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By Kyle Dmello, Xavier junior
CEDAR RAPIDS – The district and state tournaments wrapped up the wrestling season for the Xavier Saints this year with junior Sean Ickes and freshman Clint Lembeck both qualifying for state after great performances at districts.
It was Ickes’ second consecutive year at state.
Districts this year took place at Waverly-Shell Rock on Feb. 8. The Saints placed sixth in an eight team meet. Lembeck won his 126-pound weight class in an overtime match, after pinning his previous two opponents to reach the championship.
“It felt good to make Xavier history and win my district as a freshman,” he said. “My team really helped me out during the season, especially Jeff Vipond.”
His performance earned Xavier 24 points.
Ickes placed second in the 170-pound weight class, qualifying for state and earning 16 points for the Saints.
Freshman Vipond and junior Nick Drahozal just missed qualifying to state. Vipond lost a 5-4 decision and Drahozal lost in a sudden death match. However, Vipond earned 14 points for Xavier and Drahozal picked up 13.
Ickes and Lembeck wrestled again on at the state meet at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Feb. 14-15. Ickes lost both of his matches, but is determined to work hard and perform better next year.
“Next year my biggest goal is to place in state,” Ickes said.
Lembeck, who was battling illness, lost his first match, won his second, then lost his third.
Both wrestlers enjoyed their time at state, getting the chance to participate with the best from Iowa.
“It was really cool to see all of the states’ best wrestlers in one place, and we had a lot of fun there this year,” Ickes said.
Ickes and Lembeck will have a chance to improve and go to state next year.