Southeast Iowa Shut-Out at State
by Joe Milledge KIIC Sports
It was a tough night for southeast Iowa wrestlers in the championship round at the 2013 State Wrestling tournament. The early indication came at weight 113 when Albia’s Shadow Leshen was beat 1-0 and claims 2nd place in class 2a for the second year in a row. But in a bout that shocked many of the fans in the sold-out arena, Eddyville Blakesburg Fremont Wrestler Blake Marolf was pinned halfway through the second period of his 132 weight class championship bout. Marolf – who was 45-2 before the championship round was up 5-0 when the dramatic change of events happened. Marolf told KIIC that his Iowa Valley opponent made a desperation move that caught him off guard. Marolf is only a sophomore and will surely be back for the Rockets next year.
The shut out continued for Eddyville’s Jason Crosby in his 138 championship match. Crosby was beat 4-2 by his opponent from West Marshall. He ends the season with the second place finish in the state, class 1a, and an overall record of 50-5.
Ottumwa’s Karsten VanVelsor was eliminated in his finals match by his Bettendorf opponent 15-9. The Bulldog senior was one of 2 wrestlers Ottumwa brought to the tournament after a drought last year.
Centerville’s Ryan Denny lost his 2a-195 bout 2-0 against his Creston opponent. Denny had a remarkable 48 pins on the season.
Oskaloosa grapplers made it to the semi’s but did not advance any to the finals. (see earlier related articles for results)
Eddyville Blakesburg Fremont brought 7 wrestlers to state again this year and ended the season as the runner up in the Team Duals competition on Wednesday and 3rd place in the overall individual point totals for class 1a. EBF head coach Brett Little in talking with KIIC expressed frustration with the Iowa High School Athletic Association for moving the Team Duals competition to the day before state tournament. The Rockets were one of 8 1A teams that qualified for Team Duals. This schedule forced the Rockets to wrestle against 3 teams on the day before Individual competition started. In year’s past, this event was typically the week after Individual competition.
The timing for this year’s state tournament aligned impeccably with the International Olympic Committee’s decision earlier in the week to pull wrestling from competition at the Olympics. This drew immediate rebuke from the Iowa congressional delegation as well as wrestling legends Dan Gable Terry Brands and others. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad launched a new initiative ‘Let’s Keep Wrestling’ to apply pressure to the IOC to reverse its decision. An on-line petition is just one angle being pursued. As of press time, the petition had over 7000 signatures. The website address for the petition is www.letskeepwrestling.com