The brackets for the state wrestling tournament were released on Sunday by the Iowa High School Athletic Association. Two Ankeny wrestlers and one from Ankeny Centennial enter the tournament as No. 1 seeds.
The Jaguars placed fourth in last year’s Class 3A tournament, their highest finish ever under coach Jay Groth. The Hawks took 11th, their highest finish ever under coach Jack Wignall.
Here are all of the first-round matchups for the Ankeny and Centennial wrestlers, along with a look at some potential matchups later in the tournament. The opening round in Class 3A begins on Thursday at 9 a.m. at Wells Fargo Arena.
113: Top-ranked Trever Anderson (33-1) vs. Trace Gephart of North Scott (26-16). Anderson, last year’s 106-pound champion, could meet No. 8 Aime Mukiza of Des Moines North/Hoover (25-6) in the quarterfinals. No. 4 Ryder Downey of Indianola (41-4) or No. 5 Jace Rhodes of Mason City (34-7), who both lost to Anderson in last year’s tournament, could await in the semifinals. Either No. 2 Bailey Roybal of Waverly-Shell Rock (35-1) or No. 3 Blaine Frazier of West Burlington (47-1) is expected to emerge from the other side of the bracket.
120: No. 10 Cael Cox (26-9) vs. Owen Kruse of Fort Madison (25-15). Cox, a junior, is making his state-tournament debut. He could meet No. 1 Drake Ayala of Fort Dodge (41-0), perhaps the state’s best pound-for-pound wrestler, in the quarterfinals.
126: No. 9 Jace Anderson (19-5) vs. No. 4 Bryce Parke of Linn-Mar (Marion) (33-1). Anderson, a freshman, has wrestled only a few matches since mid-December due to an injury, but returned on Saturday to capture a district title. He will meet either No. 6 Ayden Kingery of Southeast Polk (28-10) or No. 10 Connor Kelley of Waukee (25-13) in his next match.
138: No. 1 Caleb Rathjen (39-1) vs. Cole Wilcox of Sioux City East (30-15). Rathjen, a junior, is heavily favored to make his third straight trip to the finals. The Iowa recruit placed second at 113 as a freshman before winning the title at 126 a year ago. He will meet No. 7 Carter Martinson of Southeast Polk (29-10) or No. 8 Leo Blawou of Des Moines Lincoln (30-7) in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, he could meet No. 4 Christian Stanek of Cedar Rapids Xavier (37-5), who lost to teammate Sam Kallem in last year’s seventh-place match at 132. Either No. 2 Dreyzon Phillips of Fort Dodge (36-7) or No. 3 Griffin Molle of West Burlington (42-4) could await in the finals. Rathjen posted a 10-4 decision over Phillips to win his second CIML title last month.
145: No. 3 Sam Kallem (32-4) vs. No. 10 Dylan Falck of Cedar Rapids Kennedy (26-8). Kallem, a senior, is looking to close out his career with a second consecutive podium finish. He could meet No. 6 Carson Martinson of Southeast Polk (34-10) in the quarterfinals. No. 2 Colby Schriever of Mason City (12-4) could await in the semifinals.
106: Cael Wiener (24-14) vs. No. 2 Ryder Block of Waverly-Shell Rock (37-0). Wiener, a freshman, draws the No. 1 seed in the opening round. He is guaranteed to face another ranked wrestler, No. 8 Kyhler Carstarphen of Dowling Catholic (30-6) or No. 10 Nathan Canfield of Davenport Central (31-6), in his next match.
120: Jackson Bresson (22-13) vs. Tanner Wink of Council Bluffs Lewis Central (11-1). Bresson, a senior, placed eighth at 113 a year ago. Wink, meanwhile, defeated Centennial’s Jackson Helmkamp in a first-round consolation match at 106 last season. With a win, Bresson would face No. 2 Austin Kegley of Cedar Rapids Prairie (33-4) or No. 6 Garrett Baumann of Iowa City High (29-10) in the quarterfinals.
126: Jackson Helmkamp (30-11) vs. No. 2 Carson Taylor of Fort Dodge (33-3). Helmkamp, a sophomore, draws a tough opening opponent for the second year in a row. As a freshman, he was pinned by Iowa City High’s Ethan Wood-Finley.
145: No. 4 Ben Monroe (35-2) vs. Logan Adamson of Bettendorf (23-4). Monroe, a three-time state runner-up, is looking to close out his career by winning his first state title. He could meet No. 5 Graham Gambrall of Iowa City West (32-5) in the quarterfinals. No. 1 Devon Strief of North Scott (41-3), who posted a 5-3 decision over Monroe at the Ed Winger Invitational last month, could await in the semifinals.
170: No. 1 Logan Neils (39-0) vs. Tucker Pederson of Fort Dodge (11-5). Neils, who placed fourth at 160 as a sophomore and finished second at 170 a year ago, is favored to win his first title after a dominant senior campaign in which he set the Centennial single-season record for pins. He could meet No. 9 Bradley Hill of Bettendorf (32-7) in the quarterfinals and either No. 4 Ashton Barker of Iowa City West (26-5) or No. 5 Ryan Plummer of Linn-Mar (Marion) (32-4) in the semifinals. Neils posted an 11-4 decision over Barker in last year’s semifinals, when Barker competed for Iowa City Liberty. No. 2 Mickey Griffith of Des Moines Lincoln (31-2), whose only two losses came to Neils, could await in the finals.