DES MOINES – Garret Rinken did it for his family. His school. His community.
The Nashua-Plainfield stalwart was “on a mission” and did everything in his power to make sure he his dreams became reality.
“He’s had his eyes channeled in on one goal,” Huskies coach Al Frost said after Rinken punched his ticket to the Class 1A Iowa High School Athletic Association state finals Friday. “He obviously can’t have anything less.”
Rinken carried out his task in convincing fashion. The Nashua-Plainfield sophomore capped off a perfect season with a 4-2 decision over West Sioux’s Braden Graff in the 113-pound final Saturday night at Wells Fargo Arena, becoming the school’s first state champion in nine years.
“I’ve been working towards this ever since I was a little kid,” Rinken said. “After that loss last year, it always stuck in the back of my head. I needed to get it done this year, and it worked out.”
Rinken scored a first-period takedown and took a 2-0 lead into the second period. Graff knotted the match 2-2 with a takedown with 1 minute, 5 seconds remaining in the second frame. With Rinken’s lead now gone, the match was up for grabs. Rinken dug deep. He remembered – like he has for the past year – the dreadful feeling of losing in the 106 semifinals to Underwood’s Gable Porter last season, and the promise he made to himself that he wouldn’t let history repeat itself.
“Just stay calm and keeping going, get the next points,” Rinken said when the score was tied. “That’s what we’ve been working on at club and at Nashua. Don’t get discouraged. If you get taken down, stay calm and get the next one.”
With 59 seconds left in the match, Rinken took a shot and notched the winning takedown for a 4-2 decision.
“I could feel him getting a little bit tired,” Rinken said. We’ve got good conditioning with (Coach) Frost running us through morning practices, so I knew I just had to keep going, and it would open up.”
After his hand was raised, Rinken ran toward the stands, climbed up a flight of stairs to greet his family. It was a euphoric moment, one Rinken will remember for the rest of his life.
“They’re a big part of my wrestling,” Rinken said of his family. “They bring me everywhere. They pay for everything. They help a lot through the process.
“I’m glad I could get it done.”
Tripoli’s Brocka falls short
The magical ride Blake Brocka took to reach Saturday’s finals didn’t end the way he wanted it to.
Ranked ninth in Class 1A at 195 pounds, Brocka battled his way through a tough bracket all week. First, he pinned Sigourney-Keota’s Cade Streigle to reach the quarterfinals. Then, he earned 6-3 decision over Iowa City Regina’s Ronan Poynton to advance to the semifinals. In the semifinals, Brocka was seconds away from pinning Beckman Catholic’s Owen Huehnergarth in the first period, but settled for a 2-0 lead after the first period. Brocka extended his advantage to 6-2 entering the third before coming away with an 8-6 decision to come within one win of a state championship.
He came up short against No. 1-ranked Tristan Mulder of Western Christian, who took recorded a 16-0 tech fall for the title.
But Brocka’s trip to state was historic. He was the first state finalist for Tripoli since 2001, and he ended his season with a record of 42-6.
NB/C’s Buss becomes 2-time state champ
Chet Buss was unbeatable all season.
If any of his opponents escaped Buss’ unbreakable grip, they were among the few. The Clarksville/North Butler junior heavyweight and defending state champion, entered the Class 1A state tournament with a record of 37-0. Twenty-five of his wins were by fall, 24 in came in the first period. None of his regular-season wins came by a decision.
Until Friday’s semifinals, where he beat Lisbon’s Brant Baltes 7-4.
Buss capped off his incredible season by pinning Logan-Magnolia’s Rex Johnsen in 1:40 for his second straight title. He will go for his third in 2021-22.
Pair of Cyclones place 5th
Denver’s Brooks Meyer and Ben Foelske placed fifth in their respective divisions at the Class 1A state tournament.
Meyer, a senior 126-pounder, rebounded from a first-round loss to West Sioux’s Cameron Clark and rattled off three straight wins to gain momentum. After falling to Clark in a consolation semifinal, Meyer pinned Woodbury Central’s Beau Klingensmith in 55 seconds in the fifth-place match.
Meyer finished his season 41-8.
