Steffen wins Wrestling State gold; Anderlik, Bye place 7th


DES MOINES - Crestwood senior Ryan Steffen was a man on a mission at the Class 2A State Wrestling Tournament last week, and that mission concluded on Saturday with a gold medal.
Steffen, ranked No. 6 at 145 pounds heading into State, pinned No. 4 Austin Rozeboon of Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley at 3:16 in the second period to win gold and end his season at 38-8 overall. He becomes the 66th individual wrestling State Champion for Cresco. Only Waterloo West has more individual State Champions (88) in Iowa high school wrestling.
Crestwood junior No.2 Kaden Anderlik (120) capped his season at 42-4 by placing seventh with an 8-1 decision over Kurtis Krager of OA-BCIG. Junior No. 7 Colter Bye notched a 12-2 major decision over Peyton Pelke of Union to earn seventh at 160 pounds at State and finish at 41-5.
Senior No. 9 Jacob Knutson lost his first round match at State to Blake Bradley of Dubuque Wahlert before he won by fall over Ross Wiertsema of Central Lyon/George Little-Rock in the first round consolation match. In the second round, Knutson lost a 3-2 double overtime decision to Blake Sevier of Creston-OM. Knutson posted a 36-10 overall record.
Steffen, who was a four-time State semifinalist at Crestwood, said he wasn’t too worried going into the title match at 145 pounds Saturday night.
“I just wanted to stick to my (wrestling) technique that I know,” Steffen said. “I wanted to push the pace, get my shots, get that first takedown and finish off the match. I wasn’t really looking for a pin, but it was there, so I took the opportunity.
“You will always have some nerves going into a big match, but I’ve been in a lot of big situations. I knew I needed to calm myself down, stick to what I know, and then I’d be good,” Steffen said.
His road to the finals was definitely not easy. After notching a 6-1 decision over Eric Campie of Camanche in the first round, Steffen rallied for a 6-5 decision over No. 1 Noah Fye of NH-TV in the quarterfinals. Steffen then won a 6-4 decision over No. 2 Tanner Abbas of Clarion-Goldfield-Dows in the semifinals.
“Both Fye and Abbas were great opponents,” Steffen said. “I’ve wrestled against Noah Fye a lot since we were little, and we’re good friends. He pushed me and made me do everything I had to do (to win). With Abbas, I wrestled him twice earlier this season and he came out on top both times. I knew the third time would probably be a charm for me, and I did it.
“One of my biggest goals for the season was to get past the semifinals match (at State), and after that, I figured I might as well win the title since I’m already there,” Steffen said.
He gave kudos to his teammates, coaches, family and fans for all his success this season.
“My teammates, my family, my coaches and everyone around me has supported me and helped me get to where I needed to be,” Steffen said. “They helped me be the best I could be, especially once I got to State.
“My teammates did a great job of pushing me in the practice room, making me finish my shots and helping me get better every day. They were a big part (of my success). I encourage anyone to keep pushing themselves. You might not get (to reach your goals) right away, but you need to put in the work in the off-season. No matter what the rankings are, you still need to wrestle your best match,” Steffen said.
Cadet Coach Keith Slifka was thrilled to see Steffen win gold at State.
“With Ryan’s match in the finals, he hit Rozeboom with a fireman’s carry and put him on his back to get the pin,” Slifka said. “Ryan was confident going into the finals. He had already beaten the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked kids to get there. Ryan is a gamer. He brings his best to the State Tournament. Ryan had a very nice tournament, and he wrestled well.”
Slifka noted Steffen had eight losses going into the State Tourney, but all of those losses were to very good wrestlers.
“Sometimes a loss (during the regular season) isn’t always bad because you can learn from that,” Slifka said. “This was Ryan’s fourth time in the semifinals. In the previous three years, he had some demons that just wouldn’t let him get to the finals, but he broke through this year.
“Ryan knew he could wrestle against anyone because he was confident. This was the least nervous I’ve ever been for a finals match because of Ryan’s confidence. We just knew he had to execute and not let his nerves take over. Ryan’s losses earlier in the season prepared him for the finals.
“We always tell all of our wrestlers to never give up because the match is six minutes long. We tell them to just stay the course and re-group (if they get behind). All of our guys do a great job with their conditioning,” Slifka said.
The coach also praised State Qualifiers Kaden Anderlik, Colter Bye and Jacob Knutson.
“This was Jacob’s second trip to State,” Slifka said. “In 2016, he lost two matches. This year, he lost his first round match, but he came back to win (in the first round consolation match). I know it was important for Jacob to get at least one win at State. He lost in the next round, but we are still very proud of Jacob. He left it all on the mat.
“Kaden and Colter both won in the first round before losing close matches in the second round. The second round match for each wrestler could have gone either way, but they both came back to get wins to stay alive. Both ended the tournament with a win, and both of them wrestled well.
“I’m proud of all of our guys and what they’ve accomplished. We finished 13th in the team standings. We’ll have two of our place finishers (Anderlik and Bye) returning for next year, and we will look to them as team leaders,” Slifka said.
Crestwood State results
120: Kaden Anderlik 7th
Champ. Rnd 1: Kaden Anderlik (CW) over Carson Babcock (NHTV) (Dec 6-1); Quarterfinals: Drake Doolittle (WCity) over Anderlik (CW) (Dec 4-3); Cons. Rnd 2 - Anderlik (CW) over Walker Ikerd (Wash) (Dec 9-3); Cons. Rnd 3 - Zeb Gnida (Sol) over Anderlik (CW) (Dec 3-2); 7th Place: Anderlik (CW) over Kurtis Krager (OA-BCIG) (Dec 8-1).
145: Ryan Steffen 1st
Champ. Rnd 1 - Ryan Steffen (CW) over Eric Campie (Cam) (Dec 6-1); Quarter: Steffen (CW) over Noah Fye (NHTV) (Dec 6-5); Semi: Steffen (CW) over Tanner Abbas (CGD) (Dec 6-4); 1st Place: Steffen (CW) over Austin Rozeboom (B-H/RV) (Fall 3:16).
160: Colter Bye 7th 
Champ. Rnd 1: Colter Bye (CW) over Luke Martin (Bis Heel) (Dec 4-2); Quarter: Josh Ramirez (D.Wah) over Bye (CW) (Fall 2:54); Cons. Rnd 2: Bye (CW) over Kole Kreinbring (D.Asm) (Dec 8-3); Cons. Rnd 3: Wes Cummings (PCM) over Colter Bye (CW) (Fall 3:34); 7th Place: Bye (CW) over Payton Pelke (Un) (MD 12-2).
285: Jacob Knutson
Champ. Rnd 1 - Blake Bradley (D.Wah) over Jacob Knutson (CW) (Dec 1-0); Cons. Rnd 1: Knutson (CW) over Ross Wiertsema (CL/G-LR) (Fall 3:14); Cons. Rnd 2 - Blake Sevier (Crest) over Knutson (CW) (tiebreak-1 3-2).

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

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214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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