DES MOINES — Michael Blockhus has seen a lot of changes in his high school wrestling career, but one thing has not changed — his drive to be the best.
Saturday night at Wells Fargo Arena, Blockhus completed his journey by claiming his third state title in four years. The New Hampton/Turkey Valley senior added an exclamation point as he finished with a perfect 57-0 record.
When it was over, Blockhus pushed past his congratulatory fans on the floor to scale the wall and race into the stands to embrace his mother, Melissa.
“I have been blessed,” said Blockhus. “I am so proud right now and it was so awesome to give my mom this great feeling. She has supported me so much and this felt good to give her this. She just hugged me and said, ‘I love you.’”
Blockhus defeated Jarrett Miller of Ballard at 138 pounds with a methodical approach.
“Sometimes in state wrestling you get guys that come in a little cautious,” Blockhus said. “I didn’t. I went out there and pushed the pace and when he backed up, fine, I went after him.
“It feels so great and I feel that maybe I have set a path for some of the younger wrestlers to follow,” added Blockhus. “They can come out here and do the same thing if they put in the hard work and have the dedication.”
The Chickasaws were represented well as Noah Fye and Noah Glaser finished third at 145 and 170, respectively, while Areon Day took seventh at 220 and Evan Rosonke went home with eighth at 182.
Fye finishes his career with a third, sixth, fifth and third, and Glaser fought back from an opening loss to win his next five matches on the back side of the bracket.
Crestwood crowned a champion at 145 as Ryan Steffen used a big takedown midway through the second period that he turned into a pin of Austin Rozeboom of Boyden Hall/Rock Valley at 3:16.
“This was an awesome tournament for me and there was some really great matches,” said Steffen, who beat the first- and second-ranked wrestlers earlier in the tournament. “If you want to be the best then you have to beat the best.
“I knew every match would be tough and I accepted the challenge. We have this big wall in our wrestling room with all the great wrestlers that have been here. Now my name will be up there. When I was in fifth grade I remember coming down here to watch and that made me want to be on the podium. I hope this will get the younger kids to want to do the same.”
Like Blockhus, Steffen made his way over the wall to celebrate with his family.
“I hugged my mom right away because she has always been there for me,” Steffen said. “She does everything for me and has helped get me to where I am today. My dad goes crazy when this happens and he gets me motivated every time.”
Coming up short of back-to-back titles was North Fayette/Valley’s Jordan Baumler, who fell to Boone McDermott of Dubuque Wahlert.
Other 2A medalists were:
- Kolten Crawford, Union at 106, fourth
- Taylor Kolthoff, South Hardin at 113, seventh
- Jack Thomsen, Union at 120, third
- Kaden Anderlik, Crestwood at 120, seventh
- Phillip Ihde, Decorah at 126, fourth
- Matthew Doyle, Independence at 138, sixth
- Dylan Koresch, Charles City at 152, seventh
- Zach Williams, Osage at 160, fifth
- Payton Pelke, Union at 160, eighth
- Colter Bye, Crestwood at 160, seventh
- Jack Sindlinger, Charles City at 170, eighth
- Hunter Maitland, Aplington-Parkersburg at 182, fifth
- Dalton Chipp, Hampton-Dumont at 195, sixth
- Hunter Crawford, Independence at 220, sixth