116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — The first match between Underwood's Alex Thomsen and Fort Dodge's Brody Teske was monumental.
The NCAA Division I signees squared off in the first bout between unbeaten three-time state champions in state history. Teske stormed back from behind to win that match in Council Bluffs in December.
The duo didn't shy away from an unavoidable rematch Saturday that was just as epic and on par with such sequels as 'The Godfather Part II' and 'The Empire Strikes Back.'
This time, Thomsen spoiled Teske's chance of joining the elite group of undefeated Iowa preps with a 10-8 decision in sudden victory for the 126-pound title at Cedar Rapids Jefferson's J-Hawk Invitational.
'I'm always looking to find the best competition out there and that was a perfect example of a great competitor,' Thomsen said of Teske. 'I would never down him because he has the same guts coming to my weight and me coming to his. I'm glad we've met twice now. Both got a win. It sucks that I lost, but it wasn't a big thing to me.'
Much of the gymnasium was focused on the championship mat as the two top-ranked wrestlers battled. Huddles of fans surrounded the mat and cameras were pointed in their direction.
'That's why we do it,' Teske said. 'That's what we live for. It's for matches like that. That's why you work so hard. That's fun.'
Teske won that first bout, 11-9, scoring in the final 10 seconds for Thomsen's lone loss. In a reversal of the previous meeting, Thomsen scored many of his points the last half of the match. He learned he had to move his hands and feet more, clean up the sloppiness at the end and improve his stamina.
'I just knew I had to get better in a few areas,' Thomsen said. 'I definitely picked up cardio. Really focused on that.'
In the overtime period, Thomsen hit a single-leg to his left and turned the corner for the decisive takedown, ending the match with 22 seconds left.
'This sport is a humbling sport,' Thomsen said. 'It breaks competitors and it builds them. I think our characters after this one will take a jump.
'We're both out to find the best competition possible. Give the fans what they want to see.'
Teske (27-1) opened with the first takedown, owning a 2-1 lead after one Saturday.
Thomsen (29-1) battled back for a 6-5 edge by the end of the second, scoring an escape and converting on two takedowns to Teske's escape and late reversal. They exchanged reversals in the third before Teske's escape forced overtime.
Like Thomsen, Teske will turn this into a positive as they both attempt to become four-time state titlists.
'A loss is never fun,' Teske said. 'It's not a loss. It's a learning experience. Come February I'm going to be a totally different wrestler and person. Back to the drawing board.'
In another rematch of state title contenders, Alburnett's Tanner Sloan faced Waterloo East's Tyrell Gordon in the 195-pound final. Class 1A top-ranked Sloan beat 3A No. 2 Gordon for the second time this season, recording a 7-4 decision.
'They say it's hard to beat a good wrestler twice and I proved it's possible,' Sloan said. 'I just dug a little deeper, coming off the flu for four days.'
Sloan trailed in the first when he transitioned from a takedown to nearfall for crucial points to go with two escapes.
'He tried to whip me over with a neck wrench,' said Sloan, who added a third-period ride out. 'The thing to do is drive right through with the double leg and go straight to a (half-Nelson). I got myself five points.'
The decision to wrestle wasn't made until Friday. Sloan missed class the first four days and Alburnett didn't have school Friday. He still managed the big finals victory and dominate the rest of the field that included five ranked wrestlers.
'There were some good kids in my bracket,' Sloan said. 'I felt better Friday, so I said let's do it. I needed some more competition.'
Alburnett finished with two champions. Jaymus Wilson, ranked fourth in 1A, faced Dubuque Hempstead's 3A No. 4 Dillon Gottschalk for the 113 title. Wilson notched three takedowns en route to a decisive 8-3 victory.
Jefferson crowned a champion of its own. Braxton Bolden made his varsity debut this season, winning the 182-pound championship with a dominant 14-4 major decision over Waterloo East's Raquem Saffold.
'I liked it,' Bolden said of his title performance. 'I think I wrestled to the best of my ability.'
Bolden scored 14 of the last 16 points in the match. He tallied three takedowns and five nearfall points, improving to 4-0.
'He was just trying to throw me and I can feel it,' Bolden said. 'I didn't let it happen.'
Bolden entered the tournament as the eighth-seed. He was unfazed by the lower seed and was confident in his ability. His first match was an 11-9 victory over Indianola's top-seeded Colt Carpenter and pinned his semifinal foe.
'I don't really think about other people's records,' Bolden said. 'I thought I was going to win.'
Jefferson's Dawson Sweet reached the finals and was runner-up at 220.
1. Fort Dodge 268.5, 2. Dubuque hempstead 216, 3. Moline 153.5, 4. West Delaware 133, 5. Clinton 115.5, 6. Indianola 108, 7. Underwood 96, 8. C.R. Jefferson 92, 9. Fort Madison 87.5, 10. Waterloo East 78, 11. Boone 77, 12. Alburnett 69, 13. Davenport Central 58, 14. Muscatine 51.
106 — Drake Ayala (Fort Dodge) major dec. Isaiah Tapia (Moline), 13-4; 113 — Jaymus Wilson (Alburnett) dec. Dillon Gottschalk (Dubuque Hempstead), 8-3; 120 — Blake Thomsen (Underwood) pinned Chryshaun Taylor (Waterloo East), 2:39; 126 — Alex Thomsen (Underwood) dec. Brody Teske (Fort Dodge), 10-8 SV1; 132 — Drew Bennett (Fort Dodge) dec. Logan James (Underwood), 9-3; 138 — Drevon Ross (Fort Dodge) major dec. Tyler Murphy (Dubuque Hempstead), 11-1; 145 — Damond Lockner (Fort Dodge) dec. Mason Hulse (Boone), 5-3; 152 — Cayd Lara (Fort Dodge) dec. Harlan Steffensmeier (Fort Madison), 6-3; 160 — Alex Ward (Dubuque Hempstead) dec. Levi Egli (Fort Dodge), 3-2; 170 — Levon Bellemy (Davenport Central) dec. Kaden Smith (Fort Dodge), 11-5; 182 — Braxton Bolden (C.R. Jefferson) major dec. Raquem Saffold (Waterloo East), 14-4; 195 — Tanner Sloan (Alburnett) dec. Tyrell Gordon (Waterloo East), 7-4; 220 — Sam Wolff (Indianola) dec. Dawson Sweet (C.R. Jefferson), 7-3; 285 — Dylan Olson (Dubuque Hempstead) dec. Cobie Underwood (Moline), 5-4 (UTB).
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