Fantastic Four At State

Two juniors and two freshmen get their first taste of state tournament action at Wells Fargo Arena.


It was a first for all four of juniors Ryan Cassady, Ryker Dengler and freshmen Briggs Collins and Kaden Wiele — wrestling under the bright lights at Wells Fargo Arena.

The location nor the moment fazed these Comets as all four picked up at least one victory at this year’s Iowa High School Athletic Union’s state wrestling tournament.

Each got to wrestle at least three times, and at the end of it all, these Comet wrestlers earned valuable experience they can put to use in 2025 when they return for their senior and sophomore seasons.

For Wiele, he left Des Moines with his 40th win and one match away from earning a medal on the 157-pound podium.

He opened his tournament with an active 16-11 decision win over West Lyon’s Gage Blauwet before falling to NH/TV’s Karson Kolbet in a 30-second pin in the following round.

Having to work back the long way, Wiele scored a third-period pin over West Marshall’s Dillon McMorran and a 5-4 decision win over Creston’s Milo Staver. 

Against Staver, Wiele had to flip the scoreboard late. He entered the third-period down by one after giving up a penalty point against the Panther.

With choice advantage, Wiele chose to stay in neutral, and got a takedown at the 1:10 mark to go up 5-4. He kept Staver on the mat the rest of the way.

This win earned himself a spot in what’s known as the “bloodround” where winners are guaranteed a spot on the podium with only eight wrestlers alive afterwards.

There, Wiele faced Taylor Mahler of Hampton-Dumont-CAL. Mahler made his presence felt immediately.

After two minutes, the Bulldog led 9-1 after two takedowns and five back points. He piled on four more points in the second period and led 13-3. 

Needing a pin, Wiele got a few opportunities with two takedowns in the final frame. But Mahler held strong and got the victory to advance in the bracket, where he would ultimately win-out and finish third.

Cassady and Dengler each finished one win shy of reaching the bloodround, ending their tournaments in the consolation third round.

Dengler won his opening round match in the 150-pound bracket against Brody McKinley of Harlan, which marked his 30th win of his first wrestling season.

He got knocked into the consolation bracket after a 17-4 major decision loss to Algona’s Tate Slagle, but Dengler rebounded with a 3-2 decision victory against Bode Thompson of Albia.

It was an exciting finish for a match with so few points. Trailing 1-0 entering the third-period, Thompson elected to go on bottom. He scored a reversal in 24 seconds, giving him the lead.

But Dengler flung the reversal right back in Thompson’s face, and kept him down for the final 52 seconds of the period to escape with the victory.

Like in Wiele’s final match, his opponent jumped all over Dengler. Cooper Ludwig of Carroll led 8-0 after the first period, which would be enough to advance despite Dengler’s takedown and two-point nearfall in the second.

Ludwig got called for stalling three times in the final period, two of which gave Dengler a penalty point. But the scoreboard was too far in his favor for it to make a major difference.

At 113, Cassady was the lone Comet to fall in his first match on Wednesday morning. Lane Travis of Creston got the better of him in a 10-5 decision.

After receiving a bye in the consolation first round, Cassady got into the win column with a second-period pin over Jayden Mara of Waukon.

For a spot in the bloodround, Cassady took on Jarrett Engel of West Delaware Manchester. There, Cassady and Engel were deadlocked at two apiece entering the third period.

Cassasy, electing to go on bottom, earned a six-second escape to go ahead 3-2. But Engel turned the tables and scored a takedown 34 seconds later and ended the match in a pin.

In the 132-pound division, Collins scored a dominant 13-5 major decision win against Jaxson Lundgren of North Fayette Valley in the first round of the championship bracket.

After a quiet first-period, in which the only scoring was a Collins takedown, the Comet scored two more takedowns and a two-point nearfall as the period ended to lead 8-2.

In the third, Collins picked up another takedown and just needed to survive the round. He gave up one penalty point to stalling, but made up for it with his fourth and fifth takedowns of the match.

The road got tougher from there as he had to wrestle No. 2 seed Matt Beem from Glenwood in the next period. Beem, who eventually finished in third-place, showed why he’s one of the top wrestlers in 2A with a 32-second pin over Collins.

West Liberty’s freshman was able to stay on the mat a bit longer in his third and final match, but was pinned in 46 seconds by Cherokee Washington’s Wyatt Johnson to end his tournament.

