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The Gazette KCRG
Posted February 5, 2013
West shoots for 11 in a row

Iowa City West has its hands on a record with a chance to claim sole possession of it.

The Trojans have currently qualified for the Iowa High School Athletic Association State Duals wrestling tournament 10 straight seasons, tying Logan-Magnolia, which accomplished that feat from 2002-11.

Eighth-ranked West has a chance for a record 11th consecutive State Duals berth Wednesday night when it hosts No. 9 West Des Moines Dowling in a Class 3A regional dual, beginning at 7 p.m. The Trojans are tied with Clear Lake, Emmetsburg, Iowa City High and Lo-Ma, and a win could push them into sole possession of fourth overall behind Don Bosco, Davenport Assumption and Cedar Rapids Prairie.

Mark Reiland is in his 14th season as head coach at West, which hadn’t qualified for the State Duals before his tenure. The feather will be placed in the cap when it’s earned, but the streak is not the focus.

“I think that would be something that we’d certainly be proud of,” Reiland said. “Right now, it’s really just about getting it this year more than anything else.”

The Trojans (21-7) have their work cut out for them. Dowling enters with four ranked wrestlers, including fourth-ranked Isaiah Patton at 160, and No. 6 106-pounder Tanner Rohweder. Dowling’s Jonah and Jonathan Eide are ranked seventh and sixth at 113 and 126, respectively.

West is led by second-ranked Chris Walters (126) and Mickey Pelfrey (195), No. 3 Kegan Wakefield at 138 and 220-pounder Micah Kelsay, who is ranked seventh.

“They match up with us really well,” said Reiland, noting the lightweights and middleweights. “We’ve got to bring our ‘A’ game and make sure we’re ready when we get there.”

West has not produced one of its top years during the stretch when it has won five State Duals titles and never placed worse than third. The Trojans won the Mississippi Valley Conference Mississippi Division championship and beat second-ranked and MVC Valley Division champ Cedar Rapids Prairie.

The victory showed progress, but it showed inconsistency as the Trojans finished a distant third and had its nine-year MVC Championships team title streak snapped.

“We’ve been kind of a hot and a cold team,” Reiland said. “We’ve looked good at times and we’ve looked shaky at times. If we look shaky we’re not going to win.”

Prairie and Linn-Mar will attempt to give the MVC three representatives at the State Duals for the second straight year.

Prairie (23-3) hosts West Des Moines Valley. The Hawks will try for their seventh berth since 2005 and 13th appearance overall.

Linn-Mar (24-7) hosts Clinton. The Lions look to reach their third straight State Duals and fourth in school history. Linn-Mar defeated Clinton, 45-21, in the Lions dual tournament Jan. 5.

Regional dual winners advance to the State Duals tournament Wednesday, Feb. 13 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

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