Kacmarynski places fourth at state tournament
-Spencer junior locks up school's best finish in three years-
Tyler Kacmarynski gave himself something to shoot for in his senior season.
The Spencer junior wrapped up his second straight trip to the Iowa High School State Wrestling Championships with a fourth-place finish Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena, turning in Spencer's best finish since Ryan Pratt placed third in 2005.
"He had an outstanding tournament," said Spencer coach David Schaefer. "His confidence should be at an all-time high. He proved he can hang with the best of the best."
Kacmarynski, who had earned the spot in the third-place match with a 6-4 consolation semifinal win over No. 6 Cody Krumwiede of Waverly-Shell Rock Friday, dropped his final match on the last day of the 83rd annual tournament.
Garrett Hamilton of North Scott, ranked third in the state, beat Kacmarynski 3-1 in overtime in the Class 3A 215-pound consolation final.
The fourth-place finish gave Kacmarynski a 3-2 record at the state tournament. He finished the year 40-5.
"What a great springboard this has been into what I'm sure will be a very successful senior campaign next year," Schaefer commented. "The sky is the limit for Tyler."
Kacmarynski needed to run the gauntlet at 215 just for a shot at third-ranked Hamilton in the consolation final. All five of Kacmarynski's opponents were rated sixth or higher.
"He was set up in a challenging spot in the bracket. He was going to have rated kids all the way through. He really stepped up," Schaefer commented.
Both of Kacmarynski's losses came to opponents ranked third or higher, including eventual champion Byron Tate of Clinton. Tate (31-1), ranked No. 2 entering the tournament, defeated No. 1 Mickey Sprague of Cedar Rapids Prairie 5-2 in Saturday's championship final.
Kacmarynski defeated No. 5 Brian Sievers of Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln by fall in 1:44 in his tournament opener. He handed No. 4 Cody Northern of Cedar Rapids Jefferson a 10-9 loss in the quarterfinals before running into Tate in the semifinals.
"He has a true understanding of the importance of setting goals and knowing what you have to do to achieve those goals," Schaefer said of Kacmarynski.
Kacmarynski was one of two non-seniors to finish on the medals stand at 215 in Class 3A. Krumwiede, a freshman, placed sixth, losing a 5-3 decision to Northern in the fifth-place match.
"He will definitely work hard and put himself in a position to be successful, there's no question there," Schaefer added. "His work ethic is nothing short of outstanding."
Spencer finished the tournament in 28th place with 19 points. Waverly-Shell Rock broke Iowa City West's two-year stranglehold on the Class 3A tournament title with a record 225 points. Iowa City West was the runner-up with 140.5 points.