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Iowa high school girls’ wrestling regionals: Linn-Mar crowns 4 champions, advances 6 to IGHSAU state tournament
West Liberty receives titles from Silvia and Dionni Garcia-Vasquez; Vinton-Shellsburg’s Swenson and Sanders win gold
CEDAR RAPIDS — Hayley Setrum had some slight swelling and bruising to go along with a thin cut above her left eye.
The Linn-Mar senior was unfazed by the shiner and even took a little pride in it. A badge of honor after an impressive accomplishment.
Setrum posted a 4-0 record with two pins and two major decisions, dominating her way to the 140-pound title of the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union Region 5 wrestling tournament Saturday at the Alliant Energy PowerHouse. She was one of four Linn-Mar titlists, helping the Lions place second behind team champion Bettendorf.
Linn-Mar advanced six wrestlers to the inaugural IGHSAU state tournament Feb. 2-3 at Xtream Arena in Coralville.
“It’s very exciting,” Setrum said. “We’ve worked so hard for this continuously in practice. Everyone has really put in all their effort, especially today. We’ve had some great practices that were high energy coming into this.”
Setrum earned a spot in the historic state field, producing a memorable conclusion to her first year wrestling. She wouldn’t be on the mat if it weren’t for teammate Ally Jelinek’s influence. Jelinek’s recruiting worked out for Setrum and the rest of the Lions.
“She ended up convincing a couple of us to join,” Setrum said. “It was one of those ‘If you do it, I do it’ things. For sure, I’m happy (about the choice). I am very thankful.”
Setrum reached the finals and secured a state berth with a pin over Cedar Rapids Jefferson’s Joseph Budederi, who also qualified with a fourth-place finish. Setrum capped the day with an 11-3 major decision over West Liberty’s Nellie Stagg in the final. She didn’t imagine this feat at the season’s start.
“Not at all,” Setrum said. “I’m just thankful to be here and be able to wrestle.”
Linn-Mar Coach Mike Geers has seen Setrum progress along with the season. Even within the last week, Setrum was runner-up last weekend at Prairie and improved to regional gold.
“She’s been solid,” Geers said. “She’s gotten better and better as the year has gone by.”
The Lions’ 110-pounder Kate Seery tried wrestling in seventh grade, which was limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The freshman is in her first full season and reached state. She scored three reversals and five nearfall in a 14-9 decision over WACO’s top-seeded Rylee Rice in the final.
“I was really happy with the way we came out,” said Seery, who is 34-7. “We’ve been waiting all season, waiting for this moment to happen.
“We work hard together in practice every day. Just have the same mentality.”
Seery spent lots of time following her father, Kelly, to wrestling meets when he coached at Cedar Rapids Prairie and Linn-Mar. She developed a love for the sport during the time with her dad, who is on Geers’ staff. He was in his daughter’s corner for her title run.
“It’s my favorite thing,” Seery said. “I love having him in my corner. It’s so helpful having him there. He’s always so helpful.”
Jelinek (120) and Trinity Young at 235 also won titles. Reese Roberts was third at 125 and Ava Hofer was fourth at 130, rounding out Linn-Mar’s qualifiers. The Lions scored 177 points, 40.5 back of the Bulldogs.
“We had a good week of practice, getting ready,” Geers said. “Just like you hope to do. Wrestle your best at the end of the year.
“We had to battle today. There were some tough matches. We came out on the good end in a few of them.”
West Liberty duo Silvia Garcia-Vasquez and Dionni Garcia-Vasquez claimed titles at 115 and 145, respectively. Silvia needed just 38 seconds to pin Bettendorf’s Lauren Rogalla in the final. Dionni tallied two first-period takedowns and rolled to a 6-2 decision over Davenport’s Greta Brus for the title.
The Comets matched the Lions and Bulldogs with six state qualifiers.
Cedar Rapids Kennedy’s Ella Brown won the 190-pound title. She avenged a previous loss to Independence’s nationally-ranked Rachel Eddy in the finals. Brown scored a first-period takedown and added a reversal in the third for a 4-0 decision.
