CEDAR RAPIDS — Three Xavier Saints have wrestled their way to the Wells Fargo Arena.
Senior Patrick Chambers (145 pounds), junior Ryan Cook (182) and freshman Christian Stanek (132) all placed second at last Saturday’s Class 3A districts meet Waverly Shell-Rock, punching their ticket to the state in Des Moines.
Cook and Stanek are making their state debut today.
“Qualifying for state was one of the best feelings I have ever felt,” Cook said. “It was cool to see that all of my hard work has paid off.”
Cook is seeded No. 12, entering the tournament with a 15-25 record. He is wrestling junior Will Hoeft from Iowa City West this morning.
“I have heard that the atmosphere of the Wells Fargo Arena is one of the coolest things to experience as a wrestler,” Cook said. “I could not have accomplished this without my parents, coaches pushing me, and JP (Segura, senior) making me better everyday at practice.”
Stanek is seeded No. 10, entering state with a 33-9 record. He opens against junior Duncan Delzell from Burlington.
“It is awesome to qualify as a freshman, and it feels really good to accomplish one of my goals,” Stanek said. “My goal for state is to make it on the podium, and I am looking forward to making a name for myself on the next level.”
Chambers returns to state after qualifying his sophomore year. Chambers is seeded No. 11, entering the tournament with a 22-11 record. He wrestles junior Nick Bonanno from Indianola in the first round today.
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“To qualify as a senior is exciting because my journey is not over, and I have a chance to do something I love for one last time,” Chambers said. “The state tournament is the best place to test your wrestling abilities, and I look forward to the competition.”
Chambers will end his 15-year wrestling career with his dad, Coach Ryan Chambers, right beside him.
“All the hours I have put in are for this point in my career,” he said. “The past 15 years of wrestling have led me to this point, so I am going to do the best I can.
“I am going to leave it all on the mat.”
Xavier wrestling has always been a part of Patrick’s life.
“I am going to miss the whole Xavier community. The atmosphere, the fans and my teammates are amazing,” Patrick said. “This is something I will miss forever and once I leave, it will always be a missing part of my heart.”