Luensman joins elite MHS club with third trip to State

Monticello junior Kain Luensman poses with the bracket after winning the 132-pound title in the Feb. 15 district meet at Center Point-Urbana. (Photo courtesy of Meleah Luensman)

Kale Hansen of the Panthers (left) squares off against Tytan Guerrero of Williamsburg in a district semifinal match. (Photo by Pete Temple)
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     Monticello junior Kain Luensman earned his third trip to the State Wrestling Tournament during the Class 2A district tournament Saturday, Feb. 15 at Center Point-Urbana.

     It was a bittersweet day for the Panthers overall, as Kale Hansen was unable to finish the tournament for medical reasons, while Owen Ray and Ethan Tallman had fourth place finishes.

     Luensman, 42-1 on the season, scored a pair of decisions in the 132-pound bracket to advance to the big stage, with action beginning Thursday, Feb. 20 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

     Luensman became the fourth Panther wrestler to be a three-time State qualifier, joining Mike Kennedy, Landon Felton and Chase Luensman.

     “Kain had a very solid day of wrestling at districts,” Monticello coach Ryan Luensman said. “Both matches were intense, and I was proud of how Kain came out and performed. He wrestled hard for six minutes in both matches and stayed on his offense.”

     Being in tough matches at the district tourney is nothing new to the junior.

     “It helps a lot,” he said. “Having the experience of being here calms down my nerves a little bit.”

     Luensman opened with a 7-2 decision over Sam Van Dee of Williamsburg in the semifinals. He jumped to a 4-1 lead in the first period, scoring a big takedown with 10 seconds left, and led 7-1 after two before holding off Van Dee the rest of the way.

     In the finals against Keegan Scheeler of Center Point-Urbana, Luensman led 2-0 after one period. In the second period, the wrestlers traded reversals near the end of the two minutes, with Luensman taking a 4-0 lead and ending up with a 4-2 margin.

     Scheeler had the position choice to start the third period, and chose neutral, but was unable to bring Luensman down.

     Freshman Hansen started strong at 106 pounds, with an 8-2 semifinal win over Tytan Guerrero of Williamsburg.

     But during the championship round against Carson Less of West Delaware, the official stopped the match as Hansen sat on the mat, appearing dazed. He was helped to his feet and slowly taken off, ending his day of wrestling.

     “Kale had a weird episode that resembled what we thought was a concussion during his finals match,” coach Luensman said. “We are still waiting for the final diagnosis.”

     Hansen would have had to compete in a wrestleback match for the true second spot, but had to forfeit that, finishing third. He finished the season 36-6.

     “Kale is a huge part of our team and will continue to be for the next three years,” the coach said. “I truly feel Kale would be wrestling at the state meet if he didn’t have to forfeit. I know this will only fuel him to work harder and come back stronger.”

     Owen Ray competed at 120 pounds and Ethan Tallman at 126, and both suffered a pair of defeats to finish fourth.

     “Owen and Ethan had very tough brackets and wrestled hard throughout the day,” coach Luensman said. “I know this experience will push those boys to work harder and make adjustments in the off-season.

     “I’m proud of all our wrestlers. They represented our team and school well.”


Luensman to begin Thursday

     Kain Luensman will compete in the state tournament beginning with the Thursday afternoon session, Feb. 20. The session begins at 1:30 p.m. Luensman will face Blake Abrahamson of Okoboji Milford (30-10) in the first round.

     “State will be tough,” the coach said. “Kain needs to take it one round at a time and have fun.”


Feb. 15

Class 2A District Meet

(at Center Point-Urbana)


     106 – Kale Hansen (third place) – dec. Tytan Guerrero, Williamsburg, 8-2; lost by injury default to Carson Less, West Delaware; lost to medical forfeit to Arnie Galvan, Mount Vernon.

     120 – Owen Ray (fourth) was pinned by Kayden Gryp, Williamsburg, 2:27; was pinned by Jaruthat Dervo, Mount Vernon, 4:37.

     126 – Ethan Tallman (fourth) was pinned by Brady Ortner, Vinton-Shellsburg, 2:34; was pinned by Wyatt Bieschke, Benton Community, 1:59.

     132 – Kain Luensman (champion) dec. Sam Van Dee, Williamsburg, 7-2; dec. Keegan Scheeler, Center Point-Urbana, 4-2.



Subscriber Login