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The Gazette KCRG
Posted February 14, 2013
‘You can’t take that away’

Linn-Mar's Alijah Jeffery (left) scores on an escape from Glenwood's Matt Malcom in their 120-pound first-round 2A bout at the state wrestling tournament at Wells Fargo Arena on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, in Des Moines. Jeffery won 10-0. (Liz Martin/The Gazette-KCRG)

DES MOINES — When the IOC voted Tuesday to cut wrestling from the Olympics beginning in 2020, reactions across the nation and around the globe ranged from disappointment, to shock, to outrage.

The history-defying decision isn’t necessarily final, but the news reverberated in wrestling circles at every level, including the high school ranks.

The consensus plan of action: Fight.

And if there’s anyone it’s unwise to scrap with …

“It’s definitely wrestlers,” said Linn-Mar junior Alijah Jeffery, who is ranked No. 1 in Class 3A at 120 pounds.

Jeffery, who improved to 45-2 Thursday, said he was stunned when he heard of the move.

“Wrestling’s one of the biggest sports in the Olympics,” the two-time third-place winner at state said. “To me and to any other wrestler, it’s huge. It’s the dream of what everyone wants to be at. You take that away, that’s a pretty big deal.”

Iowa City West’s second-ranked 126 pounder Chris Walters expects the IOC’s decision to be reversed — and suggested another event for the Olympic chopping block.

“I don’t see how synchronized diving is a sport,” he said. “It’s more of a hobby than anything.”

UTHOFF STILL IN: Some doubted whether Cedar Rapids Prairie’s Sam Uthoff would be able to compete Thursday after suffering a knee injury in Wednesday’s state duals.

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QUIET STRENGTH: Edgewood-Colesburg’s Sawyer Amling let his actions and Vikings coach Alex Hanna do the talking for him.

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IN IT TO PIN IT: City High’s 220-pounder, Ryan Maas, flattened his first-round foe in 1:03 — earning the distinction as Thursday’s fastest Gazette-area pinner in Class 3A.

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