It’s state tournament or bust for wrestlers throughout Iowa after grinding through a physical season that began for some in late November.
Qualifiers will emerge Saturday from eight districts that run simultaneously in Classes 3-A, 2-A and 1-A beginning at noon. The top two finishers in each weight class advance to next week’s state meet in Des Moines. Everyone else is done for the season.
Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson High will be the epicenter for western Iowa’s 3-A participants. The host Jackets welcome in Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln and Council Bluffs Lewis Central along with Denison-Schleswig, Le Mars, Sioux City East, Sioux City North and Sioux City West. Seven rated wrestlers are scheduled to go, including two at 152 pounds in Thomas Jefferson’s unbeaten Colton Clingenpeel (No. 1) and Lewis Central’s Mac Southard (No. 7).
Class 2-A and 1-A district weights consist of four wrestlers each after sectionals last weekend. Area action in 2-A concentrates in Atlantic. Among its notable attractions are three one-loss contenders in Glenwood’s Matt Malcom (46-1 at 152 pounds), Creston/Orient-Macksburg’s Chase Shiltz (37-1 at 170) and Clarinda’s J.J. Clark (40-1 at 182).
Creston leads the field with 10 district qualifiers while Glenwood adds eight and Atlantic brings seven.
Also in 2-A, Sergeant Bluff-Luton brings eight wrestlers to a district meet at Sheldon while Sioux City Heelan adds 10. Meanwhile, Carroll Kuemper’s five qualifiers will compete at Webster City.
A pair of unbeaten grapplers highlight the large area fray in Class 1-A at Underwood. Defending state champion and Underwood sophomore Alex Thomsen (44-0 at 126) leads six Eagle qualifiers while senior Josh Hopkins (44-0 at 152) goes for East Mills.
Logan-Magnolia rolls out a district-best nine qualifiers, with AHSTW adding eight and Missouri Valley six. AHSTW senior 170-pounder Tim Barr enters at 49-1.
At Interstate 35 in Truro will be a pair of qualifiers from both Coon Rapids-Bayard and Nodaway Valley. Other sites with area contenders are Northwest Webster (OA-BCIG has seven qualifiers) and Sibley-Ocheyedan (West Monona three and Maple Valley-Anthon-Oto two).