IA Wrestle is introducing a new wrestler of the week award which will go to any wrestler who happens to have an Iowa tie. Whether the wrestler be in high school, college, or on the Senior level.

After his fantastic Conflict at Carver, we are happy to honor our first ever recepitant, Ryan Schmalen, who won the 126 bracket in the high school division this past weekend. Schmalen was the 5th place finisher this past winter at the Iowa High School state championships in the 2A – 120 bracket, but this weekend he came out and dominated two of Iowa’s top prep wrestlers.

His first signature win was a 7-3 victory over the double Fargo All-American and ranked #31 by AWP, Bryce West. He followed that up with a 5-2 semifinals win over an Illinois opponent to set up a meeting with #48 ranked, and the 2A 113 state champion, Brock Rathbun. After a scoreless first period, Rathbun got out quickly to take the matches first lead 1-0. Schmalen then took Rathbun down half way through the period to go up 2-1. The takedown ended up being the back breaker as Schmalen came out on top 3-2 to earn his title.

Honorable Mentions

But Schmalen wasn’t the only Iowan to have a great weekend.

100 – Kyle Biscogila picked up a 4-2 victory over Josh Saunders to claim the tournament’s lightest honors. Saunders is a highly talented 7th grader, and is considered one of the best middle school wrestlers in the country.

106 – Justin Portillo, who was the 1A – 106 runner up this past season had a great tournament, picking up a key win over Fargo All-American Noah Fye to make the finals. From there he earned a tough victory over fellow Iowan Brody Teske 12-10 to win his title.

113 – Alex Thomsen had a great tournament as a freshman, picking up three bonus point victories, before winning his finals match 7-3.

120 – Josh Portillo (Justin’s twin brother) also put together a nice Conflict as he came out on top of the 120 bracket. The 1A – 113 state champion started his tournament off with a couple lopsided vicotries, before pulling out a 6-4 SV, and then 5-2 win in the finals over South Dakota’s Dakota Galt.

160 – Salvator Arzani is the final Iowan on the list as he picked up a 19-5 major decision to win the 160 weight class. Arzani had a pretty dominant tournament, as his closest margin of victory was by five points (in the quarters and semis).

By Ross Bartachek (@rossbchek)

Lead Editor of IA Wrestle

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