HUDSON — Defending a championship at last weekend’s North Iowa Cedar League meet, Taylan Entriken etched his name into the Hudson wrestling record books.
The senior 170-pounder entered Tuesday with 163 career wins, two more than the previous school mark of 161 recorded by four-time state champion C.J. Ettelson from 2000-03.
Entriken now hopes to extend that win streak into a position atop the state wrestling podium — adding his name to the list of champions from a Hudson program that has seen six different individuals combine for 11 titles.
“It was a pretty cool experience,” Entriken said of surpassing Ettelson’s wins mark. “Just a lot of work put into it. Ultimately, I’m just looking forward to the state tournament. You’ve got to keep your eyes on the prize and keep working hard. I’m definitely not done yet.”
Embracing time in the weight room and nutrition, Entriken has decided to continue his wrestling career at coach Dave Malecek’s Wisconsin-La Crosse program. It’s a natural fit for the future exercise major, whose work ethic has resulted in a career filled with wins.
“He (Malecek) works with that major and all the professors in that area, changing his workout routines to see what fits the athlete best,” Entriken said. “I like what they’re doing with their strength program. It’s really cool to see how much science they’re putting into their program.”
Hudson coach Wayne Haskovec says his school’s winningest wrestler moved into town as a polished fifth-grader who had competed in regular weekend AAU tournaments. Entriken solidified Hudson’s 120-pound weight class as a freshman and made a major jump to 152 his sophomore year.
Successful seasons as an underclassmen ended with tough postseason losses before Entriken broke through to place fifth in the 160-pound weight class at last year’s state meet.
“The telltale of his success has been his lifting,” Haskovec said. “He has a passion for being in the weight room. Even during the season he’s lifted five, seven days a week. He’s just an outstanding leader and he’s come a long way from a confidence standpoint.
“Last year, getting down to the state tournament and actually getting on the podium was a big kicker. He had some bad luck the first year or two with sectionals and districts and was able to overcome that last year. His mindset is to become a state champ this year.”
Entriken has compiled a 38-1 record this season with 21 wins by fall after setting both single-season and career school records for technical fall victories a year ago. His ability to score from the top position is as good as anyone Haskovec has coached.
“He’s so dominant on top,” Haskovec said. “He made a transition to kind of this claw spiral ride. I don’t know if we’d had anybody as tough a wrestler on top as Taylan. ... You won’t see that many kids that have been that aggressive on top.”
A strong measuring stick for Entriken, Class 1A’s No. 2-ranked 170-pounder, came early in the season when he lost 3-2 to Class 2A’s No. 2 Conner Shaw of Garner-Hayfield-Ventura — a match he felt he was close to opening up. The lessons learned from last year’s trip to state are also still fresh in his head.
“It was a great experience that it finally happened,” Entriken said. “What you’re doing up to it can only take you so far. Once you’re down there wrestling, no matter if you’re sore or tired, you wrestle as hard as you can. Everyone down there is just as tired, just as sore. It’s pretty much a big mental game once you get down to state.”
Entriken has complemented his ambitious lifting routine by competing against bigger wrestlers in practice. That dedication and willingness to take on new challenges has led to a win total that will be the new bar for future Hudson wrestlers to attempt to reach.
“He’s just been so consistent in terms of wanting to get better,” Haskovec said. “I’ve very proud of the way he’s matured mentally and how far he’s come. Every year he seems to get better.
“Just when you think he’s at the top of what he can do, he kind of takes that next step and he’s become bigger and stronger.”
Hungry to achieve more, Entriken takes pride in what he’s already accomplished.
“The (Hudson) program has built me up pretty good,” he said. “This area, Northeast Iowa, is pretty tough in wrestling. This whole area has built me to where I am, and it’s just cool to have a stake in the school.”