Chase Luensman, Kain Luensman, Stahlberg earn return trip to State

Chase Luensman of Monticello takes down Cael Meyer of West Delaware in the 145-pound title match at the Class 2A sectional tournament Feb. 9 in DeWitt. (Photos by Pete Temple)

Kain Luensman of the Panthers (top) controls his 126-pound championship match against Eric Kinkaid of Camanche.

Lake Stahlberg closes in on a pin during his semifinal match against Zach Crawford of Benton Community.

Monticello’s Owen Ray (right) grapples with Robert Howard of DeWitt Central in a third place match at sectionals.
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     Some familiar faces from Monticello will take to the mats at the State Class 2A Wrestling Tournament this week, as a result of the Feb. 9 district meet held at DeWitt Central.

     Chase Luensman, Kain Luensman and Lake Stahlberg all reached the biggest state of Iowa high school wrestling for the second straight year. Senior Chase Luensman was the 145-pound champion, sophomore Kain Luensman won the 126-pound title, and senior Lake Stahlberg qualified as the runner-up at 220.

     The three Panthers will compete at State Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 14-16 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

     Owen Ray, Monticello’s fourth district qualifier finished fourth Saturday.

     “What a great day for Monticello wrestling,” Panther coach Ryan Luensman said. “The district meet is a very high-pressure and hostile environment for all competitors. I was very proud of how all our boys responded to that stress and took care of business.

     “Returning three wrestlers back to the state tournament is pretty awesome. All three of the boys showed resiliency and toughness throughout the day.”

     Chase Luensman won both of his district matches by pin, closing out the title by pinning Cael Meyer of West Delaware in 5 minutes, 13 seconds. It made him a four-time State qualifier, and a three-time district champion.

     “Chase was very impressive in his finals match, where he looked really sharp on his feet. I love the way Chase is wrestling right now,” coach Luensman said.

     The senior said he overcame some jitters in the semifinals to win his division.

     “After that match, I thought to myself, ‘I can’t be like that in the finals,’ ” Chase Luensman said. “I was able to flip the switch and take care of business.”

     Kain Luensman won both of his matches by decision, ending with a 9-2 triumph over Eric Kinkaid of Camanche. He won a division that included three ranked wrestlers, and is now a two-time district champ.

     “I was happy with how he took one match at a time and stayed patient,” the coach said. “His competition tried to change things to frustrate him, and he responded well with a very consistent attack throughout the tournament.”

     Kain said he felt good despite the elbow injury he has been battling.

     “I had no pain today, and I was able to wrestle to the top of my ability,” Kain said. “I focused on staying on my moves and wrestling my match.”

     Stahlberg made quick work of his semifinal match, pinning Zach Crawford of Benton Community in 56 seconds, before losing to Seth Adrian of Davenport Assumption in the finals, 6-2. Because Crawford won his third place match by an injury default, Stahlberg didn’t have to wrestle again, and advanced to State.

     “Lake dominated his semifinal match and then took a tough loss in the finals,” coach Luensman said. “It was a split-second mistake, one we will learn from and not make again.”

     Stahlberg said, “It feels pretty good, but I wanted that better seed.”

     Ray lost both of his matches at the district tournament, but finished a solid season with a 30-18 record as a freshman, at 113 pounds.

     “Owen had a great finish to the year as a conference finalist and district qualifier,” the coach said. “He has been involved with our youth program for years, and his experience, combined with the correct mindset, really got him moving in the right direction.”


State opponents

     Monticello’s wrestlers will compete in the evening session Thursday, starting at 6:30 p.m. Their first-round opponents:

     • Kain Luensman (ranked second by as of Feb. 5) will open state meet competition against Trestin Sales of Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont (37-5, ninth).

     • Chase Luensman (second) will face Roberto Cardenas of Sioux Center (21-5, unranked).

     • Lake Stahlberg (fifth) will take on Joseph Arkfeld of Harlan (39-12, unranked).


Feb. 9

Class 2A District Meet

(at DeWitt Central)


     1, West Delaware 130.5; 2, Davenport Assumption 87; 3, Camanche 51.5, 4, Mount Vernon 50.5, 5, Monticello 50; 6, Vinton-Shellsburg 48, 7, Center Point-Urbana 47; 8, Maquoketa 35; 9, DeWitt Central 30; 10, Anamosa 17; 11, Dubuque Wahlert 12; Benton Community 10.


(State qualifiers in bold)

     113 -- Owen Ray (fourth place) was pinned by Cole Whitehead, CPU, 3:57; was pinned by Robert Howard, DC, 3:35.

     126 -- Kain Luensman (champion) dec. Staveley Maury, WD, 6-0; dec. Eric Kinkaid, C, 9-2.

     145 -- Chase Luensman (champion) pinned Mitchell Louwagie, MV, 3:52; pinned Cael Meyer, WD, 5:13.

     220 -- Lake Stahlberg (runner-up) pinned Zach Crawford, BC, 0:56; lost to Seth Adrian, DA, 6-2.



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