Prep Wrestling

Future of Iowa state duals tournament expected to be determined in coming weeks

Event has been held at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines since 2012

Wrestlers compete in Class 2A quarterfinals of the 2020 IHSAA State Wrestling Championships at the Wells Fargo Arena in
Wrestlers compete in Class 2A quarterfinals of the 2020 IHSAA State Wrestling Championships at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. O'Brien won by an 8-3 decision. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

The process has begun to determine the fate of the Iowa High School Athletic Association state duals wrestling tournament.

The team event has been held the Wednesday immediately before the traditional state tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines since 2012. The IHSAA’s contract with the venue for four days of competition is up this year, generating discussion of a possible move of the dual championship.

A meeting of the wrestling coaches’ advisory committee was recently held. IHSAA Wrestling Administrator and Director of Officials Lewie Curtis did not comment on the status of the state duals tournament.

“More information will be forthcoming later this week after we have had the opportunity to communicate with our member schools’ wrestling coaches,” Curtis said.

Multiple sources have said various sites across the state, as well as dates for the event, were considered, including continuing the current date, location and format. The U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids hosted the tournament from 1994 to 2011.

Results have ranged from competitive to lopsided with junior varsity wrestlers filling in at times at state and even for regional qualifiers. Most notably, Southeast Polk defeated North Scott, 80-(-3) in a Class 3A semifinal this year.

The tournament began in 1987 and was held at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls through 1992. Marshalltown High School hosted it one year before the move to Cedar Rapids. Before the current format that guarantees three duals, it was held the week after the traditional tournament and only quarterfinal winners wrestled multiple times.

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According to IHSAA Communications Director Chris Cuellar, the next Board meeting will be March 12. State duals will be on the agenda for that day.

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

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