Results, notes, observations from the 2022 Iowa freestyle state wrestling championships
They say summer wrestling makes winter champions.
It makes sense, then, that most of Iowa's best high school wrestlers stay active in high-level competitions during the spring and summer months.
On Saturday, the Iowa freestyle state championships were contested at Southeast Polk High School. The competition, separated by age rather than school classification, featured many of Iowa's top high-schoolers in action in freestyle, the Olympic discipline that closely resembles folkstyle.
The tournament, hosted by Iowa/USA Wrestling, the sport's statewide governing body, is not only a high-level in-state competition, but it also helps determine many other high-level competitions later this summer — like rosters for the 16U and Junior national dual teams, as well as who qualifies for the 16U and Junior national championships.
The freestyle portion — Greco-Roman will be contested on Sunday — included many of Iowa's biggest wrestling names. Below is a weight-by-weight rundown of the Junior and 16U freestyle results, as well as notes and observations from the action.
Junior freestyle state championships
- Tyler Harper, Norwalk
- Reid Foster, Bondurant-Farrar
- Taye Jordan, Atlantic-CAM
Notes: Harper won this 3-man round-robin, beating both Foster and Jordan by identical 10-0 technical falls.
- Aiden Smith, Atlantic-CAM
- Mitchell Murphy, Hempstead
- Evan Bratten, Hempstead
Notes: Smith won a 5-man round-robin, winning three matches by technical fall and a fourth by fall. Murphy took second, recording three 10-0 technical falls but losing to Smith, 14-3, in the second round.
- Finals: Kade Blume (Roland-Story) over Carson Doolittle (Webster City), 5-3
- Third: Dru Ayala (Fort Dodge) over Ethan Skoglund (Sergeant Bluff-Luton), 10-0
Notes: Blume beat Doolittle in the Class 2A state semifinals this year, then used a late exposure to ice a 5-3 win in the state finals on Saturday. Doolittle beat Ayala 12-8 in the semifinals. Ayala scored a pair of technical falls to rally for third.
- Finals: Trever Anderson (Ankeny) pinned Garret Rinken (Nashua-Plainfield) in 2:50
- Third: Koufax Christensen (Waukee NW) over Brandon Paez (Lisbon), 10-4
Notes: This was the most stacked weight in the tournament, with four state champs, another finalist (Prairie's Blake Gioimo) and another third-place finisher (Indianola's Bowen Downey). Anderson ripped through it, beating Gioimo (14-7) and Paez (16-5), then rallying from down 4-1 to pin Rinken in the finals.
- Finals: Carter Freeman (Waukee NW) over Kale Petersen (Greene County), 14-3
- Third: Jaiden Moore (Benton) pinned Jayce Luna (Bettendorf) in 0:48
Notes: This weight featured three state champs from February, and they finished 1-2-3. Freeman beat Moore 10-0 in the semifinals, then turned a 5-3 first-period lead over Petersen into a 14-3 technical fall in the finals.
- Finals: Evan Frost (Dowling Catholic) over Jace Rhodes (Mason City), 15-4
- Third: Anders Kittelson (Osage) over Matthew Beem (Glenwood), 13-2
Notes: Frost and Rhodes met in the Class 3A state finals in February, then again here on Saturday. Rhodes came within 7-4 early in the second period before Frost polished off a technical fall win. Kittelson and Beem rallied for top-4 finishes after reaching the semifinals.
- Finals: Jacob Frost (Dowling Catholic) over Ryder Block (Waverly-Shell Rock), MFF
- Third: McKinley Robbins (Greene County) pinned Chase Fiser (Bondurant-Farrar) in 2:50
Notes: This would've been another rematch from February, but Block, fresh off a knee operation, opted not to wrestle the finals out of precaution. He and Frost both blitzed their way to the finals and beat Robbins and Fiser, respectively, in the semifinals.
- Finals: Joel Jesuroga (Southeast Polk) over Lucas Bruhl (Ankeny Centennial), 6-0
- Third: Jace Anderson (Ankeny) over Kael Scranton (Iowa City West), 8-5
Notes: Jesuroga beat Anderson (7-0) and Scranton (10-0) before beating Bruhl, who scored 39 points in his first three matches, for first. Anderson won four straight in the wrestlebacks by a combined 45-13 for third.
