Prep Wrestling

Iowa City high school wrestlers equipped for state despite limited regular season

City High and West both have multiple quarterfinalists; Trojans are 4th in team race

DES MOINES — It’s relatively common in a normal year for a Iowa high school wrestler to get 40 matches in during a season.

Iowa City High’s Ben Kueter has wrestled a fifth of the matches he might have during a normal year.

Kueter, last year’s Class 3A state champion at 160, bumped up to 195 this year — he cites eating a lot for the reasoning behind moving up three weight classes.

He wrestled just seven bouts at his new weight before his first-round match at the state tournament Thursday in Des Moines.

Kueter didn’t show any ill-effects of having limited mat time at his new weight in his first match. The sophomore won by fall in the first period over Sioux City East’s Victor Bird.

City High and Iowa City West both did virtual learning this year, so the schools’ first dual came against each other on Jan. 2.

Wrestlers on each team got limited mat time this season but the competitors feel ready.

“It’s been interesting,” Kueter said of navigating this season.

West’s Graham Gambrall (152), the defending 145-pound state champion, wrestled just 10 matches this season before the state tournament began.


He beat Spencer’s Cole Rutter by fall in 5:28, even though he wrestled a quarter of the bouts he would have in a normal year.

“Once we got back in the high school room, it was really easy to be motivated,” Gambrall said. “When you’re on your own, you have to find ways to make it tough for yourself. That was challenging at times, but once we got back in the room, it was easy. Then once we finally got matches going, we got back into the flow.”

Since West couldn’t practice as a team for the beginning part of the season because of the virtual learning, Gambrall would get a number of his teammates together to work out.

“Usually I’d get three or four of my teammates together and we’d have a new workout every time,” Gambrall said. “We really tried to push ourselves. We’d emulate a match or pretend we’re in a tournament or in the state finals.

“Getting that mindset that we are competing — that helped a lot.”

While Gambrall and his teammates were simulating competition, Kueter got matches in before the season started.

“I went out to Pennsylvania and had seven or eight matches there,” Kueter said. “So I have 16 or 17 matches under my belt at this weight so I feel good and I feel ready.”

No. 3 Grant O’Dell (126), eighth-ranked Kael Scranton (132), top-ranked Hunter Garvin (138) and No. 3 Ashton Barker (170) join Gambrall in the quarterfinals for West.

Along with Kueter, the Little Hawks also got first-round wins from No. 5 Kael Kurtz at 106 and 10th-ranked Cale Seaton (113).


The Class 3A standings are relatively bundled up after the first day. Wuakee leads with 32.5 team points, Waverly-Shell Rock is in second with 28.5, Southeast Polk is in third with 26.5 and Iowa City West is in fourth with 23 team points.

Linn-Mar has 19 points and is the only other area school in the top 10, in ninth.

Cedar Rapids Kennedy is in 13th place with 13 points, City High is in 17th with 10, Cedar Rapids Xavier is in 19th with nine points and Cedar Rapids Prairie is in 22nd with seven.

Iowa City Liberty got one team point from Vincenzo Lima (195). Cedar Rapids Washington and Cedar Rapids Jefferson did not score a team point.

Class 3A team scores

1. Waukee 32.5

2. Waverly-Shell Rock 28.5

3. Southeast Polk 26.5

4. Iowa City West 23

5. Bettendorf 22.5

6. Ankeny 22

7. Fort Dodge 21

8. Norwalk 20

9. Linn-Mar 19

10. North Scott 18

Class 3A first round results

106 first round

No. 1 Carter Freeman (Waukee) pinned Payton Bright (Ankeny Centennial), 0:58

No. 6 Benjamin Hansen (Ankeny) pinned No. 9 Cael Long (Cedar Rapids Kennedy), 2:45

No. 7 Zane Behrends (Waverly-Shell Rock) dec. Ella Schmit (Bettendorf), 8-1

No. 4 Dru Ayala (Fort Dodge) major dec. Cael Nelson (Carroll), 13-4

No. 3 Blake Gioimo (Cedar Rapids Prairie) pinned Jasmine Luedtke (Ottumwa), 0:21

No. 5 Kael Kurtz (Iowa City High) pinned Luke Stover (Dallas Center-Grimes), 1:22

