This week Class 1A State Wrestling Tournament is full of talent.
There are 10 former state champions (or 12, if you count both Underwood’s Molly Allen and Sigourney-Keota’s Reanah Utterback, both of whom have won state girls’ wrestling titles from the Iowa this season).
There are four Greco-Roman All-Americans: Wyatt Smith of Lisbon, Mikey Baker of West Sioux and two Underwood wrestlers, Gable Porter and Stevie Barnes.
And there’s also a national champion… in bass fishing.
Yes, Lawson Losee, a senior from Riceville, is a national bass fishing champion. He and Kooper Tweite, another wrestler from Riceville, won the Student Fishermen’s Federation National High School Fishing Championship event in June 2020.
Losee is also a very good wrestler. He recorded an 18-3 technical fall over Beckman Catholic’s Conner Grover at 160 pounds in the first round of the Class 1A state championships on Thursday night. He is now 40-4 overall and will fight in the quarterfinals on Friday.
“That was my goal for the first game, to go and score a bunch of points, and I did it,” Losee said afterwards. “I feel pretty good.”
But this bass fishing thing is legit. It is organized by SAF, part of the Bass Federation, the oldest and largest organized grassroots fishing organization in the country. It organizes various competitions across the country every year.
“That’s all we do in the summer,” Losee said. “I have been fishing since I could walk. We have a pond just outside of Riceville and we go there all the time.
“A lot of people don’t even know there’s a national competition. We just signed up and ended up winning.
Losee has participated in various competitions over the years. In 2020, he and Tweite were one of 312 teams from 39 different states competing for the national championship, held on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
After three days, Losee and Tweite totaled a 30-pound, 4-ounce draw that beat second place by nearly two pounds. That’s a lot in the world of fishing – as well in bonus point territory, to use wrestling parlance.
“It’s close to a technical drop,” Losee said with a laugh.
The prize for the first consisted of a few good-sized trophies and various scholarship options. Losee decided in October that he would go to Upper Iowa to wrestle next year. But before heading to Fayette to join the Peacocks, he has some business to settle. here in Des Moines.
Losee entered his senior season as a three-time state medalist. He has reached the national semi-finals twice, in 2020 and 2021, but lost both times. He is determined to break through and reach the national final this year.
On Friday, Losee will face Cade Molyneux of Sigourney-Keota in the quarterfinals. Win that and he’ll be back in the semis, against Don Bosco’s Jared Thiry or West Sioux’s Cullen Koedam. It’s his way until Saturday night.
“You just have to keep fighting at a high pace,” Losee said. “I’m looking forward to this semi-final game, but first I have to continue one game at a time.”
Looks like a lesson in patience will be needed – which also applies very well to fishing.
Yes, there really are 10 former state champions in Class 1A
And all 10 rode in the first lap on Thursday – which was mostly expected.
The 10 wrestlers:
- New London’s Marcel Lopez, a hat-trick looking for his fourth this week. He recorded a 66-second pin at 126 pounds.
- Chet Buss of North Butler-Clarksville, a double-timer seeking his third this week. He recorded a 55-second pin at 285 pounds.
- Lisbon’s Brandon Paez, 2020 state champion and state runner-up again last year, recorded a technical fall of 15-0 to 120.
- Underwood’s Gable Porter, another 2020 champion and 2021 runner-up, needed just 32 seconds to record a pin at 132.
- Nashua-Plainfield’s Garret Rinken, who could see Paez in the final at 120, also recorded a 66-second drop.
- Lisbon’s Cade Siebrecht recorded a second-half slump to win at 138.
- Logan-Magnolia’s Wyatt Reisz, a champion last year as a sophomore, clocked a 76-second pin.
- Columbus Catholic’s Max Magayna, a freshman champion last year, scored a pin in 54 seconds.
- Don Bosco’s Tenold twins, Cade (170) and Carson (195), notched pins for the high-powered Dons.
- Hudson’s Tate Entriken needed just 42 seconds for a first-round pin at 182.
They are state champions for a reason.
Allen and Utterback strike on Day 1
It was a tough day for the three girls who qualified for the Iowa High School Athletic Association State Wrestling Championships this week.
Earlier Thursday, Jasmine Luedtke of Ottumwa went 0-2 at 113 pounds in Class 3A. The other two girls took the mat in the Class 1A Tournament Thursday night, and they both suffered the same fate.
Underwood’s Molly Allen and Sigourney-Keota’s Reanah Utterback both hit 106 pounds. Allen was pinned in her first match by Case Monat of North Tama, then lost 7-2 to Mack Morgan of Eagle Grove. Utterback lost 7-1 to Mount Ayr’s Brock Shaha in their opener then was pinned by Logan-Magnolia’s Gavin Kiger in the struggles.
All three girls were runners-up at last month’s Iowa Girls’ Wrestling Championships, hosted by the Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association. Allen and Utterback won titles, at 105 and 110 pounds, respectively. Luedtke took second place at 115.
Even MORE First Round Bowling!
There were 94 pins in the first-round and first-round consolation matches of the 1A State Tournament Thursday night. For perspective, there were 168 matches played between the two rounds.
This means that more than half of the games played in the first two rounds – 56% – were decided in the fall. It was much more than the other two classes. In class 2A, there were 74 pins in total. In class 3A, only 69.
There were 16 pins in 1A that happened in a minute or faster. West Sioux’s Carson Lynott recorded the fastest hairpin of the day, in any class, recording a first lap crash in just 14 seconds.
Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.