DUBUQUE — Iowa City West Coach Mark Reiland said it was one of those days. A satisfactory effort, but nothing spectacular from his Trojans.
Other Mississippi Valley Conference teams may beg to differ and would likely exchange outcomes any day.
West crowned five champions, tallying 244½ points, to win its seventh straight MVC tournament title Saturday at Dubuque Senior. The Trojans finished a massive 89 points ahead of runner-up Linn-Mar.
The approach is the same every year, according to West senior Nick Moore.
“It’s come in and score as many points as possible,” Moore said. “Then go home and be proud of it.”
West performed about as well as possible, even with two starters (Keegan Wakefield and Garrett Hathaway) out. The Trojans moved 11 into the semifinals and placed 13 of 14 in the top eight.
“I’m not so sure we were going to do a whole lot better,” Reiland said with a full lineup, adding that Tracy Bowers (135) and Gradey Gambrall (140) moved up a weight. “When you put 11 in the semifinals, that’s a lot of balance.”
Moore was one of seven West finalists, dominating his way to the 160-pound championship and Outstanding Wrestler honors. Moore pinned his way through all four matches, sticking Cedar Rapids Kennedy’s Zach Parsons in 1:25.
Moore became just the sixth person to win four conference titles, joining older brother, Nate, who did it for West from 2005-08, and cousin, Cliff, who did it for Dubuque Hempstead from 1996-99.
“It gives you a little bit to feel good about,” said Moore.
Sophomore teammates Jack Hathaway (112), Gambrall and Justin Koethe (152) won their second straight crowns. Hathaway and Koethe also pinned their way through the tournament. Gambrall scored seven takedowns for a 16-7 major decision over Cedar Rapids Prairie’s Cameron Rathje.
David Solis, who placed sixth at state last year, entered as the sixth seed at 171. He surpassed that, beating Linn-Mar’s Mark Atwater, 5-2, in the final. Solis is started to regain his form that powered him to a strong finish last year.
“Her was scoring points,” Reiland said. “We know what he’s capable of and he knows what he’s capable of. We need to get him back there.”
Linn-Mar had one of its best team performances at the MVC meet Saturday. The Lions placed half of their lineup in the top four, including three finalists. Talented freshman Joel Northrup and sophomore Josh Pederson won titles for Linn-Mar.
Lions Coach Doug Streicher said most of the team wrestled to their pretournament seeds and won most of the matches they had realistic shots.
“We did that in most weight classes,” Streicher said. “Overall, we wrestled pretty good.”
Northrup avenged one of his losses, blanking Waterloo West’s Alonzo Henderson, 4-0, in the 103 final. He was the only freshman to leave with a gold medal.
“I was glad and excited,” Northrup said of the title. “It’s a big feat to do it.”
Northrup was able to win the battle on his feet unlike the previous meeting. He scored a takedown in the first, scoring two more points while dominating Henderson from the top position the rest of the match.
“It was a matter of fixing a few things on his feet,” Streicher said about the difference from the last meeting. “(Northrup) did what we asked him to do.”
Pederson has made a major leap in his two years at Linn-Mar. Last year, Pederson was a runner-up at the MVC junior varsity tournament. Now he’s a conference titlist, using a first-period takedown and kicking his hips over West’s Bowers for a reversal and two nearfall points to seal a 7-1 victory at 135.
“He’s 100 percent better,” Streicher said of Pederson from a year vago. “He’s had a really nice year.”
Prairie and Kennedy also had three finalists. Prairie, third with 140 points, had champs in Zach Witte (145) and 215-pounder Josh Lambrecht.
Luke Kremer was the Cougars’ lone champion, beating Dubuque Wahlert’s Shane Broderick, 6-3, at 125. Kremer didn’t get to wrestle in the MVC tournament as a freshman last year due to an illness.
“I felt good this year because I couldn’t last year,” said Kremer, who is 29-4 without a loss to a Class 3A wrestler from Iowa. “It made me wrestle harder.”
Ryan Sheldon also reached the finals for Kennedy.
Cedar Rapids Jefferson’s Connor Herman won the heavyweight title. Herman, a 22-1 junior, avenged his only loss this year with a 4-0 win over Mac Mahmens in the semifinals.
Cedar Rapids Xavier advanced two to the finals, receiving runner-up finishes from Braxton Chicchelly (130) and heavyweight Josh McDonald. Iowa City High’s Dexter Curry was second at 189.
Teams - 1. Iowa City West 244.5, 2. Linn-Mar 155.5, 3. C.R. Prairie 140, 4. C.R. Kennedy 122.5, 5. Waterloo East 122, 6. Waterloo West 120, 7. Iowa City High 101.5, 8. C.R. Jefferson 93, 9. C.R. Xavier 88, 10. Dubuque Hempstead 73.5, 11. Cedar Falls 62.5, 12. C.R. Washington 53, 13. Dubuque Wahlert 51, 14. Dubuque Senior 38.
103 pounds - Joel Northrup (LM) dec. Alonzo Henderson (WW), 4-0; 112 – Jack Hathaway (ICW) pinned Bryce Lynn (DS), 5:21; 119 – Kirk Sallis Jr. (WE) pinned Jon Skarda (ICW), 2:52; 125 – Luke Kremer (CRK) dec. Shane Broderick (DW), 6-3; 130 – Demetrious Taylor (WE) dec. Braxton Chicchelly (CRX), 3-0; 135 – Josh Pederson (LM) dec. Tracy Bowers (ICW), 7-1; 140 – Gradey Gambrall (ICW) major dec. Cameron Rathje, 16-7; 145 – Zach Witte (CRP) major dec. Stephen Settlage (CRJ), 14-4; 152 – Justin Koethe (ICW) pinned Ryan Sheldon (CRK), 1:32; 160 – Nick Moore (ICW) pinned Zach Parsons (CRK), 1:25; 171 – David Solis (ICW) dec. Mark Atwater (LM), 5-2; 189 – Kyven Gadson (WE) pinned Dexter Curry (ICH), 2:32; 215 - Josh Lambrecht (CRP) dec. Brock Haas (DH), 5-1; Hwt. – Conner Herman (CRJ) pinned Josh McDonald (CRX)*
*-No official time was provided.
Braxton Chicchelly, Cedar Rapids Jefferson, Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Cedar Rapids Prairie, Cedar Rapids Xavier, Cliff Moore, Conner Herman, David Solis, Dexter Curry, Doug Streicher, Dubuque Hempstead, Dubuque Senior, Gradey Gambrall, Iowa City High, Iowa City West, Jack Hathaway, Josh McDonald, Justin Koethe, Linn-Mar, Luke Kremer, Mac Mahmens, Mark Reiland, Mississippi Valley Conference tournament, MVC, Nate Moore, Nick Moore, prep wrestling, Ryan Sheldon, Tracy Bowers, Wrestling, Zach Parsons