DES MOINES — For the second consecutive year, Sam Myer will get his shot at competing against the best wrestlers in the state.
The St. Edmond junior secured a spot in the Class 1A tournament beginning here Wednesday inside Wells Fargo Arena.
Myer will take on Pleasantville senior Caleb Cook at 138 pounds.
The opening 1A session is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.
Coming off a strong finish at the South Central Calhoun Duals, Myer earned his state bid by placing second at districts. He brings a record of 27-13 into the week.
“I’m feeling like my abilities have improved greatly over the season thanks to my coaches,” Myer said. “There has been lots of hard work to get to the tournament, so it’s nice to be back.
“But making it to Wells is only half the battle. I’m shooting for a title, but regardless, I’m just ready to scrap.”
Last year, Myer went 19-9 including a 1-2 mark at state. He earned a thrilling 14-12 decision to keep his quest for a medal alive in the consolation round before a loss ended his season.
Myer was fourth during the regular season at the North Central Conference Tournament, as he also placed second at the Cougar Invitational and was third at the Doug Wood Invitational.
Cook is 41-5 coming into the meet and also qualified last year for state. He went 3-2, scoring an opening round decision before falling in the consolation fourth round to end the year 47-7.
Returning state runner-up Jace Nelson-Brown leads a five-pack of E-Hawk qualifiers.
Nelson-Brown, Justin Wirtz and Ryan Wirtz each captured district titles, while Nick Saxton and Gage Jorgenson were runners-up.
After receiving a bye, the third-seed Nelson-Brown will face either Jordan Martin-England from Lenox or Will Atchison of Iowa City Regina. A senior, Nelson-Brown went 35-4 this year.
Justin Wirtz also received a bye at 165, as the 38-2 junior awaits either Kyle Kuboushek of South Winneshiek or Jordan Orr from West Monona-Whiting.
Ryan Wirtz has the same starting path, as the sophomore received a bye at 190 after going 35-6. He gets the winner of Taite Peach from Iowa Valley and Austin McMahan of North Mahaska.
Saxton, a 33-13 sophomore, battles with Emmitt Fleshman from Alburnett, a senior who went 47-8, at 215. Jorgenson scored a bye and will carry a 25-4 mark into a meeting with either Jonah Reiling of Lisbon or Aiden McFadden of Baxter.
Along with Nelson-Brown’s silver, Jorgenson was eighth last year while both Justin and Ryan Wirtz qualified.
South Central Calhoun
Brock Nattress and Naylan Gulbranson will be in action for the Titans.
Nattress, a returning state qualifier who went 48-5 as a senior, received a bye and will face either Carter Metcalf from Pleasantville or Tyce Larson of Jesup at 150.
Gulbranson takes on Bode Stanley from Interstate 35 at 165. A senior, Gulbranson went 27-17 this past year while Stanley, a junior, was 33-9.
Mason Knapp claimed a district crown with Logan Grimm advancing as a runner-up for the Wolverines.
Knapp, a sophomore competing at 113 with a record of 37-6, takes on Preston Province of West Sioux. Province, a senior, is 14-11.
Grimm, a 165-pounder, faces Regan Witt from Saint Ansgar. A senior, Grimm is 33-5 on the year with Witt, also a senior, boasting a mark of 39-9.
East Sac County
Both Bradyn Burns and Charlie Veit secured district titles for the Raiders to punch return state appearances.
Burns, a 45-12 senior, meets Missouri Valley’s Owen Becerra at 132. Becerra was 24-17 this past year as a freshman.
Veit, who was sixth as a sophomore, will face either Auron Marsh of West Branch or Brenner Sullivan from Woodbine in the second round. He was 42-3 this past year as a senior.
William Lawson will be the lone representative to compete for the Indians this coming week.
Qualifying at 150, Lawson will face Ruger Kincaid from Baxter in a battle of sophomores. Lawson enters with a record of 40-8 while Kincaid went 32-15.