No. 8 Bowen Downey (Indianola) major dec. No. 10 Ayden Nicklaus (Davenport West), 14-2

No. 2 Khyler Carstarphen (West Des Moines Dowling) tech. Kale DiMarco (Mason City), 3:32 (15-0)

113 first round

No. 1 Nathanael Jesuroga (Southeast Polk) pinned Markel Tingle (Bettendorf), 0:33

No. 10 Cale Seaton (Iowa City High) dec. Aime Mukiza (Des Moines North/Hoover), 8-6

Corbin Grace (Ottumwa) dec. No. 6 Hunter Kalous (Cedar Rapids Prairie), 7-2

No. 3 Trace Gephart (North Scott) pinned Jake McKenzie (Norwalk), 1:12

No. 2 Kaden Karns (Waterloo West) major dec. JJ Maihan (Ankeny), 11-0

No. 5 Max Bishop (Fort Dodge) tech. Jack Stevens (Clear Creek Amana), 3:29 (16-0)

No. 8 Cael Wiener (Ankeny Centennial) dec. No. 7 Nate Bierma (West Des Moines Valley), 12-6

No. 4 Koufax Christensen (Waukee) pinned Braxten Westendorf (Waverly-Shell Rock), 0:23

120 first round

No. 1 Trevor Anderson (Ankeny) pinned Ezra Kristensen (West Des Moines Valley), 1:36

No. 7 Tanner Wink (Lewis Central) dec. No. 9 Cooper Hanson (Southeast Polk), 4-3

Travis Hodges (Davenport West) pinned Parker McBride (Iowa City West), 2:42

No. 5 Rheiner Stahlbaum (Johnston) pinned Carsen Newton (Iowa City High), 1:01

No. 4 Lane Cowell (Fort Dodge) dec. Ty Solverson (Boone), 4-0

No. 3 Chad Bellis (Dubuque Hempstead) won by DQ over No. 10 Ethan Mahoney (West Des Moines Dowling)

No. 6 Jayce Luna (Bettendorf) dec. No. 8 Kane Naaktgeboren (Linn-Mar), 3-0

No. 2 Bailey Roybal (Waverly-Shell Rock) pinned Ronan Thomas (Cedar Rapids Xavier), 3:55

126 first round

No. 2 Dustin Bohren (Bettendorf) tech. Cael Straley (North Scott), 3:41 (16-0)

No. 7 Cael Cox (Ankeny) dec. Jaxson Kuhlmann (Carroll), 7-4

Taber Dominguez (Lewis Central) dec. No. 10 Brayden Parke (Linn-Mar), 3-1

No. 6 Nick Walters (Sioux City North) pinned Jack Lewis (Southeast Polk), 4:00

No. 8 Thurman Christensen (Waukee) tech. Owen Kruse (Fort Madison), 2:26 (15-0)

No. 9 Jacob Fistler (Dallas Center-Grimes) pinned Wes Logan (Marion), 3:23

No. 4 Carter Fecht (Waverly-Shell Rock) dec. No. 5 Adler Kramer (Dubuque Hempstead), 6-3

No. 3 Grant O’Dell (Iowa City West) tech. Noah Madison (Johnston), 5:22 (17-1)

132 first round

No. 1 Ryder Block (Waverly-Shell Rock) tech. Drew Dunn (Ankeny Centennial), 2:35 (17-2)

No. 8 Kael Scranton (Iowa City West) dec. No. 9 Braden Blackorby (Johnston), 10-4

No. 4 Ayden Kingery (Southeast Polk) major dec. Jack Miller (Pleasant Valley), 14-6

No. 3 Ryder Downey (Indianola) tech. Eleazar Valerio (Davenport North), 3:08 (17-2)

No. 2 Bryce Parke (Linn-Mar) pinned Braylon Griffiths (Ottumwa), 1:01

No. 5 Jace Rhodes (Mason City) pinned No. 10 Colin Falck (Cedar Rapids Kennedy), 3:20

No. 6 Grant Harbour (Norwalk) pinned No. 7 Connor Kelley (Waukee), 3:22

Drake Ayala (Fort Dodge) pinned Carter Davis (Ankeny), 1:43

138 first round

No. 1 Hunter Garvin (Iowa City West) tech. Damarian Ross (Fort Dodge), 4:00 (20-3)

