Matos, 2-1.
- 120 – Henry Tang, 0-2.
- 126 – 6. Landan McManus, 1-2.
- 132 – 6Laverne Borntreger, 1-2.
- 138 – 6. Jordan Corrieri, 1-2.
- 145 – 2. Brent Slade, 2-1.
- 152 – 6. Ian Jurgensen, 0-2.
- 160 – Kyle Martin, 0-2.
- 170 – 5. Brady Burkheimer, 2-1.
- 182 – 5. Kyle Church, 2-1.
- 195 – Briar Fitz, 0-2.
- 220 – 5. Kyler Hall, 2-1.
- 285 – 1. Gabe Greenlee, 3-0.