DES MOINES - Five St. Edmond wrestlers will look to prove they belong among Iowa's elite at this week's individual state tournament.
Class 1A action begins Thursday at 9 a.m. inside Wells Fargo Arena.
No. 8 Ryan Szalat (106 pounds), top-ranked Teddie Harvey (145) and No. 1 Vinnie Harvey (220) all claimed titles for the fourth-ranked Gaels at Saturday's district meet in Jewell, while No. 4 Kaden McClintock (113) and Dillon Nelson (182) advanced with runner-up efforts.
Messenger photo by Josh Meyer
State wrestling qualifiers from St. Edmond include (left to right):?Teddie Harvey, Kaden McClintock, Ryan Szalat, Dillon Nelson and Vinnie Harvey.
"Regardless of matchups, we feel good about our chances down (at Des Moines)," SEHS head coach Tanner Utley said. "It's a whole new season, and we aren't settling. Our goal is to get all five guys on the podium."
Szalat (40-4 overall) faces Southwest Iowa's Craig Rice (35-15) in his opening match. With a victory, the sophomore Szalat could then square off with fifth-ranked Jimmy Abell (41-1) of Colfax-Mingo in the quarterfinals.
First up for senior Teddie Harvey (40-0) is Wilton's Rich Janney (30-10). A potential showdown with No. 5 Cody Marks (45-2) from Nashua-Plainfield looms in the next round. Teddie, a three-time state qualifier, placed fifth here last winter and owns 140 career wins.
"Teddie got on the podium last year, but he doesn't want to look up to anybody this time around," said Utley.
Making his second consecutive state trip, junior Vinnie Harvey (40-0) meets Ridge View's eighth-ranked Michael Davidson (24-5). Earlier this year at the Doug Wood Cougar Invitational in Manson, Vinnie - who has collected 115 varsity triumphs - pinned Davidson in 3:28. No. 3 Logan Melby (36-3) of Logan-Magnolia likely awaits in Vinnie's second bout.
McClintock (40-1) is paired against Tri-Center's Christian Polley (41-8). McClintock, a junior, also qualified for state in 2012. The three-time North Central Conference champion has a chance to see seventh-ranked Isiah Brandt (37-3) from Sumner-Fredericksburg in the quarterfinals. McClintock boasts a career mark of 116-9.
"That previous (state) experience is a huge help for all of those guys (Kaden, Teddie and Vinnie)," Utley said. "Kaden and Vinnie weren't satisfied, though, with how things went last year and are ready to change that."
In his debut on the big stage, Nelson (35-9) will be challenged by Clarksville's No. 2 Dalton Ciavarelli (33-3). Should Nelson pull off an upset, the senior might then hook up with fifth-ranked Ryan Leonard (44-3) of Midland.
"Ryan and Dillon have been wrestling well of late and are battle-tested," said Utley. "Both of those guys have been in a lot of close matches this season and hope to be on the winning side now."