DES MOINES — Of the 42 state champions who had their arms raised Saturday, Chase Shiltz might have been the least demonstrative.
It’s not the Creston/Orient-Macksburg senior’s style to prance around the mat. It is his style to show where true commitment and no-nonsense dedication will take you.
Top-rated Shiltz became the 88th Iowa athlete to win three state championships, capturing the Class 2-A 182-pound title with an 11-3 win by major decision over unrated Ballard junior Ben Lee at Wells Fargo Arena.
Shiltz (58-0), who finished second at 145 as a freshman, became the 56th four-time state finalist and joins Jake Marlin, who won four crowns, as the only Panthers with at least three championships.
Shiltz initially committed to North Dakota State for wrestling before flipping to Northwest Missouri State for football. He said he doesn’t plan to do any summer wrestling, so this was his last match. He made sure to shake the hand of every Creston assistant in attendance.
“All together, they made me,” he said. “Every single one of them have been part of my success.
“It takes a lot to get here. All the time that we’ve put in, my family has put in for me. It’s all just coming together and ending really well, so I’m pretty satisfied with it.”
Shiltz’s victory was the lone bright moment in 2-A from a western Iowa perspective. The other two finalists dropped gut-wrenching decisions.
At 220, second-rated Creston/O-M senior Kadon Hulett (56-3) gave up a takedown with one second left in a 6-5 loss to No. 8 Jordan Baumler of North Fayette Valley.
“The loss of Hulett definitely makes you sick, but if you’ve been around wrestling long enough that’s part of the deal,” Creston coach Darrell Frain said. “Not everything always goes your way, and that match it didn’t.”
Baumler (29-4), a junior, had placed second the last two years. Hulett finished fifth last year and sixth as a sophomore.
The loss prevented Creston from earning a third-place team trophy. Solon nipped New Hampton for the title, 96.5 to 96, and Assumption finished just ahead of the Panthers, 83 to 79.5.
“Disappointed that we just came up a little short for the trophy,” Frain said. “That’s the way it works sometimes.”
At 285, third-rated John McConkey of Atlantic lost a 3-2 decision to No. 2 Tristan Wirfs of Mount Vernon, an Iowa football recruit.
The size difference in the two was striking. Wirfs stands 6-foot-5 and had to drop 37 pounds to get down to 285. McConkey is about 5-10 and 235.
Wirfs registered what proved to be the winning takedown with 1:20 left when he went ahead 3-1. McConkey got an escape but couldn’t find the winning takedown.
That left Shiltz as western Iowa’s lone state champ in 2-A.
“He doesn’t get enough credit for how good he really is,” Frain said. “He just takes care of business, and he’s been taking care of business for three years. It’s great to be his coach.”
Final team scoring
1, Solon 96.5; 2, New Hampton 96; 3, Davenport Assumption 83; 4, Creston/Orient-Macksburg 79.5; 5, West Liberty 66.5. Also: 8, Atlantic/CAM 52.
120: Carter Cox, Atlantic/CAM dec. Nick Meling, East Marshall, 5-3
145: Mitchel Swank, Creston/OM, dec. Austin Hazlett, Washington, 6-3
182: Nick Foss, Harlan, dec. Tanner Vermaas, Woodward-Granger, 6-4
195: Zac Stork, Atlantic/CAM dec. Sam Moore, Mount Vernon, 5-4
132: Brayden Curry, Sergeant Bluff-Luton, dec. Gable Sieperda, Central Lyon/GLR, 5-2
160: Kotlon Bartow, Dubuque Wahlert, dec. Thomas Bentley, Red Oak, 6-4
170: Michael Kent, Iowa Falls-Alden, dec. Jacob Wingert, Harlan, 9-5
195: Jackson Mikkelsen, Creston/OM, dec. Matthew Landsperger, Knoxville, 3-2
182: Chase Shiltz, Creston/O-M, major dec. Ben Lee, Ballard, 11-3.
220: Jordan Baumler, North Fayette Valley, dec. Kadon Hulett, Creston/O-M, 6-5.
285: Tristan Wirfs, Mount Vernon, dec. John McConkey, Atlantic/CAM, 3-2.