Your Prep Sports
DES MOINES – After two full days of wrestling brackets that started with 16 of the best wrestlers in the state have been whittled down to two.
By the end of the night Saturday one wrestler will stand alone at the top of the podium in each of the 14 weights across three classes.
State title matches begin in all three classes at 6 p.m. on Saturday night at Wells Fargo Arena and once again the Your Prep Sports area will be well represented.
All three of the Your Prep Sports area wrestlers in state finals are unbeaten, top-ranked defending champions.
West High junior Hunter Garvin, City High sophomore Ben Kueter and Solon junior Hayden Taylor will all look to add their title counts on Saturday night.
Before the action kicks off here is quick look at the three area title matches.
160 – Hayden Taylor (Solon) vs. Wyatt Appleseth (Panorama)
Already among the most accomplished active wrestlers in the state, Taylor will be seeking to add to his stellar career resume on Saturday.
Top-ranked Taylor (37-0) brings a 110-match winning streak into the 160-pound title match where he will be seeking to become the 93rd three-time champion in state history.
Taylor won the 126-pound title in a two-loss freshman season and completed just the second unbeaten season in Solon history last year while winning a title at 145 pounds.
The junior reached the championship match with a 20-6 major decision over fifth-ranked Allen Catour of Davenport Assumption.
Taylor will face an unbeaten opponent in the state title match for the first time on Saturday when he takes on second-ranked Panorama senior Wyatt Appleseth (46-0).
Appleseth is 88-1 over the past two seasons placing third at 152 pounds last season with his only loss a 4-1 decision to eventual state champion Will Esmoil of West Liberty in the semifinals.
138 – Hunter Garvin (West High) vs. Dylan Whitt (Cedar Falls)
Garvin is seeking a second consecutive state title in his third trip to the state title match after winning gold last season at 132.
The West High junior has been among the most impressive wrestlers throughout the entire state tournament.
Top-ranked Garvin (15-0) reached the 138-pound title match with a tech fall and back-to-back pins, needing just 3:43 to pick up a semifinal fall of third-ranked Carter Martinson.
Despite spending less than 13 minutes on the mat this weekend Garvin has racked up 11 takedowns and outscored opponents 41-5.
Whitt (14-2) reached the finals with a 7-5 semifinal upset of second-ranked and previously unbeaten Cole Ferguson of Waukee.
A two-time qualifier, seventh-ranked Whitt was seventh at 138 pounds last season with his losses this year coming to Class 1A fourth-ranked Isaac Schimmels of Denver and 2A top-ranked Isaiah Weber of Independence.
195 – Ben Kueter (City High) vs. Jake Walker (Waverly-Shell Rock)
A year after going unbeaten on his way to the 160-pound title as a freshman Kueter has been even more dominant after making the jump to 195 pounds.
Top-ranked Kueter is 10-0 this season with seven pins and two tech falls and has outscored three state tournament opponents by a combined score of 31-7.
Kueter has seven pins and two tech falls among his 10 wins this season with a 17-4 major decision over seventh-ranked Waukee junior Tanner Spyksma in the semifinals his only match to last the full six minutes.
A fifth-place finisher at 195 pounds last season as a freshman Walker is making his first state title appearance after a 5-3 sudden victory win over second-ranked and previously unbeaten defending state runner-up Taner Harvey of Boone.
The semifinal win over Harvey avenged a 3-1 regular season loss for Walker (23-4) who also has losses to the top two ranked wrestlers in 2A in Wyatt Voelker of West Delaware and Jackson Kinsella of Creston.