Crew Howard will conclude his high successful junior season standing on the championship podium at the Iowa State Wrestling Tournament Saturday night, Feb. 22, at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
Howard claimed a fourth place medal for Clarinda in the Class 2A 220 pound weight class. He finished his season with an overall record of 38-2.
During the state tournament, Howard scored 16 team points for the Cardinals. He delivered three wins, including two pins, during the tournament.
In the third place match Saturday, Howard locked up with Seth Adrian of Davenport Assumption. However, Adrian came up with an early throw and managed to win the match by fall in 0:27.
Howard reached the third place match with a pin of Treyton Burnikel of Crestwood-Cresco during the consolation semifinals Saturday. Howard opened the scoring with a first period takedown and then secured the fall in 1:57.
Howard stood two wins away from a potential state title Friday night, Feb. 21, when he took the mat in the Class 2A 220 pound semifinals. However, Howard was edged 6-3 by Kobe Simon of West Liberty. The loss was the first of the year for Howard.
Simon built an early 4-2 lead over Howard. Simon collected two takedowns in the first period, while Howard countered with two escapes.
Howard had the choice for the second period and deferred to the third period. Simon opted to start in the down position. However, Howard was able to ride Simon out for the period. Simon was called for stalling from the bottom position on two occasions during the second period and Howard was awarded a penalty point with 0:12 left in the stanza to cut the lead to 3-2.
Based on his success in the second period, Howard elected to start the third period again in the top position. Howard was looking to tip Simon to pull out the win, but instead Simon scored a reversal with only 0:23 left on the clock to come away with the 6-3 victory.
As a result, Howard dropped to the consolation semifinals Saturday against Burnikel.
Howard reached the semifinals with a thrilling 3-1 win over Andrew Hamilton, 38-1, of Algona Friday morning in the quarterfinals. Howard scored the only takedown of the match in the closing seconds of the third period to pull out the win and improve to 37-0 on the season.
After a scoreless first period, Howard started the second stanza in the down position. He managed to score an escape to claim 1-0 lead.
Hamilton then had the choice in the third period and also started on the bottom. Hamilton collected an escape to tie the score with 1:08 left in the match. However, Howard responded with the decisive takedown with 0:05 to go in the match to snatch the exciting win.
Entering the state tournament with an undefeated record of 35-0, Howard started his impressive three day run by facing Tino Tamayo, 24-15, of Charles City Thursday in the opening round. Howard defeated Tamayo with a fall in 2:56.
Following a scoreless first period, Howard opted to start the second period of the match in the down position. Howard promptly escaped, took Tamayo to the mat and polished off the win with a fall.
Howard qualified for the state tournament by winning the district championship at 220 pounds Saturday, Feb. 15, at Atlantic. Kale Downey also represented Clarinda at the state tournament. A sophomore, Downey advanced to the state tournament as the district runner-up at 132 pounds.
Downey made his state tournament debut against Landon Fenton, 42-8, of Prairie City Monroe. However, Downey lost a 12-2 major decision to fall to the consolation bracket.
Fenton gained the upper hand in the opening period as he recorded a takedown and was able to turn Downey to his back. Downey was able to battle his way out of the compromising position, but not before allowing three near fall points.
Already leading 5-0, Fenton elected to start the second period in the neutral position. He was able to score his second takedown of the match and again tilt Downey for three near fall points. However, in the late stages of the period, Downey was able to score a reversal to cut the deficit to 10-2.
Downey then started the third period in the top position. He was hoping to turn Fenton for back points and further reduce the margin. Instead, Fenton came up with a reversal to secure the 12-2 victory.
The loss dropped Downey to the first round of consolation matches against Averee Abben, 18-3, of Osage. Abben posted a fall in 3:56 to eliminate Downey from the tournament. Downey ended his season with a record of 33-20.
Abben opened the scoring with a takedown, but Downey responded with an escape to make the early tally 2-1. Abben then picked up a takedown and a two-point near fall to extend the lead to 6-1 heading to the second period.
Downey started the second period in the top position, but Abben managed to record a reversal and a near fall to make the score 11-1. Downey picked up a second escape only to be returned to the mat by Abben. He was then turned to his back and lost by fall.