Iowa high school girls’ wrestling notes: A winning start for Mid-Prairie

Golden Hawks of the Middle Plains

WELLMAN — The Mid-Prairie girls’ wrestling team got off to a flying start.

The Golden Hawks clinched a tournament title in the first weekend of the season. Now they can boast the program’s first double win – actually three of them.

Mid-Prairie outplayed Iowa City Liberty for its first official double, followed by a come-from-behind barnburner against West Liberty and a dominant performance against Iowa City West to close the quadrangle at home.

Lots of reason to celebrate with a 3-0.

“We’ve never had a duel,” said Golden Hawks coach Dylan Walther. “We’ve competed against a few other teams in the past and we’ve beaten each other by approximate weight.

“We have girls with experience. They’re kind of spread apart in weights, of course. We have 10 girls on the team and they managed to fill 10 weights without anyone bumping up or down too much.”

The Golden Hawks had little trouble in a 51-10 win over the Lightning, posting seven pins. However, the duel with West Liberty was a different story. The Comets rose to a 33-12 lead with four contested games.

“I was trying to figure out what to do with our lineup as the meeting and the rest of the night went on,” Walther said. “At one point I was thinking about the next dual and doing a little bit of math and thinking if we’re stuck then we have a chance.”

The wrestlers delivered. Three pins and a waiver were enough to earn a 36-33 win. Entries came from athletes from a variety of backgrounds. Mardie Berry is new to the wrestling program and she started with a pin at 155 pounds. Mia Garvey, one of the more accomplished and experienced wrestlers, hit a few weight classes to get a pin at 190, and freshman wrestler Sam Stacey capped it off with a first period fall at 235.

“They were enthusiastic, especially with the way the meeting went,” said Walther. “We probably won’t win too many duels where we are 0-3 at 135, 140 and 145. We have some of our tougher girls here, but West Liberty is pretty tough there.”

Mid-Prairie ended the evening with a 54-6 win over West. Walther said the team has good depth and most could score in major tournaments.

“I was expecting a pretty solid group,” said Walther. “Things are changing a bit with the structure of the state tournament this year. I don’t know how that translates but I’d like to think we have a good chance of performing well towards the end of the year.”

Mid-Prairie returns to BGM for Friday’s competition and will wrestle in Williamsburg on Monday. The key to continued success is to keep making profits through hard work.

“The most important thing is to keep improving,” said Walther. “I told them last night that there are about 2,300 girls[wrestlers]in the state and about 1,500 are brand new right now. …You can’t take anyone for granted and say I pinned them earlier in the year. You will keep improving and getting better. We have to do the same if we want to continue to be at the top in these games.”

Dan Gable Donnybrook this week

The Dan Gable Donnybrook Wrestling Tournament begins Thursday with a women’s wrestling competition at Coralville’s Xtream Arena. The first session begins at 12:00 p.m. and the second session at 5:00 p.m

Twenty-eight teams from five states are listed for the girls’ division. Some of the best programs in Iowa will be in attendance including Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association, Girls State Champion Waverly-Shell Rock, Ankeny, Bettendorf, Charles City, Decorah, Fort Dodge, Iowa City High, Iowa City West, Linn-March, Mount Vernon , New Hampton, Oilskin, Solon, Vinton-Shellsburg and Williamsburg.

The conclusion of the two-day girls’ tournament is the final on Friday evening. The weekend of competition includes a two-day boys’ tournament on Friday and Saturday and a youth tournament on Sunday.

Independence crowns four

Independence crowned four champions at the Central Invitational in Elkader on Monday night. Morgan Krall, Claire Carey, Havana Griffith and Rachel Eddy have all won titles.

Eddy is a former IWCOA Girls State Champion and two-time finalist. She is also ranked number 21 nationally on USA Wrestling’s 200.

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