Successful Weekend for Trojan Wrestlers

Kole Hansen, Chase McLaren, Connor Pellett, and John McConkey competed in the State wrestling tournament Feb. 15-17.


TIME TO SHINE- Senior John McConkey raises his arms after winning a match at the State tournament.

The Iowa State wrestling tournament held over this past weekend left two Trojans with podium finishes and a third with a State title.

Senior John McConkey exited the Wells Fargo Arena Saturday night as the 2018 class 2A 285-pound champion, defeating Spencer Trenary of Clarion-Goldfield-Dows 7-6 and celebrating with a takedown of head coach Tim Duff. McConkey went into the tournament ranked #2 and Trenary #5, returning to State this year as the former runner-up after losing to Tristan Wirfs of Mount Vernon in 2017.

McConkey finished his final season with a record of 56-1. He is now one of Atlantic’s seven state champions: Robert Burrows (1981/119 lbs), Brian Follman (1992/140 lbs), Garrett South (2001/160 lbs), Clarke Gerlock (2003/189 lbs), Tyler Blum (2004/215 lbs), Darrian Schwenke (2014/126 lbs), and John McConkey (2018/285 lbs).

Junior Chase McLaren has qualified for State every year. The 2018 tournament was his first time placing.

Senior Kole Hansen and junior Chase McLaren also secured spots on the podium and medals to take home. Hansen placed sixth overall in the 2A 126 weight class and McLaren seventh in the 2A 132 weight class.

Senior Kole Hansen has made several State appearances in the past, including a 5th place finish in 2016.

On Thursday all four of the Trojans (McConkey, McLaren, Hansen, and 160-pound junior Connor Pellett) won their first-round matches, advancing to the quarterfinals that were held on Friday. Hansen ended with a final score of 4-2, McLaren with a tech-fall of 20-5,  Pellett won 10-1, and McConkey finished with a pin.

Friday started rough for three of the wrestlers as they lost their quarterfinal matches, but Hansen and McLaren came back in consolation rounds and moved on to the next session. Pellett fell to Cavin Malloy of Williamsburg 8-2 in his consolation match, ending his first State appearance.

The 2018 State Wrestling tournament was junior Connor Pellett’s first time qualifying.

In his quarterfinal match, McConkey battled the #1 ranked wrestler in the state: Cooper Lawson of Webster City. McConkey came out as the victor by a score of 3-1, achieving the winning takedown within the last 30 seconds.

McConkey’s final round as a Trojan was one to remember and celebrate, and he will continue wrestling in college. Hansen ended his season as the new record-holder for Atlantic in total wins during a high-school career, and both McLaren and Pellett will be returning for their final season next year.