CEDAR RAPIDS — It was the type of ending wrestling fans have come to expect whenever Iowa City West and Waverly-Shell Rock dual.
The two Class 3A powers have made it a regular occurrence to fight to the bitter end against each other, and the latest installment followed suit.
Waverly-Shell Rock notched the last of six lead changes and won the final bout, capturing their third straight duals crown with a 34-30 victory over top-ranked West in the Class 3A championship of the Iowa High School Athletic Association State Duals wrestling tournament last night at the U.S. Cellular Center.
West beat the Go-Hawks, 34-31, in the finals of the Five Seasons Duals on Dec. 12. The win was sweet revenge and ending to the season.
“It’s a real great rivalry between us and Iowa City West,” Go-Hawk two-time state champion Cody Caldwell said. “We wanted to get that win back. We wanted to cap our traditional state title off with a state dual title. All 20 of us came together today and we made it happen.”
The Go-Hawks’ Kolton Rottink and West’s Sam Chalkley took center stage in the final match at 125 and winner take all with the Go-Hawks grasping a 31-30 lead. It’s a position Rottink doesn’t crave but one he realized he needed to accept.
“I was really nervous,” Rottink said. “I don’t like being there but I knew I needed to go out there and get it done.”
Rottink did, scoring takedowns in the first and second period for a 5-0 win and clinching the title. Getting early scores calmed his nerves, something coaches and teammates tried to do with pre-match pep talks.
“After my first takedown I felt really relieved,” Rottink said. “I was ahead and I knew I had it then. After my second takedown, I knew I had to keep the pressure on him and finish it out.”
The Go-Hawks claimed bonus points in each of their first six wins, setting up Rottink’s heroics.
Caldwell (145), Jordan Meier (215) and two-time state champion Cody Krumwiede at heavyweight had falls. Jordan Rinken (130) and Jake Ballweg (140) had major decisions to give the Go-Hawks an 8-6 lead after three weights. State champion Eric DeVos added a technical fall at 119.
“We knew we needed to put guys away if we were able to,” Caldwell said. “We were fortunate enough to go out there and guys put points on the board and got bonus points. That’s what we needed to win.”
The two biggest came from Meier and Krumwiede. Meier and Jamal Thompson were deadlocked in a scoreless match when Meier turned Thompson for a fall in 3:42. Krumwiede had a major decision secured when he locked up a cradle on Mickey Pelfrey in third. After the two rolled round, Krumwiede settled and stuck Pelfrey with 20 seconds left.
“(Krumwiede) is a pinner,” Waverly-Shell Rock Coach Rick Caldwell said. “We were really hoping for a fall there. We thought it would be a real tight match with the (215-pound match). Our kid came on top and ran a great bar and got the fall.”
Rick Caldwell said the Go-Hawks had to make their own breaks along to get the win, and he expected a tight finish as always against West.
The two teams have faced off in the last four state duals finals with Waverly-Shell claiming its third straight title sweep.
“Two great teams,” Rick Caldwell said. “Either team could have won.
“Doubling up for the third time is pretty unbelievable.”
The teams split seven matches apiece. A common theme, but West came up one win short.
“You got to find a way to win the eighth match and you have to find a way to make sure you’re getting your bonus points,” West Coach mark Reiland said. “We didn’t do either tonight.”
West (31-2) just didn’t capitalize enough, during the dual.
The Trojans took an early lead with Gradey Gambrall’s pin at 135. A lineup change, inserting Mike Watkins in at 160 and moving up two weights worked briefly for West.
Watkins stepped in at 160 with a 5-0 win over Adam Walther, following a Justin Koethe pin at 152.
That allowed four-time state champion Nick Moore and David Solis to move up to 171 and 189 respectively. Moore scored a technical fall and Solis added a 13-7 decision over Collin Heideman for a late 23-124 lead.
“We were certainly in position to win,” Reiland said. “We haven’t been able to close the deal the last couple of years.
“They just outwrestled us. I thought they fought harder in the spots they needed to. They won.”
The second-seeded Go-Hawks (22-2) battled just to reach the final, edging Bettendorf, 34-31, in the semifinal. Waverly-Shell Rock opened with a 50-18 win over Cedar Rapids Prairie (19-3).
West won nine matches against Urbandale (14-6), posting a 41-33 win in the quarterfinals. The Trojans then cruised in the semifinals, defeating West Des Moines Valley, 47-24.
Bettendorf (15-3) trounced West Des Moines Valley (20-2), 50-13, for third.