- Finals: Ryder Downey (Indianola) over Carter Martinson (Southeast Polk), 4-2
- Third: Dylan Whitt (Cedar Falls) over Braden Blackorby (Johnston), 10-0
Notes: Downey scored all four of his finals points in the first period and held off a hard-charging Martinson to win his second state title this year. Downey, who recently committed to Northern Iowa, cruised otherwise. Martinson won a fun 13-9 semifinal over Whitt. He also beat Whitt in the state semifinals back in February.
- Finals: Carson Martinson (Southeast Polk) over Wyatt Reisz (Logan-Magnolia), 14-4
- Third: Josiah Schaetzle (Hempstead) over Jacob Fistler (Dallas Center-Grimes), 10-2
Notes: The heavier Martinson went 5-0 with five technical falls, outscoring his opponents 62-11, capped by a decisive finals win over Reisz, a two-time Class 1A state champ. Reisz muscled through Fistler, 7-4, in the semifinals.
- Finals: Nick Fox (Osage) over Kasey Ross (Urbandale), 12-0
- Third: Lawson Losee (Riceville) pinned Black Hauck (Waukee) in 2:33
Notes: Nick Fox did what Nick Fox does, going 4-0 with three technical falls and a 35-second pin to win on Saturday. He beat Hauck 10-0 in the semifinals. Ross beat Losee, 10-1, in the other semifinal.
- Finals: Tate Naaktgeboren (Linn-Mar) over Jarrett Roos (Sheldon), 11-0
- Third: Andrew Reed (Southeast Polk) over Brody Hoyt (Iowa Valley), 10-0
Notes: Naaktgeboren beat Hoyt (13-0), Reed (12-0) and Roos (11-0) to win his second state title this year. Roos beat Des Moines Lincoln's Mickey Griffith, 12-2, in the other semifinal. Griffith lost most of his senior season to an injury.
- Finals: Jackson Dewald (Westwood) pinned Theron Castle (W.D.M. Valley) in 2:18
- Third: Joshua Glendening (New London) over John Powers (Bondurant-Farrar), 10-0
Notes: Last weekend, Dewald made the U20 Greco-Roman national finals. This weekend, he wins a Junior freestyle state title. He recorded three-straight 10-0 technical falls to reach the finals, then pinned Castle late in the first period.
- Finals: Bradley Hill (Bettendorf) over Jared Thiry (Don Bosco), 10-0
- Third: Jaxson Hildebrand (Denison-Schleswig) pinned Trystin Irvin (W.D.M. Valley) in 4:45
Notes: Ho-hum performance from Hill, who capped a 3-0 day with a dominant 10-0 win over Thiry, a 1A state champ and recent USA Wrestling showcase title winner. Hildebrand and Irvin both made the top-4 after losing in the quarterfinals.
- Finals: Wyatt Smith (Lisbon) over Easton Fleshman (West Lyon), 13-8
- Third-Place: Mac Muller (Osage) pinned Hayden Hearne (Urbandale) in 1:41
Notes: Smith's run to first was highlighted by two pins, an 11-0 semifinal technical fall over Hearne, then two 4-point takedowns over Fleshman in an exciting final. Fleshman gutted out a 2-1 semifinal win over Norwalk's Maddux Borcherding-Johnson, a returning 16U All-American.
16U freestyle state championships
- Mac Crosson, Sebolt Wrestling Academy
- Benjamin Walsh, Sebolt Wrestling Academy
- Elijah Hyet, Dubuque Wrestling Club
Notes: Crosson won a 3-man round-robin, pinning Hyet and beating Walsh 12-1.
- Finals: Jaydin Rinken (Nashua-Plainfield) over Tyler Harper (Norwalk), 14-2
Notes: Harper had designs on doubling up, but Rinken scored two big 4-pointers to punctuate a first-period technical fall.
- Finals: Jace Hedeman (Union) over Aiden Smith (Atlantic-CAM), 10-0
Notes: Smith also won a Junior title and took second in 16U. Hedeman followed an undefeated freshman campaign with three straight technical falls to win a 16U title on Saturday.
