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Iowa state duals wrestling tournament: West Delaware powers its way to fifth straight Class 2A final
Alburnett, Mount Vernon secure top-4 finishes at state duals tournament
CORALVILLE — Win. Win. Hooray.
West Delaware broke its huddle with a jovial “Hooray” shouted by the Hawks. Not the intense or menacing mantra you’d expect from wrestlers.
“That’s Cameron Geuther for you,” West Delaware Coach Jeff Voss said about the Hawks’ top-ranked heavyweight that started the cheer. “It’s a fun group. They’re having fun down here.”
Second-ranked West Delaware had plenty to celebrate, earning a fifth straight trip to the Class 2A state duals finals Saturday at Xtream Arena. The Hawks opened with a dominant win over No. 7 Webster City and outlasted No. 3 Sergeant Bluff-Luton, 40-29, in the semifinals.
“It feels great,” 138-pound senior Carson Turnis said. “There’s a little something more to it this year. I don’t know why. I’m feeling great right now.”
The post-match shout came after a recent event at rival Independence. Geuther said the team didn’t know what to say. The word just popped out and now it stuck.
“They caught on to it,” Geuther said. “Everybody getting down to this since we won.
“It’s good to be a part of this group. It’s really fun. I love it.”
The Hawks’ lineup consists of six seniors. Geuther, Turnis, 120-pounder Carson Less, Logan Peyton at 160, Will Ward (195) and 220-pounder Grant Northburg are among the seniors who maintain the high bar set when they entered the program.
“The senior class really contributed a lot of different ways over the last four years,” Voss said. “I’m so happy for them as seniors to be back in the finals.”
Sergeant Bluff-Luton tried to snap the finals streak. The Warriors went toe-to-toe with the Hawks for most of the dual. Bo Koedam (132) and Zayvion Ellington (170) won by major decision, while 145-pounder Ty Koedam and Garrett McHugh at 182 added pins for a 20-16 lead at the midway point.
West Delaware took control with three straight wins and four in the next five bouts. Ward and Geuther recorded pins that sandwiched Northburg’s 3-0 decision over Mario Rangel. Ward clinched a bodylock and decked Gage Hoffman in 2:35. Geuther needed 1:35 to pin Sean Zimmerman.
After a forfeit, Brayden Maury posted a 1:43 fall over Cam Keokenchahn at 113 for a 37-26 lead with two matches remaining. The Hawks won eight bouts with bonus points in six.
“It’s awesome,” said Turnis, who scored two takedowns in the final 40 seconds to beat Ayden McRoberts, 9-1, to tie the dual, 4-4 after two matches. “I love seeing our guys push themselves to their best and get after kids. When we do that, we’re an unbeatable team.”
West Delaware was finally able to put its best lineup on the mat. The team’s next-man in mentality carried them through the regular season filled with injuries. The Hawks resembled the team Voss anticipated.
“This is the first time, maybe one other time all year, we had all of our state placewinners in the lineup together,” Voss said. “For them all to come together, it shows what they can do.”
West Delaware faces top-ranked Osage in the final. It’s the first time since 2019 the championship bout didn’t feature two Wamac Conference teams. The Wamac was well-represented with No. 4 Mount Vernon and No. 8 Williamsburg making the 2A field.
The Mustangs rolled Creston in the quarterfinals before falling to the Green Devils, 43-25, in the semifinals. They secured their best finish since placing fourth in 1997.
Alburnett also earned a top-four finish. The third-seeded Pirates nearly advanced to the Class 1A final. They battled No. 2 Wilton to the final bout, having a chance to tie it with a pin in the last match.
The Beavers avoided bonus points for a 36-33 win in the end, moving to the championship dual against Don Bosco. Wilton and Alburnett split 14 matches, but the Beavers held a 5-4 pin advantage.
“They competed hard,” Alburnett Coach Clayton Rush said. “There’s never a question about that.
“I think there were a few situations where they were trying to get bonus instead of letting it come naturally, wrestling how they wrestle and forcing it a little, but that comes with experience. Sometimes that is a hard lesson learned where if you go out and put points on the board you wind up getting those bonus.”
The Pirates won four of the first six weights, receiving pins from Gunnar Keeney (145) and Carson and Reece Klostermann at 160 and 170, respectively. Wilton produced a key turning point at 152, trailing by a point when it recorded a pin. The Beavers stormed back with four straight pins from 182 through 285 and a decision from Mason Shirk at 106.
The Pirates responded with three straight wins to close the dual. Rowdy Neighbor (113) had a pin and Tayten Coufal and Preston Klostermann won by decision but it wasn’t enough. The future remains bright for a team with just three seniors.
“We’re top four in the state and that’s awesome,” Rush said. “You want to finish odd.”
Wilton moved on to face No. 1 Don Bosco for the 1A title.
In Class 3A, familiar foes reached the finals again. Top-ranked Southeast Polk and two-time defending state duals champion Waverly-Shell Rock battled for the title for the fifth straight year. The Rams won in 2019 and 2020.
Southeast Polk reached the finals with wins over Dubuque Hempstead (49-23) and Ankeny (42-20). No. 3 WSR beat Ankeny Centennial (43-24) and No. 2 Bettendorf (36-28). The quarterfinal victory over the Jaguars was Go-Hawks Coach Eric Whitcome’s 250th career dual win.