WEBSTER CITY - The night was supposed to belong to Royce Nessa and Luke Shannon as they took their spots in one of the most exclusive of Webster City wrestling clubs.
But along came Tanner Hild, a lanky and quiet sophomore, to steal the show.
Nessa and Shannon were his two biggest fans, too.
Hild put a shock into everyone inside Jefferson Gymnasium - himself included - last night when he stunned fifth-ranked (Class 1A) Marcus Peterson of Clarion-Goldfield, 10-8 in the second to last match, and his victory sealed the 34-24 dual victory for Webster City over the fourth-ranked Cowboys.
The Lynx (13-3, 7-1 NCC) handed Clarion-Goldfield (16-1, 7-1 NCC) its first dual loss of the season, and more importantly claimed a share of the conference dual championship.
WCHS won the conference tournament and dual titles in the same year for the first time since 1992.
Webster City 34, Clarion-Goldfield 24
145 Royce Nessa (WC) major dec. Matt Odland, 14-1; 152 Joey Powers (WC) dec. Brennan Kurfman, 4-0; 160 Brandon Patten (WC) pinned Logan Nelson, 2:38; 170 Connor Larson (WC) pinned Ryan Anderson, 1:58; 182 Luke Shannon (WC) pinned Darren Kissel, 0:57; 195 Knute Severson (C-G) pinned Gus Gasca, 0:29; 220 Mitch Gambrill (C-G) dec. Dylan Fielder, 11-9; 285 Landon Johnson (WC) dec. Caleb Hanson, 3-0; 106 Zeke Rosenbaum (C-G) dec. Freddie Seeley, 9-6; 113 Joel Haberman (C-G) dec. BJ Bremer, 15-11; 120 Aaron Anderson (C-G) pinned Andrew Straw, 0:47; 126 Avery Jackson (WC) dec. Taylor Lehman, 10-8; 132 Tanner Hild (WC) dec. Marcus Peterson, 10-8; 138 Sam Solis (C-G) dec. Aaron Hoffman, 8-2.
"This was a huge night, and I'm so proud of the kids for how they stayed competitive and aggressive for 6 minutes," WCHS head coach Ted Larson said. "We had more heart and more fight tonight than we've had all year."
Nessa and Shannon, both seniors, became just the seventh and eighth Lynx wrestlers ever to reach 100 career victories early in the dual, and they did it on Senior Night in the final regular season dual inside Jeff Gym, no less.
Shannon, No. 7-ranked at 170, needed just 57 seconds to dispose of Darren Kissel by fall.
WCHS won eight of the 14 matches, including the first five bouts in succession to build a 25-0 lead, and Clarion-Goldfield was never able to catch up.
The Cowboys were without seventh-ranked 152-pounder Maxx Schultz and No. 7 160-pounder Jake Haberman because of injury, and that allowed Larson to tinker with his lineup.
He inserted Brandon Patten into the lineup at 160, and the move paid off when he stuck Logan Nelson in 2:38. That moved Connor Larson up to 170 and Shannon to 182, and both picked up the maximum points. Larson turned out the lights on Ryan Anderson with just two seconds remaining in the first period.
Landon Johnson (285) and Avery Jackson (126) picked up wins by decision, and WCHS led 31-21 when the dual reached the 132-pound match a rematch of Saturday's conference tournament final.
Peterson drew first blood with a 12-2 win at the league tournament, and he appeared to be well on his way to another win over Hild by building a 6-2 lead after two periods.
It was 8-3 in Peterson's favor when Hild pulled off the biggest move of his young career, as he slung the Cowboy junior to his back for a five-point move to tie the bout at 8.
A penalty point and an escape later, Hild was flexing for the crowd and jumping into the arms of his teammates moments after the clock hit zero.