SULLY — “I’m definitely working to get back to the state tournament. I was there once and it’s time to get back and do some damage this time,” Lynnville-Sully senior Josh Dunsbergen said before the 2017-18 wrestling season began.
On Saturday, he got what he was working for — a state wrestling tournament berth. Dunsbergen qualified as a second-place finisher in 138 pounds at the Class 1A District 4 tournament. He opens the 2018 Iowa High School 1A State Wrestling tournament on Thursday.
In the state’s 138-pound bracket, Dunsbergen faces third-ranked GTRA senior Kolten Roth (45-2) in the first round.
Class 1A competition at the IHSAA state tournament begins at 6 p.m. Thursday at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. He is the lone Lynnville-Sully wrestler in the state meet.
“It feels really good. It’s what we’ve been working for since my freshman year. It’s what you work for every year and getting there as a senior is special,” Dunsbergen said. “I want to cash in on the opportunity.”
All 10 of the wrestlers ranked in Class 1A in 138 pounds at the end of the regular season are in the state tournament. Win or lose in his first match, Dunsbergen will face either No. 5 Austin Gutknecht of Clarinda or No. 9 Michael Eagan of MFL.
“It’s a tough bracket. I’m just going and keep wrestling my style. I’m going to push the pace and do it my way,” Dunsbergen said. “I’m going to get it done.”
The first round and first round of consolation matches of 1A will be contest Thursday night. The 1A quarterfinals and second round of consolation begin at 2:30 p.m. Friday. At 8:45 p.m. the semifinals and third round of consolation matches are slated to start.
On Saturday the consolation semifinals and finals for Class 3A, 2A, 1A begin at 10 a.m.. At 6 p.m. the finals for all classes begin at Wells Fargo Arena.
Dunsbergen qualified for the Class 1A state tournament as a freshman at 106. He lost two straight matches. As a sophomore he was eliminated by North Mahaska’s Tyler Strasser in the 120-pound division of a 1A sectional.
As a junior, Dunsbergen wrestled 132 for Lynnville-Sully and finished fourth at the district tournament. This season he was third at the district meet awaiting to see if he would have at the opportunity to take the runner-up spot in a wrestleback match.
Standing in his way to his second state meet was a familiar foe — Strasser. The two were meeting on the mat for the fifth time this season, tied at 2-2 in the outcomes. It was Dunsbergen’s day at district, winning 10-3 to secure second place at 138 at district and a berth to the state meet.
“I definitely wasn’t surprised to face Tyler again in that situation. Life has a way of working out like that. I’ve wrestled him so many times and have a lot of respect for him,” Dunsbergen said.
Dunsbergen, who has compiled a 36-5 record heading into the state meet, said his success this season has been built on his determination and the work ethic. He said the hard work in the offseason is starting to pay off.
“I just want it that much on the mat,” Dunsbergen said.
Contact Jocelyn Sheets at
641-792-3121 ext. 6535