No. 3 Sports Story: Three Tigers make podium

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Spencer Tigers sent five wrestlers to the state tournament this February, placing three on the podium including senior Jack Randall at 138 pounds. Randall completed an outstanding senior season with a school record 38 pins and lost his only match at the state meet to Roosevelt's John Meeks, who finished his four-year career undefeated with four state titles. John Christopherson took fifth at 126 pounds and earned his 100th career win, while Tanner Schaefer made the podium for the second time in his career.

Spencer's Jack Randall looks to the Spencer cheering section after pinning Fort Madison's Dakota Gray in the third-place match on Saturday, Feb. 18 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. Randall won five matches at state on his way to the third-place finish, including three pins. Randall now holds the Spencer school record for most pins in a season with 38. (Photo by Zach Jevne)

Randall takes 3rd, Christopherson 5th, Schaefer 6th

The 2012 Iowa High School State Wrestling Tournament is in the books and three Spencer Tigers graced the podium before a packed house at Wells Fargo Arena Saturday night in Des Moines.

Jack Randall won third place at 138 pounds after pinning Fort Madison's Dakota Gray in 5:03 in the consolation final. Randall won five matches in the tournament, three by pin, on his way to third place. The only match Randall lost at the tournament was in the quarterfinals to Des Moines Roosevelt's John Meeks, who won his fourth state title and finished his career 168-0.

Spencer head wrestling coach Dave Schaefer congratulates 138-pound wrestler Jack Randall following his pin of Glenwood's AJ Clark in 58 seconds during the opening round of the 3A state tournament. (Photo by Michael Fischer)

Randall won his final two matches by pin, which set a new Spencer school record for most pins in a season with 38. He broke Mike Engelmann's record of 37.

"Jack didn't change how he wrestled all year," Spencer coach David Schaefer said. "Once he gets on top of you, he's going to get the pin. He went out the same way he came in -- with pins."

Randall finished his senior season 45-4.


John Christopherson followed up last year's fourth-place finish at 119 by capturing fifth place at 126 pounds this year. Christopherson reached the semifinals before running into Southeast Polk's Cory Clark, who also won his fourth state title Saturday night and had only one loss in his high school career.

Clark pinned Christopherson in 3:49 sending him to the consolation bracket to face Tyler McWilliams of Sioux City East, who won by decision 5-2. Christopherson pinned Cedar Rapids Prairie's Trey Blaha in overtime (6:23) to finish in fifth place and get in the top-5 for the second consecutive year. The pin of Blaha was also Christopherson's 100th career win, making him the 20th member of Spencer's Century Club and just the fourth junior to accomplish the feat. He finished his junior season 28-3.

Tanner Schaefer pinned his way to the semifinals at 152 pounds, where he ran into eventual two-time champion Zach Witte of Cedar Rapids Prairie, who won by technical fall, 16-1. Schaefer dropped a 10-5 decision to Bettendorf's Drake Chase in the consolation semifinals before facing Dalton Witte of Burlington for fifth. Schaefer pinned Witte in the quarterfinals but lost a close match, 10-8, to finish sixth. Schaefer finished 35-5 in his junior year this season.

"Both John and Tanner were one match away from the finals and they both ran into monster obstacles," Dave Schaefer said. "I think they responded. They competed hard and it was a great win for John to get the pin in overtime for his 100th. Anytime you can get on the stand, it's a great accomplishment. You're standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the best."

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