DES MOINES — Iowa City West wrestler Nelson Brands gave his coach Mark Reiland his headphones before his 160-pound first-round match Thursday in the first round of the Class 3A state wrestling tournament.
Reiland kept the headphones on his head during the match, sat back in his chair and watched Brands go to work against Glenwood’s Brett Mower.
Brands piled up six takedowns and won by technical fall in the second period, 22-7. Reiland never even changed positions in his chair.
Brands (52-1) has a shot at getting his third Iowa state wrestling title. On Thursday, he began his quest at Wells Fargo Arena.
Brands declined to be interviewed after the match saying, “I won’t be doing any interviews until after the finals.”
Reiland said Brands’ mindset is simple.
“(His mindset) is just take care of business,” Reiland said. “It’s a matter of going out and taking care of business and going out and doing what he’s capable of.”
Brands has an impressive, unrelenting motor.
“He goes out to score points, and that’s really what you ask,” Reiland said. “His mindset is to go and go, and score and score. When you have that mindset, you wrestle a lot better. When you start trying to protect something, it doesn’t work as well.”
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Brands’ teammate, 220-pounder Francis Duggan had an equally impressive opening round. This is Duggan’s first time wrestling in the Iowa state tournament, after moving to Iowa from Pennsylvania.
Duggan got a takedown off the whistle, causing everyone in the area, including Reiland, to immediately check the clock to see how fast he got the takedown. He got it in five seconds.
Thirty-four seconds later, the match was over. Duggan (12-2) locked up a cradle and got the pin in the first period over Linn-Mar’s Isaiah Garman in 39 seconds.
“(Duggan) is kind of the same boat (as Brands),” Reiland said. “Our guys feed off of guys that are at that level. Hopefully everybody figures out how to come along for the ride and figure out that they can compete at that level, too.”
Iowa City West sits in ninth place with 16.5 team points after the first day of wrestling with its two hammers leading the way. West has three wresters alive in the championship bracket in Brands, Duggan and Guy Snow (Hwt.). It also has three wrestlers alive in the consolation side of the bracket.
Iowa City High had an impressive first day, scoring 20 team points, which is good enough for sixth place. City High has five wrestlers still in the championship side of the bracket in Ethan Wood-Finely (106), Joey Harney (138), Wilfred Kadohou (160), Jacob Dykes (195) and Jacob Murphy (Hwt.).
Cedar Rapids Prairie is just a half-point behind City high with 19.5 points. Prairie only has two guys on the championship side of the bracket in Trenten Wennermark (138) and Derek Horak (182). But it doesn’t have anyone out of the tournament. Its other five wrestlers are still alive on the backside of the tournament.
Fort Dodge leads after the first day with 31.5 team points.
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