DES MOINES - Nothing is a given in sports. And nothing is a given when wrestlers - even the best in the state - fight for a state championship at the Iowa High School State Wrestling Championships.
Unfortunately for South Tama County senior Erik Lux, he found out the hard way.
Lux, the defending champion in Class 2A at 160 pounds, suffered his first loss of the season when he was upset in the opening round by eighth-ranked Jack Leshen of Grinnell.
With the match tied at 3 with 30 seconds to go, Leshen was handed an escape and then also recorded a late takedown to seal his 6-3 victory.
"He had high goals but everyone is tough when you get down here," South Tama County coach Nate Van Dyke said of Lux. "Crazy stuff happens. He wasn't the only defending champion to lose today."
Lux earned a pin on the backside of the bracket to stay alive and can still walk up the medal stand Saturday.
His teammate - junior Kolton Smith (32-11) - won his opening match at 160 pounds to move on in the championship bracket and will wrestle in the quarterfinals today against Jacob Van Ginkel of Waterloo Christian.
South Tama's other wrestler was senior Levi Kaufman (35-8) and he also went 1-1 and will wrestle today. He dropped his first match 8-2 to West Delaware's Jake Voss (43-3) but came back to win a 4-2 decision in sudden victory over Forest City's John Lawton.
"Glad to still have three guys still here," Van Dyk said. "Kolton is a very good athlete and we knew this would come eventually. We didn't see this as an upset. We came here expecting to win."