Bettendorf’s Ella Schmit and Ottumwa’s Jasmine Luedtke qualified at 106 pounds in Class 3A, making them the third and fourth girls to compete in the IHSAA traditional state wrestling tournament. Both earned runner-up district finishes to advance.
They become the first girls to compete in the traditional state tournament since 2012 when Eddyville-Blakesburg’s Megan Black placed eighth at 106. Black, then wrestling for Ottumwa, and Cedar Falls’ Cassy Herkelman were the first girls to qualify individually in 2011.
Schmit, a junior, has won two titles and reached the finals in all three Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association girls’ state tournaments. She is 16-5 overall, posting a 9-1 major decision over Norwalk’s Tyler Harper in the state duals on Wednesday.
Luedtke (29-15) is a freshman and faces Cedar Rapids Prairie’s third-ranked Blake Gioimo in the first round. This marks the second time a Metro wrestler has faced a girl in the opening round. In 2011, Linn-Mar’s Joel Northrup drew national attention for forfeiting to Herkelman.
MFL MarMac’s Kadence Pape competed in the state duals tournament. She wrestled at 120 pounds for the Bulldogs in the quarterfinals against top-seeded Don Bosco.
The first girl to compete in an IHSAA sanctioned state tournament was Urbandale’s Heather Morley, who was in the J-Hawks’ lineup for the 2005 state duals. Iowa City West’s Jasmine Bailey was a member of state duals qualifiers in 2011, 2012 and 2014.
Hayden Taylor looks to go 3-for-3
Hayden Taylor became Solon’s first two-time state champion last season, winning the Class 2A 145-pound title. He won the 126-pound title in 2019 as a freshman.
Taylor enters the state tournament as the top seed at 160 pounds, looking to maintain his chance to join the hallowed group of four-time titlists. He is 35-0 this season, owning a 109-match win streak before his first-round match against West Burlington/Notre Dame/Danville’s River Belger (24-10).
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Cascade’s Aidan Noonan is also going for his third state title. The Wyoming signee and Cougars’ all-time wins leader is ranked first at 132 in 1A with a 42-0 record. Noonan won titles at 113 and 126. He upset West Sioux’s Adam Allard finals a year ago, thwarting Allard’s quest for a fourth crown.
Centerville’s Matthew Lewis is attempting to become Iowa’s 29th four-timer. He is the top seed at 145 in 2A with a 33-4 mark. Lewis’ captured titles at 106, 113 and 126, previously.
Complete state wrestling preview
Take a closer look at the 2021 traditional Iowa high school state wrestling tournament, which begins Thursday and runs through Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
The preview includes team and individual championship predictions for all three classes.