Prep Wrestling

West Delaware leaves no doubt in claiming 3rd straight state duals title

Hawks become 5th Iowa program to 3-peat in duals

DES MOINES — West Delaware Athletics Director Matt Weis might want to consider building a new trophy case.

The current one is going to get a little more crowded. If he needs help, Hawks wrestling coach Jeff Voss can lend him a few hammers. The same hammers who have pounded the competition all season.

West Delaware continued its dominant streak and captured a third straight championship in the Class 2A state duals tournament Wednesday night at Wells Fargo Arena. The top-ranked Hawks thumped No. 2 Crestwood, 49-21, in the final, becoming just the fifth program in Iowa history to win at least three in a row.

“It’s special,” Hawks senior 182-pounder Cael Meyer said. “Three years in a row. I love it.”

The senior class closed with four state duals appearances, finishing third or better each time. It was a perfect way to cap their dual careers.

“We’ve worked really hard for this,” said 132-pound senior Reily Dolan, who beat Cole Butikofer, 4-3. “It’s definitely fun for me, and I’m sure the rest of the seniors, to end on a good note.”

The Hawks were decisive. Not only did they win, they left little doubt as to who was the best team. West Delaware won 10 of 14 bouts against Crestwood (17-2), finishing the day with a combined 35-6 match record.

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“I think we got stronger as the day went on,” Voss said. “We just kept building all day. It has been our go-to all year. We try to get better each time we come out and I think we did that.

“The guys totally bought into the mindset of being aggressive and relentless the entire match. It’s something we’ve been preaching for a lot of years.”

The duals started at a perfect spot, feeding into the Hawks’ tough upper-weight lineup. Jadyn Peyton opened with a pin at 152. Jared Voss (170), Meyer (182), Will Ward at 195 and heavyweight Carson Petlon followed with falls around Wyatt Voelker’s major decision at 220.

They took advantage with strong starts.

“I think it’s huge,” Meyer said. “Our upper weights are pretty stacked. It’s a big spark for the rest of the team.”

Brayden Maury (106) and Carson Less (120) added decisions. Logan Peyton provided a bookend pin at 145 to end the program’s fourth state duals crown.

The Hawks have been on a tear during the championship stretch. They won their 49th straight dual against 2A opponents, dating back to the 2018 state semifinals. They have wreaked havoc on foes all year long, surpassing the 1,200 dual points plateau and averaging 64 per contest.

“I think it’s important that we came a long way this season,” Dolan said. “I think we’re wrestling the best we have all year and at the right time.”

The Hawks trounced Sergeant Bluff-Luton, 70-6, which set up a rematch with rival Independence.

The Hawks won the regular-season dual and were even more convincing in a 61-12 semifinal triumph, building a 42-0 lead.

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Independence (25-8) reached the semifinals with a 44-24 victory over No. 4 Davenport Assumption. The Mustangs closed strong and captured the final seven weights to take control and move into the top four for the second straight season. Osage defeated Independence, 39-28, for third.

Comments: (319) 368-8679; kj.pilcher@thegazette.com

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