For the area’s best wrestlers, the “I’s” have it when it comes to capturing championships in 2015.
Centerville senior Bradley Irwin won the Class 2A state title at 132 pounds, while Albia junior Carter Isley captured the Class 2A championship at 220 pounds. It’s the first state championship for each wrestler.
For Irwin, his victory came as a shock to most of the crowd at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. He entered the championship match with a 50-7 record on the season, but had to find a way to do what no one else had done this season: knock off Bedford/Lenox’s Dustin Reed, who came in at 50-0. Instead of the coronation of an undefeated champ, the fans were treated to one of the biggest upsets of the night, as Irwin battled his way to a 4-1 decision to close his high school career with the title.
For Isley, his title was somewhat more expected; he was the undefeated wrestler in the bracket, entering the title match with a 47-0 mark. Isley was coming off a tough 2-0 decision in his semifinal win, however, while Hampton-Dumont’s Kendrick Suntken was 34-3 and had won his semifinal match by fall. Neither wrestler gave an inch for most of the match, until Isley squeezed out an escape and hung on for a 1-0 championship victory.
Nine other area wrestlers earned podium finishes at this year’s state tournament. For a complete list of state qualifiers and their results, check out the Wrestling link at ottumwaradiosports.com.