- Finals: Jake Knight (Sebolt) over TJ Koester (Bettendorf), 5-3
Notes: Knight, the son of Bettendorf coach Dan Knight, tops Koester, a 3A state champ in February, behind a 4-point takedown in the second period. Knight also beat Bondurant-Farrar's Connor Fiser, a returning Junior All-American, 7-3 in the semifinals.
- Finals: Blake Fox (Immortal Athletics) pins Steele Diercks (Bettendorf) in 3:52
- Third: Jabari Hinson (Ames) pins Logan Trenary (Southeast Polk) in 0:40
Notes: Fox, another talented middle-schooler, recorded three pins in four matches and beat Trenary and Diercks, both 3A state medalists in February, to win a 16U state title. Ames' Jabari Hinson lost to Diercks, 5-2, in the first round and wrestled all the way back and pinned Trenary for third.
- Finals: Cale Seaton (Iowa City High) over Corbin Reisz (Logan-Magnolia), 4-2
Notes: Seaton, a recent 16U national champ, beat both Reisz and Bondurant-Farrar's Maximus Riggins (9-8 in the semifinals) to win a 16U freestyle state title. Riggins wrestled back for third.
- Finals: Cadyn Wild (Assumption) pinned Royce Butt (Central DeWitt) in 3:04
Notes: Wild rallied from down 2-0 after the first period to lead 4-2 and ultimately pin Butt in the finals. Butt beat Ankeny state medalist Ben Hanson, who wrestled back for third, in the semifinals.
- Finals: Kane Naaktgeboren (Linn-Mar) over Tucker Stangel (Osage), 10-0
Notes: Naaktgeboren, another 16U national champ in March, went 4-0 with four technical falls, outscoring his opponents 44-4 en route to first. He capped his finals win with a big 4-pointer over Stangel.
- Finals: Tycho Carmichael (Bettendorf) over Kyler Scranton (Iowa City West), 10-0
Notes: Carmichael followed his 3A state medal in February with a 16U state title on Saturday, going 3-0 with a pin and two technical falls. Scranton beat Sergeant Bluff-Luton's Bo Koedam, 13-12, in the quarterfinals on his way to the championship match. Koedam wrestled back for third.
- Finals: Damarion Ross (Fort Dodge) over Grant Kress (Linn-Mar), 8-3
Notes: Ross went 4-0 to win at 152. In the finals, he led 3-0 after the first, then sealed it with a pair of takedowns in the second. Kress notched an 8-5 semifinal win over Southeast Polk's Jack Lewis, who wrestled back for third.
- Finals: Brent Yonkovic (West Delaware) over Owen Milder (Wilton), 17-6
- Third: Dominic Tigner (Norwalk) over Lucas Kral (Garner-Hayfield-Ventura), 11-6
Notes: Yonkovic, West Delaware's talented freshman, led 7-6 after the first period against Milder, then broke it open for a technical fall in the second. Yonkovic also beat third-place Tigner, 6-2, and fourth-place Kral, 10-3, to reach the finals.
- Finals: Mike Slade (Southeast Polk) pinned Jace Nelson-Brown (Emmetsburg) in 1:51
Notes: Slade recorded back-to-back 10-0 technical falls to reach the finals, then led 5-0 when he pinned Nelson-Brown in the finals. Nelson-Brown beat both the third- and fourth-place finishers en route to the finals.
- Callyn Bishop (Baxter)
- Ben Hammes (Gilbert)
Notes: Bishop won in round-robin format, pinning Hammes twice.
- Finals: Dreshaun Ross (Sebolt) over Noah Parsons (Pella), 10-0
Notes: Ross, another talented middle-schooler who won 15U national titles in both freestyle and greco last weekend in Las Vegas, steamrolled to a 16U freestyle title on Saturday, going 3-0 and outscoring his opponents 30-0.
- Finals: Henry Christensen (Ballard) pinned Rhett Schaefer (Assumption) in 1:33
Notes: Christensen went 2-0 with two pins to win on Saturday. His first pin came over South Tama County's Gavin Bridgewater, who finished third thanks to a trio of technical falls.
- Kolton Borcherding-Johnson, Norwalk
- Cooper Martinson, Southeast Polk
- Zander Glazebrook, Bettendorf
- Jesus Baez, Eagle Grove
Notes: Borcherding-Johnson won in a 4-man round-robin format. He beat Martinson, 5-1.
Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.