Bendorf bags first Hawkeye Ten championship

HCHS senior wins four matches to place first at 170; four other Cyclones place second, team takes fifth

 RED OAK (Feb. 1) -- The career of Harlan Community wrestler Carter Bendorf provides a perfect example of just how difficult and satisfying it is to become a Hawkeye Ten Conference champion.
 As a 145-pound freshman in 2017, Bendorf did not place at the conference meet. He earned a sixth-place medal at 160 as a sophomore, placed third at 170 last year and on Saturday reached the top of the podium as this year’s H-10 Tournament 170-pound champion.
 Bendorf, seeded second in his bracket, finished 4-0 inside Red Oak’s sparkling new gymnasium, pinning his first-round foe before notching three hard-fought decisions. He capped his day with a 5-2 win over Red Oak senior Bruce Lukehart in the finals, leading HCHS to a fifth place team finish.
 Four other Cyclones - Luke Musich, Zane Bendorf, Nathan Henry and Jesse Schwery - lost championship matches and placed second.
 “It’s amazing,” said Carter Bendorf of his victory. “I remember the feeling that I had previous years and it’s just really nice to know that I’ve worked hard to get this. I have respect for all the guys I wrestled because none of my matches were easy... There’s a lot of tough kids here. I like this meet just because of the competition.”
 HCHS head coach John Murtaugh stated that he had no doubt Bendorf was the top wrestler at 170, regardless of seeding. “I’m so proud of him. He’s been working at it for a long time and it came to fruition, so really, really pleased with him... It couldn’t have happened to a nicer kid.”
 Creston/O-M, which tied HCHS and Atlantic/CAM for the conference duals title, won the race for this year’s tournament team trophy by scoring 199.5 points. The next five teams were tightly bunched as Atlantic placed second with 185, followed by Lewis Central (182), Red Oak (178), HCHS (160.5) and Glenwood (156.5). The Trojans led the field with four H-10 champions and LC had three.
 The Cyclones had aspirations to win their first conference meet title since 1978, but were still competing Saturday without two injured wrestlers in Wyatt Obrecht and Dalton McKinley. They also lost two extremely close semifinal matches or would have put seven individuals in the championship finals.

Hawkeye Ten Conf. Wrestling Tournament • Saturday, Feb. 1 • at Red Oak

Team Standings - 1. Creston/O-M 199.5, 2. Atlantic/CAM 185, 3. Lewis Central 182, 4. Red Oak 178, 5. Harlan Community 160.5, 6. Glenwood 156.5, 7. Kuemper Catholic 126.5, 8. Clarinda 94, 9. Denison-Schleswig 59, 10. St. Albert 35, 11. Shenandoah 31.
Individual Champions
106: Easton O’Brien, Atlantic/CAM, fr.
113: Aybren Moore, Atlantic/CAM, sr.
120: Johnathon Erp, Red Oak, sr.
126: Taber Dominguez, CB LC, jr.
132: Brian Paul, CB LC, jr.
138: Shea Parkis, Kuemper, so.
145: Tanner Higgins, CB LC, sr.
152: Kadin Stutzman, Atlantic/CAM, so.
160: Justin McCunn, Red Oak, sr.*
170: Carter Bendorf, HCHS, sr.
182: Jackson Kinsella, Creston, jr.*
195: Sam Chapman, Creston, sr.
220: Crew Howard, Clarinda, jr.
285: Cale Roller, Atlantic/CAM, sr.*
* Repeat champion

HCHS Results
106: Sammy Schmitz (DNP, 0-2)
113: Luke Freund (3rd place, 3-1)
120: Luke Musich (2nd place, 1-1)
126: Ethan Lemon (3rd place, 3-1)
152: Mason Griffith (DNP, 1-2)
160: Zane Bendorf (2nd place, 2-1)
170: Carter Bendorf (1st place, 4-0)
182: Thomas Frederick (DNP, 0-2)
195: Nathan Henry (2nd place, 2-1)
220: Jesse Schwery (2nd place, 2-1)
285: Jeremiah Davis (4th place, 2-2)

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