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Maquoketa's Taven Rich rides Central DeWitt's Cole Miller during their 285- pound semifinal match at the Class 2A sectional wrestling tournament earlier this month. 

Duals tournament

Bettendorf and Davenport Assumption will represent the Quad-Cities in Wednesday's state duals competition at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. 

The Bulldogs are seeded sixth in Class 3A and wrestle Ankeny Centennial in the opening round at 9 a.m. The Knights are the fourth seed in 2A and open against Crestwood at 9 a.m. 

If both teams win, they likely would run into opponents that have beaten them this year. Bettendorf is on the same side of the draw as second-seeded Waverly-Shell Rock, and Assumption could meet top-ranked West Delaware.

"We've got to have a high confidence," Assumption's Seth Adrian said. "It was a tough weekend last weekend (getting only three individuals through districts), so these guys know this is the last day of the wrestling season and they have to leave it all on the line."

Assumption has the longest active streak of dual appearances at 12. 

State tournament seeded

The Iowa High School Athletic Association has seeded each weight class for the first time.

Instead of a random draw like previous years, the IHSAA awarded seeds to the top eight wrestlers in each weight class, with the hopes of getting marquee matches on championship Saturday. The remaining eight competitors were randomly placed in the bracket.

The seeding, however, has resulted in some controversy. A half-dozen brackets have been redrawn since the initial reveal on Sunday morning because of mistakes detected in points received for seeding criteria. 

A formula was used to determine seeding, and part of it awarded points to returning state champions, placewinners and qualifiers.

For instance, in Class 2A at 220 pounds, Seth Adrian (48-2) beat Monticello's Lake Stahlberg (38-3) in the district final 6-2, but Stahlberg was given the three seed and Adrian a five. 

"It doesn't bother me too much," Adrian said. "You have to go undefeated in the tournament to win it."

Speaking of seeds 

The Q-C has four wrestlers on the top seed line — three in 2A and one in 1A. 

Assumption's Julien Broderson, an Iowa State recruit and two-time state champion, is the No. 1 seed at 195 pounds in 2A. Central DeWitt's Keaton Zeimet (106) and Columbus Community's Jarod Kadel (138) also are top seeds.

In 1A, Midland sophomore Damon Huston is the top seed at 106 pounds.

Among other wrestlers to garner top three seeds are North Scott's Caleb McCabe (third at 126) and Collin Lewis (third at 145), Pleasant Valley's Eli Loyd (second at 138) and Bettendorf's Will Jefferson (third at 170). 

Numbers game

There are 56 wrestlers from the Quad-City Times circulation area in this week's tournament — 28 in 3A, 16 in 2A and 12 in 1A. Bettendorf has an area-best 12 qualifiers and North Scott follows with eight. 

Of the Bulldogs' qualifiers, Aiden Evans (120), Will Jefferson (170) and Griffin Liddle (285) were state placewinners a season ago. 

Loyd, state runner-up at 132 pounds last winter, and McCabe are the only other returning metro state placewinners in 3A. 

Muscatine has four qualifiers, the most it has sent to Des Moines in 13 years.

West Liberty has the most area qualifiers in 2A with five. Four of those wrestlers — Will Esmoil (145), Coy Ruess (152), Austin Beaver (160) and Kobe Simon (220) — were in the state tournament last year. 

Wapello and North Cedar pace the area 1A contingent with four and three qualifiers, respectively. The Indians have qualifiers at four straight weight classes in Colton Meeker (113), Mitchell Moore (120), Daniel Meeker (126) and Christopher Ewart (132). 

Maquoketa wrestler has 'Rich' goals

Maquoketa junior Taven Rich did not start wrestling until last season. In two years, Rich has become one of the better 285-pounders in 2A.

After narrowly missing the state tournament last season, Rich takes a 34-4 record into Thursday night's opening session.

Seeded sixth, Rich has just one loss to a 2A competitor in West Delaware's Carson Petlon, but he avenged that setback with a second-period pin in the district championship last Saturday in DeWitt.

Rich has been motivated since last year's district loss. He suffered a broken hand during a wrestling camp this past summer, but has rebounded nicely.

"Just staying focused," Rich said. "I wasn't too focused on wrestling last year. I had to be out doing other stuff. This year, I'm trying to stay committed and keeping my mentality positive."

— Compiled by Matt Coss


Sports Editor

Prep sports editor, with emphasis on covering the Mississippi Athletic Conference and Iowa area high schools. I've been in sports journalism for 17 years, the last five at the Quad-City Times.