Jace Anderson (Ankeny) dec. No. 10 Grant Kress (Linn-Mar), 3-2

No. 3 Carter Martinson (Southeast Polk) dec. No. 9 Cayden Langreck (Waverly-Shell Rock), 10-7

No. 5 Owen Helgeson (Johnston) dec. Ashtin Falck (Cedar Rapids Kennedy), 9-3

Carter Drake (Carroll) won in SV-1 over No. 4 Jackson Helmkamp (Ankeny Centennial), 8-6

No. 7 Dylan Whitt (Cedar Falls) pinned Gavin Wiseman (Fort Madison), 5:26

No. 6 Josh Connor (North Scott) dec. No. 8 Logan Stotts (West Des Moines Valley), 5-0

No. 2 Cole Ferguson (Waukee) pinned Hunter Meyrer (Pleasant Valley), 2:56

145 first round

No. 3 Dreyzon Phillips (Fort Dodge) pinned Dalyn Mull (Marion), 1:50

Josiah Schaetzle (Dubuque Hempstead) dec. Leland Evans (Oskaloosa), 7-2

No. 4 Jude Ryan (Council Bluffs Lincoln) dec. Landon Card (Norwalk), 4-2

No. 2 Christian Stanek (Cedar Rapids Xavier) pinned Ryan Ott (Iowa City High), 3:45

No. 7 Peyton Westlin (North Scott) major dec. Ethan Emmick (Sioux City West), 11-2

No. 6 Brent Slade (Ames) dec. Cooper Wiemann (Mason City), 6-1

No. 8 Peter Erickson (Johnston) dec. Josh Pelzer (Bettendorf), 8-1

No. 1 Joel Jesuroga (Southeast Polk) major dec. Dominic Rubino (Waukee), 12-0

152 first round

No. 1 Aiden Riggins (Waverly-Shell Rock) tech. Landon Schaul (Cedar Falls), 3:46 (19-4)

No. 9 Sam Zindel (Johnston) dec. No. 7 Theron Castle (West Des Moines Valley), 7-5

No. 8 Abass Kemokai (Linn-Mar) major dec. Zachariah Shoemaker (Ottumwa), 12-2

No. 3 Graham Gambrall (Iowa City West) pinned Cole Rutter (Spencer), 5:28

No. 4 Carson Martinson (Southeast Polk) major dec. Nick Matthys (Bettendorf), 11-2

No. 5 Abraham Dirkx (Carroll) dec. Caden McDermott (Pleasant Valley), 5-1

No. 6 Colin Driscoll (Waukee) pinned No. 10 Divion Ocheltree (Cedar Rapids Kennedy), 5:53

No. 2 Caleb Rathjen (Ankeny) pinned Carter Bennett (Ankeny Centennial), 2:14

160 first round

No. 2 Caleb Corbin (West Des Moines Valley) major dec. Calvin Tighe (Spencer), 21-7

Kasey Ross (Urbandale) won in SV-1 over No. 6 Carter Cahill (Ankeny Centennial), 3-1

Trestin Sales (Burlington) major dec. No. 8 Caelen Shannon (Cedar Rapids Xavier), 10-1

No. 3 Logan Adamson (Bettendorf) major dec. Max Derry (West Des Moines Dowling), 14-2

No. 5 Kody Cook (Fort Dodge) dec. Sean Mwangi (Waverly-Shell Rock), 5-1

No. 4 Deven Strief (North Scott) pinned No. 7 Cade Schmidt (Norwalk), 3:54

Jermaine Sammler (Waukee) dec. No. 10 Ryan Van Donselaar (Pella), 3-0

No. 1 Tate Naaktgeboren (Linn-Mar) pinned Dakota Lau (Western Dubuque), 3:30

170 first round

No. 2 Caleb Helgeson (Johnston) pinned Matt Surles-Davis (Fort Dodge), 1:28

Trevor Summers (Ottumwa) dec. No. 6 Ryley Barnett (Cedar Falls), 3-2

No. 5 Timothy Nimely (Muscatine) pinned No. 10 Sean Cunningham (Indianola), 3:36

No. 4 Ivan Thomas (Cedar Rapids Xavier) dec. Mason Sherwood (Urbandale), 11-4

No. 3 Ashton Barker (Iowa City West) pinned No. 8 Seth Madden (North Scott), 0:44

