Waukon wrestling senior Adam Benzing wrestles to return trip to State Tournament as Class 2A District Tournament Runner-Up

Waukon wrestling 145-pound senior Adam Benzing controls Mount Vernon junior Charlie Engelbrecht in their first-round match at the Class 2A District Tournament hosted by Independence High School Saturday, February 14. Benzing rattled off four unanswered points to overcome a 3-2 deficit against Engelbrecht on the way to recording a 6-3 win by decision and advancing on to the District finals. Benzing was dealt an 8-0 loss by Crestwood senior Tyler Thomas in that championship match to end up as the 145-pound District Runner-Up and earn advancement to this week’s State Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. He will wrestle senior Kade Steuhm of Solon this Thursday afternoon, February 19 in the opening round of the season grand finale. Photo courtesy of Jake Reeves, Manchester Press.

Waukon wrestling 145-pound senior Adam Benzing will continue his final high school season at every wrestler’s ultimate destination after wrestling to a runner-up finish at the Class 2A District 5 Wrestling Tournament in Independence Saturday, February 14. This year’s qualification will be Benzing’s second such trip to the Class 2A State Tournament, as he first qualified two seasons ago in much the same manner as a sophomore but was denied a return trip last season after recovering from a mid-season knee injury.
Coming into Saturday’s District Tournament as a runner-up finisher from the previous Saturday’s Sectional 9 Tournament, Benzing was matched up with Sectional 10 Tournament champion Charlie Engelbrecht, a junior from Mount Vernon ranked 10th among Class 2A 145-pound wrestlers. Benzing struck first with a first-period takedown, allowing Engelbrecht an escape to lead by a 2-1 result after one period.
Benzing was reversed by Engelbrecht in the second period, but escaped to tie the match at 3-3 before taking Engelbrecht down near the end of that second frame to hold a 5-3 advantage. From the down position to start the third period, Benzing escaped to further seal his advancement to the championship finals with a 6-3 victory.
Benzing’s championship opponent was season-long nemesis Tyler Thomas of Crestwood, a Class 2A third-rated senior who won by 16-0 technical fall in 4:53 over freshman Ike McDermott of Dubuque Wahlert in their first-round match on the other side of the 145-pound District bracket. Much like in their Sectional 9 Tournament championship a week earlier, Thomas controlled Benzing for much of this championship match as well, keeping him scoreless on the way to dealing Benzing an 8-0 defeat.
The championship loss could have put Benzing in a position to have to fend off a wrestleback challenge from McDermott if he had beaten Engelbrecht in their consolation match. However, Engelbrecht emerged victorious in that consolation match, 7-3, to end up as the third-place finisher. Since Benzing had already beaten Engelbrecht in their first-round match, Benzing was awarded the second-place finish and advancement on to the Class 2A State Tournament later this week.

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