Your Prep Sports
DES MOINES – The focus for Ben Kueter all season has been the same – getting better.
The feeling for the City High sophomore when he put the finishing touches on a second consecutive unbeaten season with his second Class 3A state title in as many years?
You guessed it, better than before.
“I’ll never get used to that feeling, it gets better every single time,” Kueter said following a 5-0 win over Waverly-Shell Rock sophomore Jake Walker in the 195-pound title match. “It’s the best feeling in the world.”
Kueter is always about getting better.
Every day, every practice, every match.
This season a bigger, better Kueter was more than anyone in the state could handle.
Top-ranked Kueter (11-0) had seven pins and two tech falls among his 11 wins this season and his 5-0 win over Walker in the 195-pound title match was his closest in a dominant sophomore season.
“He was in control, obviously we want to open those gaps up more and he does as well but nobody is every going to ask you what the scores were when you win a state champions,” City High coach Cory Connell said. “You just know you’ve won a couple of state championships and hopefully three and hopefully four.”
A year after going a perfect 24-0 on his way to the 160-pound title Kueter put on close to 20 pounds, bumped up three weight classes and became even tougher to beat.
Kueter outscored state meet opponents by a combined score of 36-7 without allowing a takedown.
“I was cutting a little weight last year so I was walking around at probably 175 or close to 180 so I really just had to put on a good 10 or 15 pounds,” Kueter said. “I feel good at 195, I feel quick.”
Kueter had six takedowns in a 17-4 major decision over No. 7 Tanner Spyksma of Waukee in the semifinals, electing to control the match on his feet.
Against third-ranked Walker (23-5) in the semifinals Kueter did much of his damage on the mat.
After a scoreless first period Walker took down to start the second period and Kueter needed just 27 seconds to turn him for three near fall points.
Kueter secured the win with a reversal with 1:14 left in the final period.
“I would have like to have gotten to my offense a little more but that kid has crazy good hips you could tell that from his other matches,” Kueter said. “I probably shouldn’t have played it as smart as I did but it worked out.”
With two state titles and an unblemished 35-0 record in two prep seasons it is impossible to not think about what is next for Kueter who is a talented four sport athlete.
After a quick flex for the City High fans following his win Kueter flashed two fingers to the crowd for two state titles.
Kueter is already thinking about the possibility of a third and even fourth title but first is back to his focus – getting better.
“I’m not going to lie to you and say its not on my mind,” Kueter said of being halfway to four titles. “It’s always on the back of my mind but I just have to focus on what is next and then deal with that when we come to it.”
Class 3A State Wrestling Tournament
At Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines
Team scores (Top 10; area teams) – 1. Waverly-Shell Rock 154.5; 2. Waukee 146; 3. Southeast Polk 143; 4. Bettendorf 100.5; 5. Ankeny 96.5; 6. Fort Dodge 90.5; 7. Linn-Mar 87; 8. West High 82; 9. North Scott 72; 10. Johnston 56; 11. City High 50.5
138 – Hunter Garvin Dylan Whitt (Cedar Falls)
195 – Ben Kueter (City High) Jake Walker (Waverly-Shell Rock)
113 – Cale Seaton (City High) dec. Kaden Karns (Waterloo West) 8-2
126 – Cael Cox (Ankeny) won by medial forfeit Grant O’Dell (West High)
152 – Graham Gambrall (West High) major dec. Abraham Dirkx (Carroll) 15-7
170 – Ashton Barker (West High) dec. Ivan Thomas (CR Xavier) 11-5
126 – Jacob Fistler (Dallas Center-Grimes) won by medial forfeit Grant O’Dell (West High)
106 – Kael Kurtz (City High) major dec. Ben Hansen (Ankeny) 9-1
113 – Cale Seaton (City High) dec. Aime Mukiza (Des Moines North-Hoover) 10-4
152 – Carson Martinson (Southeast Polk) dec. Graham Gambrall (West High) 3-0
170 – Ashton Barker (West High) pinned Tim Nimely (Muscatine) 1:23