Indianola’s Ryder Downey (145) took first in Ames, adding wins 148 to 151 in the process. The Indians took first at the annual Jack Mendenhall tournament on Saturday.

The Indianola wrestling squad surged ahead at the end to take their first-ever win at the annual Jack Mendenhall Invitational in Ames Saturday.

The Indians faced 16 other teams, including two from Nebraska. The Indians held a slim lead in points over rival Ankeny going into the final rounds of the tournament. The lead went back and forth between the two squads as the wrestlers advanced in the contest, finally taking the win 161.0 points over Ankeny’s 153.5.

Entering the contest, three-time state qualifier Ryder Downey (145) who placed second in 2020, had amassed 147 career wins for the Purple and Gold. Round one and two brought wins 148 and 149 as Downey won both bouts by tech fall, ending each match early by outscoring his opponent by 15 or more points.

Round three pitted Downey against Ankeny rival Jace Anderson, with Downey taking the bout 3-0, reaching his150th win. Coach Clinton Manny said Downey is the first wrestler he has ever coached to reach that milestone. Downey added his 151st win in the finals when he out-wrestled Adam Kruse of Omaha Skutt Catholic to take first in the tourney.

Walker Whalen (195) rose above his competition in Ames, taking first with a string of tough matches to get to the finals. Wrestling for first place, Whalen out-scored Colin Flannagan of Cedar Rapids Kennedy 6-1 to take his place at the top of the podium.

Bowen Downey wrestled his way to a second-place finish at 113 in a bracket with no less than six top-12 wrestlers. Downey made it to the championship round, dropping a 4-1 decision to No. 1-seeded Blake Gioimo of Cedar Rapids Prairie.

AJ Pontier (152) helped push the Indians to a first-place finish in Ames, finishing second for the day. Pontier advanced to the quarterfinal and beat both No. 2-seeded Joel Carranza (Pocahontas) and Gage Stevens (Boone) by fall to advance to the finals where he lost to No. 1-seed Cade Ziola of Omaha Skutt Catholic of Nebraska.

Cael Meacham (132) and James Naughton (220) each finished fourth, with Cael Crawford (285) coming in at fifth.

Finishing sixth in this tough competition were Bryce Aldridge (160) and Isaiah Kellow (182).

The Mendenhall Tournament also featured several girls brackets. Indianola’s Summer Wolff competed in a six-woman bracket, winning three bouts and finishing third.


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