Luensman to make fourth State trip

Monticello senior Kain Luensman qualified for the State Wrestling Tournament for the fourth straight year. (Photo courtesy of Meleah Luensman)

Kain Luensman of Monticello brings down West Delaware’s Staveley Maury in the championship match at the Class 2A district tournament Feb. 13 in Solon. Luensman is headed to State for the fourth straight year. (Photo by Pete Temple)
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     Kain Luensman added a bit more to his already-storied Monticello High School wrestling history, by becoming the second Panther to qualify for the state tournament all four of his high school years.

     The senior pinned Ivan Martin of Maquoketa in 1:02, and fought off Staveley Maury of West Delaware for a 12-6 decision. In so doing, he won the 138-pound championship at the Class 2A, District 7 Wrestling Tournament Saturday, Feb. 13 in Solon.

     “Kain had a solid day of wrestling,” Monticello coach Ryan Luensman said. “I was proud of how Kain handled the pressure and battled hard.”

     Not only is he the second Panther four-timer to State, along with his cousin Chase Luensman, Kain is also the first from MHS to win a district championship all four years.

     Three other Panther wrestlers competed; Kale Hansen at 113 pounds and Mark Sunlin at 120 both finished third, and Cael Sampson at 106 took fourth. Tyler Luensman, who had qualified at the previous week’s sectional meet, missed the district tournament due to a knee injury.

     “Our district is one of the toughest in the state, and getting out of it is not an easy task,” coach Luensman said. Cael, Kale and Mark wrestled hard throughout the day and lost some close matches.”

     Kain Luensman earned the spot at State with a 40-1 record, and said a key factor was “confidence, just knowing the environment and knowing that I’ve been there before.”

     While Luensman dominated his first opponent, West Delaware’s Maury proved to be more of a challenge in the finals. Luensman led 8-2 after one period and 10-4 after two. A takedown by Maury cut the margin to 11-6, but Luensman escaped and prevented his opponent from closing the gap further.

     “Kain took it one match at a time,” the coach said. “In his first match he wrestled well and took care of business. His second match was against a kid he has wrestled multiple times throughout Kain’s high school career. He is tough and stays in good position. Kain did a nice job on his feet and took control early.”            

     Hansen lost a 5-1 decision in the first round to Royce Butt of DeWitt Central, came back to beat Tristin Sorgenfrey of Tipton 8-1 in the third place match, but because Butt lost in the finals, Hansen didn’t get a wrestleback chance.


     Sunlin was pinned in the semifinal round, pinned Dylan Pietz of Maquoketa in the third place match and got the chance to wrestle back for the true second spot, but lost by fall.

     Sampson lost a tight 8-6 decision in the semifinals to Colin Cassady of West Liberty, and was pinned in the third place match.

     “Our district is very tough, and all three wrestlers had multiple ranked wrestlers in their weight classes,” the coach said. “All these boys will bounce back and come back stronger next season.”

     “They fought hard,” Kain Luensman said of his teammates. “Their finish today doesn’t say anything about the wrestlers that they actually are.”

     Kain will wrestle during the Class 2A first round session Thursday, Feb. 18, 6 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena, against Shea Parkis of  Carroll Kuemper (42-3). He said he enters the tournament with confidence.

     “I’m starting to learn that what I have to work with is good enough to win it,” the senior said. “I just have to go in there and believe that.”

     Coach Luensman added: “Kain has goals to do some good things at the state meet, and I’m excited to see what he can do. He is experienced in this environment and knows what to expect.”


Feb. 13

Class 2A District


(at Solon)


     1, West Delaware 205; 2, Camanche 82; 3, West Liberty 62; 4, Solon 50; 5, Mount Vernon 46; 6, DeWitt Central 39.5; 7, Monticello 36; 8, Anamoa 27.5; 9, Center Point-Urbana 16; 10, Tipton 10; 11, Maquoketa 8.


(State qualifier in bold)

     106 – Cael Sampson (fourth place) lost to Colin Cassady, WL, 8-6; was pinned by Brayden Maury, WD, 0:41.

     113 – Kale Hansen (third) lost to Royce Butt, DC, 5-1; dec. Tristin Sorgenfrey, T, 8-1.

     120 – Mark Sunlin (third) was pinned by Keaton Zeimet, DC, 2:16; pinned Dylan Pietz, MAQ, 1:40; was pinned by Cole Whitehead, CPU, 0:36.

     138 – Kain Luensman pinned Ivan Martin, MAQ, 1:02; dec. Staveley Maury, WD, 12-6.





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