Dodgers ready for stacked CIML Invite

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Fort Dodge senior state champion Carson Taylor will be the top seed at 126 pounds on Friday at the CIML Invitational.

PLEASANT HILL — The third-ranked Fort Dodge wrestling team has high hopes for the state tournament, so with a talent packed CIML Invitational field, head coach Bobby Thompson is looking for his Dodgers to get a solid tune-up on Friday.

Action begins at Southeast Polk High School with 16 of the 17 CIML squads in action. Waukee has elected not to participate.

“The CIML is a good measuring stick for state-level competition,” Thompson said. “There are a lot of (former) state placewinners in the field.

“We are looking to gain momentum and stay healthy with the postseason right around the corner.”

Forty-five current CIML wrestlers placed at the 2019 state meet, with nine winning titles and three more reaching the finals.

Barring injuries, there are 53 rated wrestlers scheduled to hit the mat on Friday, with nine top-ranked individuals and seven No. 2 competitors.

Fort Dodge has eight placewinners returning. The nation’s top-ranked 120-pounder, junior Drake Ayala (32-0), is the lone returning champ for the Dodgers. Second-ranked Carson Taylor (27-2), who will compete at 126 pounds, finished second a year ago.

Seventh-ranked Lane Cowell (113) and senior Savion Wheat (160) were both fifth last winter. No. 10 Brooks Cowell (132), No. 3 Dreyzon Phillips (138) and eighth-rated Kody Cook (152) were all seventh. No. 7 Brandon Mills (145) finished eighth.

“We had a great week of practice,” Thompson said. “We feel good about where we are sitting.”

Ayala, along with Ankeny’s Trever Anderson (113), Johnston’s fifth-ranked Thomas Edwards (126), Ankeny’s No. 1 Caleb Rathjen (126), Ankeny Centennial’s top-rated Ben Monroe (145), West Des Moines Valley’s second-ranked Caleb Corbin (152), and Southeast Polk’s Gabe Christenson (195) are all returning champs.

Southeast Polk won the team title in 2019, while Waukee was second and Fort Dodge third. Seventy of the possible 112 placewinners are back on rosters this season.

Mason City’s third-ranked Colby Schriever (145) is a returning champion, but is likely still out while he is recovering from an injury.

“This year will be a little different,” Thompson said. “A lot of teams have had some big injuries, so it will be interesting to see how the brackets breakdown.”


106 – Max Bishop, fr., (19-10); 113 – Lane Cowell, jr., (22-7); 120 – Drake Ayala, jr., (32-0); 126 – Carson Taylor, sr., (27-2); 132 – Brooks Cowell, sr., (22-6); 138 – Dreyzon Phillips, jr., (27-6); 145– Brandon Mills, sr., (21-9); 152 – Kody Cook, jr., (14-10); 160 – Savion Wheat, sr., (14-15); 170 – Jake Erickson, so.; 182 – Austin Lee, sr., (17-14); 195 – Kaden Lynch, so., (3-6); 220 – Open; 285 – Colton Munter, sr., (12-19).


2019 DODGER PLACEWINNERS: Lane Cowell, 5th; Drake Ayala, 1st; Carson Taylor, 2nd; Brooks Cowell, 7th; Dreyzon Phillips, 7th; Kody Cook, 7th; Brandon Mills, 8th; Savion Wheat, 5th.

2019 TOP TEN TEAM STANDINGS: 1. Southeast Polk 236.5; 2. Waukee 181; 3. Fort Dodge 162.5; 4. Ankeny Centennial 162.0; 5. Ankeny 153; 6. Johnston 127; 7. Valley 126; 8. Dowling 115.5; 9. Des Moines East 90; 10. Mason City 82.

RETURNING CHAMPIONS: Fort Dodge’s top-ranked Drake Ayala (120), Ankeny’s top-ranked Trever Anderson (113), Johnston’s fifth-ranked Thomas Edwards (126), Ankeny’s top-ranked Caleb Rathjen (126), Ankeny Centennial’s top-ranked Ben Monroe (145), Valley’s second-ranked Caleb Corbin (152) and Southeast Polk’s Gabe Christenson (195) are all returning champions.

PLACEWINNERS: 70 of the possible 112 top-eight finishers are back on their teams rosters.

TOP-RANKED WRESTLERS: Nine of the 14 top-ranked wrestlers by The Predicament are in the field.

SECOND TO ONE: Seven second-ranked individuals are in the brackets.

TOP-10: Fifty Seven individuals and five ranked teams will be competing.



2. Southeast Polk; 3. Fort Dodge; 7. Ankeny; 8. Ankeny Centennial; 10. Johnston.


106 — 1. Nathan Jesuroga, fr., Southeast Polk; 6. Owen Helgeson, fr., Johnston; 9. Khyler Carstarphen, so., Dowling.

113 — 1. Trever Anderson, so., Ankeny; 5. Jace Rhodes, so., Mason City; 7. Lane Cowell, jr., Fort Dodge; 9. Ethan Mahoney, so., Dowling; 10. Aime Mukiza, jr., DM North/Hoover.

120 — 1. Drake Ayala, jr., Fort Dodge; 6. Logan Stotts, fr., Valley; 7. Kaleb German, so., Urbandale; 9. Cael Cox, jr., Ankeny; 10. Jackson Bresson, sr., Ankeny Centennial.

126 — 1. Cullen Schriever, sr., Mason City; 2. Carson Taylor, sr., Fort Dodge; 5. Thomas Edwards, sr., Johnston; 9. Jackson Helmkamp, so., Ankeny Centennial; 10. Jace Anderson, fr., Ankeny.

132 — 2. Brock Espalin, sr., Des Moines East; 4. Joel Jesuroga, so., Southeast Polk; 9. Connor Wiemann, sr., Mason City; 10. Brooks Cowell, sr., Fort Dodge.

138 — 1. Caleb Rathjen, jr., Ankeny; 2. James Edwards, sr., Johnston; 3. Dreyzon Phillips, jr., Fort Dodge; 6. Carter Martinson, so., Southeast Polk; 7. Leo Blawou, Des Moines Lincoln; 10. Bennett Hageman, sr., Marshalltown.

145 — 1. Ben Monroe, sr., Ankeny Centennial, 3. Colby Schriever, sr., Mason City; 5. Sam Kallem, sr., Ankeny; 7. Brandon Mills, sr., Fort Dodge.

152 — 2. Caleb Corbin, jr., Valley; 3. Cody Anderson, sr., Waukee; 5. Cam Baarda, sr., Southeast Polk; 8. Kody Cook, jr., Fort Dodge.

160 — 1. Caleb Helgeson, jr., Johnston.

170 — 1. Logan Neils, sr., Ankeny Centennial; 2. Mickey Griffith, so., Des Moines Lincoln.

182 — 3. Blake Underwood, sr., Valley; 7. Justin Brindley, sr., Southeast Polk; 8. Austin Lee, sr., Fort Dodge; 9. Ethan Frazier, sr., Ankeny Centennial.

195 — 1. Gabe Christenson, sr., Southeast Polk; 2. Levi Egli, sr., Fort Dodge.

220 — 2. Kalob Runyon, jr., Southeast Polk; 5. CJ Stillman, sr., Valley; 7. Carson Williams, sr., Marshalltown; 8. Jackie Wells, jr., Ankeny Centennial; 10. Ramiro Gomez-Buentello, sr., Des Moines Lincoln.

285 — 3. Gabe Greenlee, jr., Ames; 4. Jordan Anderson, sr., Marshalltown; 10. Connor Brown, sr., Southeast Polk.


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