Overall, the Comets scored 18 team points, which placed them 45th among the 84 Class 2A schools represented.

In 2A, Osage continued their dominance of the class with a team title and 128.5 points. Mount Vernon (110) and Union, LaPorte City (95) also took home team plaques. 

On the individual side, Class 2A crowed 14 state champions: 

Klayten Perreault at 106 (Mount Vernon); 

Brayden Bohnsack at 113 (Union, LaPorte City); 

Gage Spurgeon at 120 (Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont); 

Carson Doolittle at 126 (Webster City); 

Kade Blume at 132 (Roland-Story); 

Blake Fox at 138 (Osage); 

Anders Kittelson at 144 (Osage); 

Caleb Olson at 150 (Union, LaPorte City); 

Tucker Stangel at 157 (Osage); 

Colin Young at 165 (Dubuque Wahlert); 

Austin Scranton at 175 (Anamosa); 

Jarrett Roos at 190 (Sheldon/South O’Brien); 

Braden McShane at 215 (New Hampton/Turkey Valley); 

and Mac Muller at 285 (Osage).

In addition to Scranton, the River Valley Conference had another state champion.

In 1A-106, Wilton’s Liam Adlfinger caused an upset-filled storm to win his first state championship. From the No. 10 seed, he upset the top three seeds in the bracket and flipped a 6-4 deficit in the championship’s final period into a 9-8 win.

IHSAA state championship results for West Liberty


Ryan Cassady (31-15) place is unknown and scored 4.0 team points. Champ. Round 1 - Lane Travis (Creston) 37-16 won by decision over Ryan Cassady (West Liberty) 31-15 (Dec 10-5). Cons. Round 1 - Ryan Cassady (West Liberty) 31-15 received a bye () (Bye). Cons. Round 2 - Ryan Cassady (West Liberty) 31-15 won by fall over Jayden Mara (Waukon) 21-7 (Fall 3:52). Cons. Round 3 - Jarrett Engel (West Delaware, Manchester) 31-16 won by fall over Ryan Cassady (West Liberty) 31-15 (Fall 4:40).


Briggs Collins (39-15) place is unknown and scored 3.0 team points. Champ. Round 1 - Briggs Collins (West Liberty) 39-15 won by major decision over Jaxson Lundgren (North Fayette Valley) 39-7 (MD 13-5). Champ. Round 2 - Matt Beem (Glenwood) 39-1 won by fall over Briggs Collins (West Liberty) 39-15 (Fall 0:32). Cons. Round 2 - Wyatt Johnson (Cherokee, Washington) 35-14 won by fall over Briggs Collins (West Liberty) 39-15 (Fall 0:46).


Ryker Dengler (31-12) place is unknown and scored 5.0 team points. Champ. Round 1 - Ryker Dengler (West Liberty) 31-12 won by fall over Brody McKinley (Harlan Community) 29-12 (Fall 5:00). Champ. Round 2 - Tate Slagle (Algona) 43-4 won by major decision over Ryker Dengler (West Liberty) 31-12 (MD 17-4). Cons. Round 2 - Ryker Dengler (West Liberty) 31-12 won by decision over Bode Thompson (Albia) 29-12 (Dec 3-2). Cons. Round 3 - Cooper Ludwig (Carroll) 30-5 won by decision over Ryker Dengler (West Liberty) 31-12 (Dec 10-6).


Kaden Wiele (40-9) place is unknown and scored 6.0 team points. Champ. Round 1 - Kaden Wiele (West Liberty) 40-9 won by decision over Gage Blauwet (West Lyon) 7-5 (Dec 16-11). Champ. Round 2 - Karson Kolbet (NH/TV) 42-9 won by fall over Kaden Wiele (West Liberty) 40-9 (Fall 0:30). Cons. Round 2 - Kaden Wiele (West Liberty) 40-9 won by fall over Dillon McMorran (West Marshall) 32-15 (Fall 4:25). Cons. Round 3 - Kaden Wiele (West Liberty) 40-9 won by decision over Milo Staver (Creston) 41-13 (Dec 5-4). Cons. Round 4 - Taylor Mahler (Hampton-Dumont-CAL) 45-9 won by major decision over Kaden Wiele (West Liberty) 40-9 (MD 16-8).