State runner-up: Clark leaves his mark

State+runner-up%3A+Clark+leaves+his+mark

by Kinsey Phipps

This was a huge weekend for wrestlers nationwide as State qualifiers attempted to wrestle their way to the top of the podium to be named champion. PCM senior Tristan Clark was one of those wrestlers. Clark was a State qualifier last year, but this year he wanted more; he wanted to be champion. Though he came out short and took home second, there was no shortage of praise for Clark.
The beginning of individual State for 2A wrestlers was the afternoon of Feb. 19. Clark, wrestling in the 126-pound category, started off hot when he defeated his opponent in a sudden victory with a score of 4-2. This win defined him a spot to wrestle on the morning of Feb. 20.
Yet again Clark overthrew the competition when he beat his adversary in a decision 6-3. This win guaranteed him at least sixth place and the ability to wrestle in the last day on Feb. 21. However, the day was not over. Clark had one more match that night. The results of this match would determine if Clark would wrestle for third place, or if he would wrestle in the finals for the coveted title of champion.
This semifinals match would be tough, as he went against his number-two ranked opponent, Brice Everson from Camanche. Though being called for locked hands and stalling twice, Clark still beat the odds and came out on top when he won 9-6. He did what the experts thought he couldn’t. He then sealed a spot in the championships, something Clark has been working to do all season.
Feb. 21 was the night. Clark would not only wrestle his last high school match, but he would wrestle it for the state to see. He wrestled number-one ranked Ryan Leisure of Clear Lake. The match was a tough one for Clark. He ended up taking home second as he fell short, losing 6-1. Though he lost the championship match, Clark most definitely left his mark at PCM. There hasn’t been a PCM wrestler in the State Finals since Grant Hjortshoj in 1990, 25 years ago. Clark also beat the school’s record of most wins in a season. He had 44 wins this season, beating the school record by three wins. Though it is the end of Clark’s high school career, he will not be forgotten in the eyes of PCM wrestlers and fans alike.
“I am extremely proud of Tristan on a very successful senior season. He has worked hard and definitely earned every bit of his success. His semifinals match at State was the best match I have ever seen him wrestle,” Head Coach Cory Waddell said. “I hope the underclassmen and even our middle school and mat club wrestlers paid attention to the amount of effort and commitment Tristan displayed all season. He has shown them what it takes to make a run in the State tournament.”