116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Home / Sports / Iowa Prep Sports / Iowa High School Wrestling
Ben Kueter takes a bow as undefeated, 4-time Iowa high school wrestling state champion
Iowa City High standout put on a final show for Wells Fargo Arena crowd
DES MOINES — Take a bow, Ben Kueter.
You earned it with a job perfectly done.
That is exactly how the Iowa City High senior responded to the customary ovation reserved for new four-time champions. Kueter became the 32nd Iowa high school wrestler to accomplish the hallowed feat, winning the 220-pound title at the Class 3A boys’ state wrestling tournament Saturday night at Wells Fargo Arena.
“It’s funny. I joke around with my friends all the time about what my celebration’s going to be,” Kueter said. “You never actually think you’re going to do it, so it’s crazy. I’m just super grateful to be able to do that.”
Kueter envisioned the moment in his mind a hundred times. None of those images compared to what he experienced when he ended his 19-4 technical fall over Dubuque Hempstead’s Joe Lewis, laid on his back before kneeling with his head in his hands and then getting his arm raised in front of the sold-out crowd.
“There’s nothing like it,” Kueter said. “I wish I can relive it every day. I can’t. It’s on to Sunday. The sun is going to come up tomorrow, right? So, got to get back to work and go onto the next thing.”
Dominance has been a hallmark of his career, especially the last two seasons, racking up 67 bonus-point wins during that stretch. His last title run consisted of three first-period pins, including falls of 12 and 14 seconds, and the technical fall. In his finale, Kueter scored six takedowns and turned Lewis in each of the first two periods, ending it with a takedown midway through the third.
“I just wanted to put on a show for the fans,” Kueter said. “You’ve got the greatest fans in the world here, so really just putting on a show for them, making sure they enjoy it and get their monies worth.”
The victory elevated him into the state’s most exclusive wrestling group. He became the seventh Iowa high school wrestler to finish his career unbeaten. Kueter closed the book on a 111-0 career with 75 pins, 15 technical falls and five major decisions.
Kueter joins Waterloo West’s Dan Gable (64-0, 1964-66), Emmetsburg’s Jeff Kerber (126-0, 1976-79), Clinton’s Dan Knight (128-0, 1984-87), City High’s Jeff McGinness (172-0, 1990-93), Maquoketa’s Eric Juergens (144-0, 1993-96) and Des Moines Roosevelt’s John Meeks (168-0, 2009-12).
“People talk and you really understand the history we have here,” Kueter said. “You have Dan Knight, T.J. Sebolt, McGinness, who went to City High, so you’ve got a lot of really good wrestlers. To even be mentioned with them is pretty unreal.”
Kueter said being the greatest of all time was never the goal. He focused on being his best self each time on the mat, leading to titles at 160, 195 and the last two at 220. City High Coach Cory Connell has an opinion, though.
“To me, now, he’s the greatest of all time,” said Connell, who previously told Kueter that honor belonged to McGinness. “Winning a world championship, being a four-time undefeated state champion and doing it in as dominant a fashion as he has it is so special. It is unreal what he has done in his career.”
Now, what’s next? Kueter, who has a 6-foot-3 frame, plans to play football and wrestling for University of Iowa. He will graduate high school in a little more than a week and then plunge into excelling in college athletics and academics.
“It’s mainly just getting big for heavyweight and playing linebacker and really circle myself in that,” Kueter said. “In that atmosphere of football and wrestling, so just getting ready for that really.”