Tristen Duncan (Norwalk) pinned Greyson Gardner (Western Dubuque), 1:24

No. 9 Andrew Reed (Southeast Polk) dec. Nate Nessa (Ankeny), 10-6

No. 1 Mickey Griffith (Des Moines Lincoln) major dec. Alex Koch (Cedar Rapids Kennedy), 19-5

182 first round

No. 1 McCrae Hagarty (Waverly-Shell Rock) pinned Nolan Simpson (Burlington), 0:42

No. 9 Jayden Angle (Boone) dec. Mason Applegate (Iowa City West), 8-4

No. 5 AJ Petersen (North Scott) pinned Zach Schwager (West Des Moines Dowling), 2:56

No. 3 Ben Egli (Fort Dodge) dec. Jack McCabe (West Des Moines Valley), 7-5

No. 7 Aiden Grimes (Southeast Polk) tech. No. 10 Rusty VanWetzinga (Pleasant Valley), 5:18 (16-1)

Cade Bennethum (Ankeny) dec. No. 8 Ryan Volk (Cedar Rapids Xavier), 9-7

No. 4 Evan Surface (Western Dubuque) dec. Jacob Darr (Indianola), 6-4

No. 2 Griffin Gammell (Waukee) pinned Colin Flannagan (Cedar Rapids Kennedy), 3:28

195 first round

No. 2 Taner Harvey (Boone) pinned Preston Bruck (Cedar Rapids Jefferson), 1:36

William Hinrichs (Ankeny) won in SV-1 over Jaxson Hildebrand (Denison-Schleswig), 4-2

No. 6 Sawyer Nauman (Western Dubuque) pinned Vincenzo Lima (Iowa City Liberty), 1:06

No. 3 Jake Walker (Waverly-Shell Rock) tech. Abe Duval (Marion), 4:25 (17-2)

No. 4 Gabe Hemsted (Carlisle) pinned Jay Cooley (West Des Moines Valley), 1:36

No. 7 Tanner Spyksma (Waukee) won in SV-1 over Drew Clausen (Dallas Center-Grimes), 3-1

Cade Sheedy (Davenport North) dec. No. 9 Joey Petersen (North Scott), 6-5

No. 1 Ben Kueter (Iowa City High) pinned Victor Bird (Sioux City East), 1:16

220 first round

No. 1 Bradley Hill (Bettendorf) pinned Caden Yoerger (Iowa City Liberty), 0:54

No. 10 Jaylin Smith (Indianola) pinned No. 6 Cael Knox (Cedar Rapids Kennedy), 3:20

No. 4 Carson Williams (Marshalltown) dec. Brett Pelfrey (Iowa City West), 7-3

No. 7 Luke Gaffney (Linn-Mar) pinned Luke Vonderhaar (Pleasant Valley), 5:18

No. 3 Luke Walker (Waverly-Shell Rock) major dec. Hunter Blomgren (Norwalk), 21-9

No. 5 Colton Hoag (Le Mars) pinned Ralston Rumley (West Des Moines Dowling), 0:30

No. 8 Logan Huckfelt (Spencer) dec. Cael Winter (Waukee), 10-7

No. 2 Kalob Runyon (Southeast Polk) pinned Adam Ward (Dubuque Hempstead), 2:58

Hwt. first round

No. 1 Gabriel Greenlee (Ames) pinned Orlando Fuentes (Des Moines North/Hoover), 1:28

No. 6 Togeh Deseh (Muscatine) pinned No. 9 Emerson Lux-Morales (Western Dubuque), 2:53

Julian Gomez (Marshalltown) dec. No. 8 Tate Sykora-Matthess (Cedar Rapids Washington), 4-1

No. 3 Maddux Borcherding-Johnson (Norwalk) pinned Layne McDonald (Waverly-Shell Rock), 1:13

No. 4 Ben Reiland (Waukee) pinned Julius Harris (Burlington), 3:48

Kody Huisman (Pella) pinned Callan Grant (Sioux City North), 0:18

No. 7 Bryan Jurado (West Des Moines Valley) dec. No. 10 Gavin Bascom (Cedar Rapids Kennedy), 2-1

No. 2 Griffin Liddle (Bettendorf) pinned Javier Mendez (Spencer), 1:03

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