Left photo by IAWrestle, right photo by Kimberly Thompson Meyer
With another weekend’s worth of state championships in the books and 20 states holding their respective tournaments, there were bound to be upsets that took place. Especially since some of the most powerful, talent-rich states in the nation competed. Here are five of the most significant upsets that occurred over the weekend.
5) Missouri Class 1 finals 285 lbs – Brooks Baker (Brookfield) over Max Darrah (Whitfield) 3-2 TB
Brookfield junior Brooks Baker handed eighth-ranked Max Darrah his first and only loss of the season in the Missouri state finals 3-2. The big men exchanged escapes in regulation and neither was able to score in any way, shape or form even with an extra minute of sudden victory overtime. Baker started the tiebreaker series on top and gave up a point for locked hands, but managed to ride Darrah for the entire 30 seconds. In the second tiebreaker, Baker started in the down position and was able to score two points on the strength of a reversal. These two met in the state finals a year ago in a match that was won by Darrah 1-0.
4) Indiana state quarterfinals 145 lbs – Jordan Slivka (Cathedral) over Kasper McIntosh (Portage) 1-0
13th ranked Kasper McIntosh of Portage entered the Indiana state championships as a favorite to take home the gold and had only suffered one loss this season, which came during out of state competition. In the quarterfinals, McIntosh was defeated by Cathedral junior Jordan Silvka 1-0. Slivka went on to win the championship with another 1-0 victory, this time over Yorktown’s Christian Hunt. Christian had accounted for one of Slivka’s three losses earlier this season. Because of the format Indiana uses, McIntosh was not able to wrestle back for third since he lost before the semifinals, so the best he could hope for was placing fifth. In the fifth-place match, McIntosh also fell to Warren Central’s Antwaun Graves 3-2.
3) Iowa 3A state quarterfinals 152 lbs – Harlan Steffensmeier (Fort Madison) over Grant Stotts (West Des Moines Valley) 6-2
This bracket looked like it had the potential to foster an upset or two due to its depth. In the quarterfinals, Harlan Steffensmeier met 20th ranked Grant Stotts, one of the frontrunners to capture the title. Steffensmeier took a step towards the top of the podium when he knocked off Stotts 6-2. At that point, it was only the second loss of the season for Stotts. Harlan then advanced to the finals where he faced 2016 state champion Cayd Lara of Fort Dodge. Steffensmeier earned his championship with a 5-4 decision over Lara. Earlier this season, Lara defeated Steffensmeier 6-3 in the finals of the J-Hawk Invitational. Stotts also took a second loss when he fell to Southeast Polk’s Lance Runyon 5-2 in the third-place bout.
2) Illinois 3A state finals 152 lbs – Markus Hartman (Barrington) over Will Lewan (Montini Catholic) 2-0
Another upset that featured a rematch of a 2017 state final occurred when 11th ranked Markus Hartman met the defending state champion; seventh-ranked Will Lewan. After a scoreless first period, Lewan started on top and gave up a reversal about a minute into the second stanza after Hartman hipped over him. In the process, Lewan injured his shoulder after Hartman had sunk in a deep half nelson. Hartman rode him out for the remainder of the second and got the win after another scoreless period to finish the bout. Though he came into the tournament as the underdog, Hartman was undefeated and finished his senior season with a 47-0 record.