DES MOINES — Muscatine’s Togeh Deseh had a busier Friday morning than most wrestling in the Iowa state quarterfinals. Between weigh-ins and taking the mat for a chance to secure a medal, the junior heavyweight squeezed in a trip to the federal building in downtown Des Moines to complete the process for U.S. citizenship.
“It’s really exciting,” Deseh said. “I’m very thankful. It’s really nice.”
Deseh had known about the ceremony for a few months. The Class 3A session and ceremony both started at 9 a.m.
Once it became apparent he would be wrestling here, a plan was formed. Deseh weighed in, putting on his singlet under dress clothes. He was whisked away to the federal building.
“I was actually there before everyone else,” Deseh said. “I was in front of the line.”
When his ceremony was complete he had to rush back to Wells Fargo Arena to avoid forfeiting his bout. He made it back in time, taking just 11 minutes to get from the federal building to the arena floor with some help from the Iowa High School Athletic Association. Five minutes after he arrived at the venue, he was wrestling Norwalk’s Maddux Borcherding-Johnson.
“The people running this event had a car there waiting for me right after I was done,” Deseh said. “So, that was pretty nice.”
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Deseh lost the quarterfinal bout in the ultimate tiebreaker and dropped his consolation match, falling a victory short of a state medal.
Deseh received congratulatory messages and the crowd applauded when his citizenship efforts were announced during the round.
“I’m very thankful for everyone that’s been texting me and saying congrats and stuff,” Deseh said. “That’s one thing that will really make me remember this day.
“Another thing is my mom and dad came all the way down from Minnesota to come see me today.”
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