Following another strong regular season, the Class 3A sixth-ranked Waukee High School wrestling team made yet another splash as they advanced to the state dual team tournament for the third consecutive season. They did so through a top ten battle, defeating eighth-ranked Linn-Mar 42-23.
Waukee picked up nine wins for the match and did so in a variety of ways. Waukee picked up two wins by decision, two wins by pinfall, two wins by major decision, two wins by techfall, and one victory came via forfeit.
“Our guys fought hard tonight,” said head wrestling coach Chad Vollmecke. “These guys train all the time and they put in the work and they deserve the opportunity to go down there (state) and fight it out with the eight other best teams in the state.”
Carter Smith at 132-pounds opened up the action for Waukee and struck dominance right away. The junior jumped out to a 3-0 lead which held through the second period. Smith captured two takedowns for his match including a third period takedown which secured his 5-1 decision on the night. He now rests with 22 wins on the season. Smith was followed by 145-pound wrestler Colin Driscoll who also established himself early and cruised to his second major decision victory of the year in 12-4 fashion. Driscoll jumped out to a 5-0 lead through the first two periods and proceeded to rattle off seven third period points to secure his 20th win of the season.
The second of two decision victories for the Warriors came from the second-ranked 152-pound wrestler in Cody Anderson. En route to earning his team-best 39th win of the season, Anderson quickly jumped out to a 5-1 lead through the first period and eventually the win. While every match had its fair share of excitement, perhaps the most exciting battle of the night for Waukee came at 182-pounds as Tanner Spyksma took just 1:57 to capture a pinfall win against Linn-Mar’s A.J. Frost. Victory didn’t really seem anywhere out of reach for the sophomore as a 2-0 lead blossomed into a 6-2 lead and before his pinfall, was already up by an 8-2 margin. The victory bumps his win total up to 23 on the season.
Griffin Gammell followed with the first of two tech-fall victories for the Warriors. Normally set as the second-ranked 182-pound wrestler, Gammell bumped up to 195=pounds for the night due to some absences and still found a way to win. Gammell delivered on his 38th win of the season with his first tech-fall victory 17-2. The second pinfall victory of the night came from Cael Thorson, ranked sixth in the latest 220-pound rankings. With chants of “Thor” ringing throughout Waukee Fieldhouse, Thorson battled Linn-Mar’s Jacksen Snitselaar and picked up his 33rd overall victory and 26th pinfall win of the campaign.
Following Bain Svendson’s victory by forfeit at 106-pounds, Waukee rattled off two more victories including Class 3A’s third-ranked 120-pound wrestler in Thurman Christensen. He picked up the second tech-fall win for Waukee while Elijah Hofbauer at 113-pounds delivered the team’s second major decision victory of the night in 12-2 fashion.
The Warriors came in as the eighth seed in the dual playoff format and will most likely battle it out in a similar seed for dual state which will happen on Wednesday, Feb. 19. This will be their third straight trip to state as a team. They will be seeking to improve upon their sixth-place finish a year ago.