Senior Dirk Clark takes care of New Hampton’s Ryan Gorman in the first round, pinning him in 1:48. Clark earned fourth at the NEIC meet at 126 pounds. (Photo by Jennifer Bissell)
Hosting the longest running conference tournament in the state, the Decorah wrestling team welcomed Northeast Iowa Conference members to the 68th edition of the NEIC meet Saturday.
Waverly-Shell Rock, ranked No. 2 in Class 3A, won the conference title with 266 points. The Go-Hawks have won the previous 10 NEIC titles, all the way back to 2005. In total, the Go-Hawks have won 11 conference titles, the third most of any NEIC team.
Charles City came in second with 215.5 points. Decorah took fifth with 116 points.
Decorah had two grapplers advance to the finals, both taking the silver. Waverly sent the most wrestlers to the finals. They had 11 in the final match, with eight winning the gold.
Brandon Slifka of Crestwood was awarded the Arlo Flege honor.
Alec Fjelstul (160) and Austin Ashbacher (285) were the two Vikings to advance to the finals.
Fjelstul started the day by pinning Christian Opperman of Oelwein in 1:28. In the semifinals he pinned Michael Kramer of New Hampton in 3:05. Spencer Derifield of Waverly-Shell Rock got the best of Fjelstul by fall. Fjelstul will enter the district meet with a 27-10 record.
Ashbacher came into the meet ranked No. 4 in Class 3A at the heavyweight spot. He received a bye first, then needed just 49 seconds to pin Oelwein's Parnell Williams. He had a tough task in the finals, battling Class 3A No. 1 Kaleb Staack of Waverly-Shell Rock. Staack got the pin, making Ashbacher's season record 20-3.
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