Chase continues: Luensman earns return trip to State

Chase Luensman has his arm raised in victory after his semifinal win at the Class 2A district tournament Feb. 11 in Maquoketa. (Photos by Pete Temple)

Chase Luensman of Monticello was the 113-pound champion at the district tournament, qualifying for State for the second year in a row.

Shay Stephen of the Panthers (right) is fouled as she tries to drive past Shannon Hoffman of Beckman in the regional quarterfinals.

On top in the 113-pound semifinal match Feb. 11 is Chase Luensman, wrestling Maquoketa’s Justin Holst.

Alaina Sunlin of Monticello (top) works to control Trenton McDonough of Davenport Assumption in a third place match at the district tournament.
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     If there was any doubt about Chase Luensman’s ability to fight through an injury and wrestle at – or near – his best, those doubts were put to rest at the Class 2A district tournament Saturday, Feb. 11 in Maquoketa.

     The Monticello sophomore won both of his matches – without surrendering a single point – and earned a return trip to this week’s State Wrestling Tournament.

     Luensman (29-3) has been battling a foot injury for the past month, but that didn’t stop him from winning. He blanked Justin Holst of Maquoketa by major decision, 13-0; and then had a rematch with his sectional final opponent, Ryan Clark of Mount Vernon, and won 7-0 in the finals.

     “Chase wrestled calm and technical throughout the meet,” Monticello coach Ryan Luensman said. “He didn’t make mistakes or try to force things. His experience from last year and other big tournaments throughout his life prepared him to win on Saturday.”

     Alaina Sunlin, the first Monticello girl to reach a district tournament, ran up against a pair of tough opponents and lost twice, once by pin and once by technical fall, to finish fourth at 106 pounds. She finished the season with a record of 17-22.

     “Alaina is tough and really improved throughout the year,” coach Luensman said. “She had a tough district with multiple ranked wrestlers in the bracket. Alaina will continue to impress people and set the bar for many girl wrestlers.”

     Chase Luensman took charge of his semifinal match early, scoring a near fall in the first period on the way to a 5-0 lead. Another near fall led to an 11-0 advantage heading into the third period.

     Against Clark, Luensman led 2-0 after one period, 5-0 after the second, and scored one more takedown with 1:16 left in the third to all but seal the match.

     The sophomore seemed to have little trouble overcoming not only his opponents, but also his injury.

     “It was just basically a mental battle all week,” Chase said. “The only thing that was going to hold me back was myself. I just had to keep reminding myself that no matter what, I just had to stay strong. I came in today, got the job done, and did what I had to do.”

     Coach Luensman added: “He knew he was going into this tournament less than 100 percent, but that was our only choice. As his uncle and coach, I was proud of him and the way he faced adversity. This situation tells you a lot about Chase’s character and his never-quit attitude.”

     The younger Luensman will begin competition at the state tournament Thursday evening, Feb. 16, in the 6 p.m. session at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. Luensman will face Wyatt Dale of Central Decatur (43-12) in the opening round.


Feb. 11

Class 2A District


(at Maquoketa)


     106 – Alaina Sunlin (fourth place) was pinned by Will Esmoil, West Liberty, 1:49; lost by tech. fall to Trenton McDonough, Davenport Assumption, 16-0.

     113 – Chase Luensman (champion) won by major dec. over Justin Holst, Maquoketa, 13-0; dec. Ryan Clark, Mount Vernon, 7-0.



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