The Northern Plains Regional is more than just a qualifier for Senior level wrestlers trying to qualify for the World Team Trials next month in Madison, it also serves as a qualifier for Cadet/Junior national high school tournament in Fargo, North Dakota. The top four place-finishers at each weight will qualify for the Fargo tournament, and for some of these brackets that means some of these hammers are going to be left home. The tournament is not strictly for Iowa wrestlers, wrestlers from other states can attend, but for our purposes we will preview the Iowans only (with the exception of one guy that we will get to).

Starting out with one of the lightest brackets we have 113, and on paper it already looks pretty tough. The favorite is probably Drew West from Highland Riverside who despite having the lowest finish among the Iowa trio we will discuss, is considered a solid prospect in the 2017 class. Two years ago (2014) West defeated Justin Portillo on his way to a state title, which makes him more of a favorite over the Clarion-Goldfield wrestler. The other big name in this bracket is 3A state runner-up Jakob Allison of Waukee.

At 120 we will have a great battle between a pair of 2015 state champions Bryce West (Highland) and Jacob Schwarm (Bettendorf). The latter is a top 150 recruit for 2015 and West has flirted in and out of the rankings since last year. This will be a great matchup between two really tough Iowa lightweights.

The 126 pound weight class just might be the toughest weight at Northern Plains, and that doesn’t factor any wrestlers coming from other states. Iowa will have four state champions in the mix and picking the favorite of the group might be a great conversation for you and your friends. Nolan Hellickson has a lot of accolades as the top 100 senior picked up his first state title for double team champions Southeast Polk. Brock Rathbun of Center Point is also a two time state champion, and in the past year has gone from fringe top 20 wrestler, to top 10 at his weight class. The other two wrestlers are state champions Justin Portillo and Alex Thomsen. Thomsen has been winning everything this past year, and handed Drew West his first high school loss this season at the state tournament. He may be inexperienced, but he is certainly going to be a contender.

132 pounds features a pair of state runner-ups in Paul Glynn (Bettendorf) and Triston Lara (Fort Dodge). Glynn is headed to the University of Iowa next fall, and Lara is up several weight classes from where he made the state finals (113).

Carter Happel is probably the favorite to win the 138 pound bracket. The three-time state champion from Lisbon will be pushed by a pair of state medalist Austin Yant (Waverly-Shell Rock) and Jackson Gallagher (Bettendorf).

145 pounds is what I consider the second toughest weight class, but at the end of the day I don’t think anyone will be upending Max Thomsen (from this state or any other). Thomsen is the highest ranked senior from the state, but there is some other good competition in state champion Josh Wenger (CR Prairie) and the Southeast Polk duo of Keegan Shaw and Aaron Meyer are always tough.

152 features state runner-up Caleb Coleman and third place medalist Colton Clingenpeel. Both of these are tough wrestlers and a year ago Clingenpeel earned All-American honors at Fargo.

160 is shaping up to be pretty tough with Hawkeye recruit Cole Erickson most likely leading the group. Erickson was the favorite to claim the 2A state title at his weight, but was caught for a pin. State runner-up Tristan Johnson of Osage will be tough in this bracket, and it will be interesting to see how Cedar Fall’s Dan Kelly does after finishing runner-up at 138 pounds this winter.

A couple UNI Panthers are probably the favorite at 170 pounds where Minnesota native Paden Moore will look to battle state champion Jacob Holschlag (Union). Both are expected to wrestle different weights at UNI, but this could be fun to see them meet up now.  Double Fargo All-American Anthony Sherry (Glenwood) will be a factor here as could state champion Kegan Fingalsen.

At 182 State champion Dale Hilleman will be a leader along with state runner-up Max Lyon (Epworth). Lyon was considered a top five pound-for-pound soon to be junior for the upcoming season.

State medalist Donovan Doyle and Taylor Mehmen will be the top two Iowans at 195 pounds. Doyle is also coming off a top three finish at the Western Regional tournament in Las Vegas last weekend.

A pair of state qualifiers in Caleb Ring and Travis McMillan are the only two Iowans registered at 220 pounds.

Gannon Gremmel will be a tough customer at heavyweight. Gremmel is a nationally ranked 2016 prospect who lost in the state finals last season to Missouri commit Ethan Andersen of Sotuheast Polk.

List as of Midnight 5/14/15


Dillon Gottschalk SQ 106 3A


Philip Ihde SQ 106 2A

Derick Wyatt SQ 106 3A

Jacob Goodson –


Brenden Baker 3A 113

Justin Portillo 1st 106 1A

Drew West 3rd 113 1A

Jakob Allison 2nd 106 3A


Jacob Schwarm 1st 120 3A

Bryce West 1st 120 1A


Alex Thomsen 1st 113 1A

Brock Rathbun 1st 120 2A

Connor Cleveland 2nd 106 2A (2014)

Dylan Lane –

Nolan Hellickson 1st 126

Josh Portillo 1st 126 1A


Brock Massey SQ 126 3A

Paul Glynn 2nd 132 3A

Brice Everson 3rd 126 2A

Jon Hellman 8th 106 2A

Alec Selberg 

Tristan Lara 2nd 113 3A


Connor McMurphy –

Tyler Hirl –

Jackson Gallagher 4th 126 3A

Austin Yant 6th 113 3A

Carter Happel 1st 138 1A


AJ Geers –

Aaron Meyer 2nd 145 3A

Dylan Schuck 8th 132 1A

Josh Wenger 1st 138 3A

Kade Kelso –

Keegan Shaw 4th 138 3A

Kyle Decker SQ 132 1A

Max Thomsen 1st 145 3A

Tanner Greenwald 2nd 126 1A

Xavier Miller –


Zach Axmear 3rd 152 1A

Carter Block –

Colton Clingenpeel 3rd 138 3A

Caleb Coleman 2nd 145 2A

Toby Northrup SQ 152 3A

Brock Jennings 7th 132 2A

Dalton Woodyard –

Mac Southard 6th 138 3A

Matthew Malcom 5th 152 3A

Solomon Jones –


Cole Erickson 3rd 160 2A

Nichalas Jarvis –

Taylan Entriken –

Alan Moore –

Cole Neel –

Max Forsyth SQ 138 2A

Trevor McLaughlin SQ 160 2A

Dan Kelly 2nd 138 3A

Grant Brown –

Tristan Johnson 2nd 152 2A


Anthony Sherry 4th 160 3A

Bailey Chyma –

Hunter England –

Jacob Holschlag 1st 170 2A

Seth Walker 6th 152 3A

Paden Moore (UNI commit) 1st in Minnesota

Kegan Fingalsen 1st 160 1A

Nathan Kelsay SQ 160 3A


Max Lyon 2nd 170 3A

Dale Hilleman 1st 170 1A

Trevor Byram –


Donovan Doyle 4th 182 3A

Jordain Buckland –

Taylor Mehmen 8th 195 3A


Caleb Ring SQ 220 2A

Travis McMillan SQ 220 2A


Gannon Gremmel 2nd 220 3A

By Ross Bartachek (@rossbchek)

Lead Editor of IA Wrestle

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