South Winn senior Chris Brincks waits for the referee to call the pin in his first round Thursday. (Photo by Jennifer Bissell)
South Winn senior Chris Brincks waits for the referee to call the pin in his first round Thursday. (Photo by Jennifer Bissell)
After the first day of the state wrestling tournament, South Winn and Turkey Valley still have three grapplers vying for a state title in Class 1A.

South Winn's Ryan Hageman (170) and Chris Brincks (195), along with Turkey Valley's Luke Kuennen (285) all won their opening matches to stay alive.

Hageman, ranked No. 7 with a 43-3 record, started his day against No. 6 Payton Housman of Riverside (45-6). Hageman fell behind 0-2 early and escaped. He took his first lead 1:16 into the match. After riding Housman out in the second, Hageman got another takedown on the way to a 6-3 victory. He will face No. 3 Dale Hilleman of West Marshall (45-3) in the second round.

Brincks, ranked No. 4 with a 46-3 record, also picked up a big win. He first saw Kris Ihde of Clayton Ridge (31-10). Brincks got a takedown 31 seconds into the match. He earned two back points, then three back points to lead 7-0 before pinning Ihde in 1:36. He next faces No. 6 Ty Schneier of Southeast Warren (43-3).

Kuennen, ranked No. 3 with a 36-1 mark, battled No. 9 Avery Jacobs of New London (31-5). Kuennen took down Jacobs 22 seconds into the match. Jacobs tied it with a reversal late in the first. Kuennen started up in the second, earned two back points and got one point for a stall, taking a 5-2 lead into the third. Starting down in the third, Kuennen got a reverse early. Jacobs made it close with two points for stalling on Kuennen and an escape; however, Kuennen won 7-5. He will battle Tim Butcher of Manson Northwest Webster (44-6) in the second round.

Turkey Valley senior Eric Buckendahl (145) saw his season come to an end Thursday. First facing No. 10 Zach Axmear of English Valley (47-4), Buckendahl fell behind 0-2 early in the first. Axmear got a reverse and a takedown in the second, then picked up six points on back points in the third while winning 12-0. That put Buckendahl into the consolation bracket against Brady Schmidt of Lake Mills (35-14). The only point of the match was scored in the second when Schmidt got an escape as he went on to win 1-0. Buckendahl ended his season 18-8.

The second round and second round consolation for Class 1A is Friday, Feb. 21, beginning at 3:30 p.m.