116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
WELLMAN — Mid-Prairie girls’ wrestling team has had a successful start.
The Golden Hawks captured a tournament title the first weekend of the season. Now, they can boast the program’s first dual victory — three of them, actually.
Mid-Prairie topped Iowa City Liberty for its first official dual win, following with a come-from-behind barnburner against West Liberty and a dominant performance against Iowa City West to close the quadrangular at home.
Plenty to celebrate with a 3-0 mark.
“We had never had a dual,” Golden Hawks Coach Dylan Walther said. “We have faced some other teams and matched up according to approximate weight in the past.
“We have girls with experience. They are kind of spread apart in weights naturally. We have 10 girls on the team and they managed to fill 10 weights without anybody bumping up or down too much.”
The Golden Hawks had little trouble in a 51-10 win over the Lightning, posting seven pins. The dual with West Liberty, however, was a different story. The Comets soared to a 33-12 lead with four contested matches left.
“I was trying to figure out what to do with our lineup as the meet was going on and the rest of the night,” Walther said. “At one point, I was thinking about the next dual and did some math and thought if we pin out we have a shot.”
The wrestlers delivered. Three pins and a forfeit were enough to claim a 36-33 win. The contributions came from athletes with various backgrounds. Mardie Berry is new to the wrestling program and she started it with a pin at 155 pounds. Mia Garvey, one of the more accomplished and veteran wrestlers, bumped a couple weight classes to get a pin at 190 and first-year wrestler Sam Stacey closed it with a first-period fall at 235.
“They were excited, especially with the way the meet was unfolding,” Walther said. “We’re probably not going to win too many duals where we go 0-3 at 135, 140 and 145. It’s kind of where we have some of our tougher girls, but West Liberty is pretty tough there.”
Mid-Prairie closed the evening with a 54-6 win over West. Walther said the team has good depth and most can score points in big tournaments.
“I was expecting a pretty solid group,” Walther said. “Things change a little bit with how the state tournament is set up this year. I don’t know how that translates but I would like to think we have a great shot of having a good showing toward the end of the year.”
Mid-Prairie returns to BGM for competition Friday and will wrestle at Williamsburg Monday. The key to further success is to continue to make gains through hard work.
“The biggest thing is to keep improving,” Walther said. “I told them last night that there are about 2,300 girls (wrestlers) in the state and about 1,500 are brand new right now. … You can’t take anybody for granted and say I pinned them earlier in the year. They are going to keep improving and getting better. We have to do the same if we want to keep being on top of those matches.”
Dan Gable Donnybrook this week
The Dan Gable Donnybrook wrestling tournament is set to begin with girls’ wrestling competition Thursday at Xtream Arena in Coralville. The first session begins at noon with the second session at 5 p.m.
Twenty-eight teams from five states are listed for the girls’ division. Some of the best programs in Iowa will be in attendance, including Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association girls’ state champion Waverly-Shell Rock, Ankeny, Bettendorf, Charles City, Decorah, Fort Dodge, Iowa City High, Iowa City West, Linn-Mar, Mount Vernon, New Hampton, Oelwein, Solon, Vinton-Shellsburg and Williamsburg.
The two-day girls’ tournament will conclude with the finals Friday evening. The weekend of competition will include a two-day boys’ tournament Friday and Saturday and a youth tournament Sunday.
Independence crowns four
Independence crowned four champions at the Central Invitational Monday night in Elkader. Morgan Krall, Claire Carey, Havana Griffith and Rachel Eddy all won titles.
Eddy is a past IWCOA girls’ state champion and two-time finalist. She is also ranked 21st nationally at 200 by USA Wrestling.