Eddy was one of three Mustangs in the finals. Dakota Whitman (44-3) produced a title for Independence. She pinned her way through the bracket, decking Mid-Prairie’s Ellie Brenneman in 1:09 of the 135 final for her fourth pin of the day.
Libby Dix was one of three Mount Vernon state qualifiers. Dix improved to 37-1 this season, recording three pins. She closed the tournament with a 3:11 fall over Independence’s Izzy Strickert to capture the 170 crown.
REGION 5 TOURNAMENT
At Alliant Energy PowerHouse
Teams – 1. Bettendorf 217.5, 2. Linn-Mar 177, 3. Independence 159, 4. Mid-Prairie 152, 5. C.R. Kennedy 146, 6. West Liberty 144, 7. North Scott 113, 8. Mount Vernon 108, 9. (tie) Davenport and Iowa City High 92.
Other Gazette area teams – 11. Tipton 88, 12. C.R. Jefferson 85, 15. Highland 59, 16. Benton Community 55, 19. Midland 34, 20. Washington, Iowa 27, 23. Maquoketa 5, 24. Belle Plaine 4.
100 pounds – 1. Hailey Kemper (Ft. Madison), 2. Gabi Robertson (Mid-Prairie), 3. Koda Fogg (Tipton), 4. Abigail Kennis (Bettendorf); 105 – 1. Taylor Strief (Bettendorf), 2. Lainey Shelangoski (Durant), 3. Ella McNamee (Mt. Pleasant), 4. Madi Lundvall (Wapello); 110 – 1. Kate Seery (Linn-Mar), 2. Rylee Rice (Waco), 3. Morgan Krall (Independence), 4. Alissa Sanchez (West Liberty); 115 - 1. Silvia Garcia-Vasquez (West Liberty), 2. Lauren Rogalla (Bettendorf), 3. Angelina Roling (Highland), 4. Alyssa Eckhardt (Midland); 120 – 1. Ally Jelinek (Linn-Mar), 2. Khylie Wainwright (North Scott), 3. Jadalynn Daily (Davenport), 4. Isabella Giza (Bettendorf); 125 – 1. Nesa Selmani (Bettendorf), 2. Erin Anderson (Iowa City High), 3. Reese Roberts (Linn-Mar), 4. Kiley Collins (West Liberty); 130 – 1. Alexys Petersen (Bettendorf), 2. Claire Brown (Iowa City High), 3. Becca Hinderaker (Tipton), 4. Ava Hofer (Linn-Mar); 135 – 1. Dakota Whitman (Independence), 2. Ellie Brenneman (Mid-Prairie), 3. Lizzy Wolf (Benton Community), 4. Jacie Bedell (C.R. Kennedy); 140 – 1. Hayley Setrum (Linn-Mar), 2. Nellie Stagg (West Liberty), 3. Grace Conway (Mid-Prairie), 4, Josephine Budederi (C.R. Jefferson); 145 – 1. Dionni Garcia-Vasquez (West Liberty), 2. Greta Brus (Davenport), 3. Mia Garvey (Mid-Prairie), 4. Havana Griffith (Independence); 155 – 1. Jorie Hanenburg (North Scott), 2. Teegan Sulentich (Washington, Iowa), 3. Molly Carlson (Iowa City High), 4. Gracie Pickney (Mount Vernon); 170 – 1. Libby Dix (Mount Vernon), 2. Izzy Strickert (Independence), 3. Ellie Callahan (Mid-Prairie), 4. Jessa DeMoss (Benton Community); 190 – 1. Ella Brown (C.R. Kennedy), 2. Rachel Eddy (Independence), 3. Amerie Alvarado (West Liberty), 4. Grace Fort (Waco); 235 – 1. Trinity Young (Linn-Mar), 2. Bralyyn Wagler (Waco), 3. Madison Andrews (North Scott), 4. Aly Lashley (Mount Vernon)