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Sergeant Bluff-Luton's Jack Gaukel, Western Christian's Tristan Mulder win state championships
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Sergeant Bluff-Luton's Jack Gaukel, Western Christian's Tristan Mulder win state championships

2021 Iowa State Wrestling championships

Sergeant Bluff-Luton’s Jack Gaukel, behind, wrestles Winterset’s Tyler Brown in the 152-pound Class 2A championship during the Iowa State Wrestling Tournament on Saturday at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. Gaukel defeated Brown. 

DES MOINES — Sergeant Bluff-Luton High School senior Jack Gaukel and Western Christian senior Tristan Mulder end their careers with championships.

Both wrestlers did it in convincing fashion, too.  

Gaukel earned his first title, as he won the Class 2A 152-pound division by a 10-2 major decision over Tyler Brown of Winterset. 

This was four years in the making. 

Gaukel had been in three state championship matches in his career, but he was on the wrong side of each result — until Saturday. 

Gaukel scored six points in the second period, and that included a three-point nearfall with 21 seconds left. 

He controlled the match from the time he first put points on the board, knowing that that's what had helped him throughout his 48-2 record. 

"The most important aspect of Jack's wrestling is staying on his offense," Koedam said. "It was just one of those things where he wasn't going to be content with just two points. We scored some more, and Jack is phenomenal at putting points on the board when he sets his mind to it. That was the key going into the match. Make the other guys wrestle at your tempo and keep up with us."

Gaukel only had one close match in his route to the championship, and that came in the semifinals against Colby Tool of PCM, Monroe. 

In the corner, Warriors coach Clint Koedam was waiting for Gaukel to express some excitement after the match. 

Gaukel did, as he raised both arms in the air and then ran over to his coach to give him a big bear hug. 

ZACH JAMES COLUMN: Iowa wrestling tournament brings same energy, even in a pandemic

"It was just a show of emotion," Koedam said. "You kind of just have to let go and be happy for a change. There's no more worry, there's no more concern. It was an emotional flood of emotion and cry happy tears.

"I'm just so excited for Jack," Koedam said. "When you watch kids grow up, work so long and work so hard to achieve a goal that they set out, when he was in youth camp, he said he wanted to be a state champ ... I'm just so happy for him. He has the monkey off his back. It really didn't hit my until I saw his excitement. For us, we're just the guys who drove him here and are in his corner."

Before the day, Koedam thought it was important for Gaukel to stay in his routine to make sure nothing was a major change. 

He got up, and came to weigh-ins. Then, Koedam and Gaukel watched a little action from the consolation round on Saturday, then the two worked out for about an hour. They returned to the hotel forlinch and a nap to keep him in a routine. 

"That's important for performing in the right way," Koedam said. 

2021 Iowa State Wrestling championships

Western Christian’s Tristan Mulder, above, defeats Tripoli’s Blake Brocka 16-0 in the 195-pound Class 1A state championship during the Iowa State Wrestling Tournament on Saturday at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

Mulder, meanwhile, won in a 16-0 technical fall in the Class 1A 195-pound division over Blake Brocka of Tripoli.  

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Like Gaukel, Mulder simply wasted no time in putting points on the board. 

By the time the first period ended, Mulder led 11-0. He had three separate three-point nearfalls. He also had a two-point takedown 19 seconds into the match. 

The match was called with 1:19 left in the first period, as Mulder had a two-point takedown and gave him a 16-point lead. 

Five wrestlers get second place

The Siouxland also had five runners-up throughout Saturday night. 

West Sioux's Braden Graff started the night with a second-place finish in the Class 1A 113-pound division. Graff lost to Garret Rinken in a 4-2 loss. 

IHSAA STATE WRESTLING: Graff places second at 113 pounds in Class 1A

Throughout the tournament, Graff liked to work from the top position, but Rinken didn't let Graff have many chances from up top. 

Rinken wore Graff down in the second period, and that carried over to the third period. 

Bishop Heelan's Mitchell Joines was the Class 2A runner-up at 170 pounds. Joines lost 7-0 to Carson Babcock of New Hampton/Turkey Valley. 

Babcock led 2-0 after the first period, and 5-0 after the second period. 

After getting to the state finals due to a sudden victory, Westwood sophomore Jackson Dewald was on the losing side of one on Saturday night. 

Carson Tenold defeated Dewald after getting a takedown with 3 seconds left in overtime to claim the state championship. 

2021 Iowa State Wrestling championships

Bishop Heelan’s Mitchell Joines, below, wrestles New Hampton/Turkey Valley’s Carson Babcock in the 170-pound Class 2A state championship on Saturday during the Iowa State Wrestling Tournament at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

Dewald nearly got a takedown in the overtime, but both wrestlers were out of bounds when the Rebels runner-up tried to make his move. 

The night ended with two area 220-pounders getting runner-up spots. 

Hinton's Derek Anderson lost to Cole Clark with a 6-3 loss at the 1A 220 championship. Anderson scored two points in the second period with two escapes, and earned a point with 1 second left on a penalty. 

In the Class 2A title match, Central Lyon/George-Little Rock senior Dylan Winkel had a reversal in the second period that tied the match at 4-4, but West Liberty senior Kobe Simon recorded a takedown with 19 seconds left to win 6-4. 

Simon led 4-2 early in the second period. 

IOWA STATE WRESTLING: Sioux City West's Ethan Emmick earns school's first podium spot since 2006
NSAA WRESTLING: South Sioux City's Caleb Kriens places third at B-160

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