Foelske, also a senior, bounced back from a first-round loss. After suffering a 12-3 major decision loss to Western Christian’s Jace Mulder to open the tournament, Foelske won three in a row to reach the consolation semifinals. A loss to Riceville’s Lawson Losee snapped Foelske’s win streak, but he got redemption on Mulder with a 3-1 decision for fifth place.
Foelske finished the season 41-13.
N-P’s Huck sixth, Nelson seventh
Along with Garret Rinken’s state championship at 113 pound, Nashua-Plainfield had two others reach the podium.
Kendrick Huck and Trey Nelson placed sixth and seventh, respectfully.
Huck, a sophomore, began the tournament with two wins to reach the semifinals at 106. But he lost three straight, including a 4-2 decision to Easton Schlabaugh in the fifth-place match. Huck ended the season 40-14.
Nelson, a 132-pound junior, scored a first-round fall over Lisbon’s Quincy Happel. Nelson lost his quarterfinal match, but earned a victory in a second-round consolation match. After falling to Mediapolis’ Quinten Aney, Nelson earned a 9-8 decision over North Linn/Troy Mills’ Cael Bridgewater in the seventh-place bout.
Arjes places 5th
Tanner Arjes entered the state tournament with 35 wins. The North Butler/Clarksville freshman reached the Class 1A, 120-pound quarterfinals before falling to Lisbon’s Brandon Paez. Arjes went 3-1 on the backend of the bracket, including a 13-5 major decision over West Hancock’s Kellen Smith in the fifth-place match.
Arjes finished the season 39-5.
Wapsie Valley’s Schmit 3rd
Wapsie Valley’s Dawson Schmit reached the Class 1A, 113-pound semifinals, but lost a 7-1 decision to West Sioux’s Braden Graff.
Schmit, a sophomore, rebounded with back-to-back wins, including a pin over West Bend-Mallard’s Donavon Hanson in 2:38 to finish third.
Schmit ended the season 36-5.
CLASS 1A STATE TOURNAMENT
at Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines
1. Don Bosco 179.5, 2. Lisbon 148.5, 3. Logan-Magnolia 94, 4. West Sioux 84.5, 5. West Hancock 57, 6. New London 53, 7. Underwood 50.5, 8. Lake Mills 49, 9. Waterloo Columbus Catholic 47, 10. Nashua-Plainfield 44.5, t11. Hudson, North Butler/Clarksville, Wilton 39, 14. Western Christian 37.5, t15. Central Springs, Riceville, 33, 17. Midland 30.5, 18. East Buchanan 30, 19. Beckman Catholic 27.5, 20. West Fork 27, t21. Cascade, Missouri Valley, South Central Calhoun 26, 24. Riverside 25, 25. Denver 23.5, 26. Highlandn 21.5, t27. MFL MarMac, Wapsie Valley, Westwood 21, t30. Hinton, Pocahontas Area, Tripoli 20, 33. Woodbury Central 19, t34. Mount Ayr, Iowa City Regina 17, t36. Sibley-Ocheyedan, Southwest Valley 16, 38. West Bend-Mallard 14.5, t39. Pekin, South Winneshiek, Council Bluffs St. Albert 11, t42. Alta-Aurelia, Jesup, North Linn/Troy Mills, Pleasantville 10, t46. Alburnett, Mediapolis, Nodaway Valley, Northwood-Kensett 9, t50. Edgwood-Colesburg, Kingsley Pierson, Ogden 8, t53. North Mahaska, South Hamilton 7, 55. MVAOCOU 6, 56. Southeast Warren 5, t57. Bedford-Lenox, Interstate 35, Saint Ansgar, Sioux Central 4, t61. Akron-Westfield, Colfax-Mingo, Collins-Maxwell, East Mills, Iowa Valley, Lynnville-Sully, Moravia, North Union, St. Edmond, Starmont, Wayne 3, t73. BGM, Tri-Center 2, t75. Martensdale St. Mary’s, Sigourney-Keota 1, t78. AGWSR, Audubon, Baxter, Belle Plaine, Durant, East Sac County Lawton-Bronson, Postville, Sumner-Fredericksburg, Treynor, Van Buren County, Waco, West Monona 0.
Denver results: 126 pounds: Meyer, fifth, 4-2; 138: Schimmels 1-2; 152: Foelske, fifth, 4-2; 182: Graber 0-2.
Nashua-Plainfield results: 106 pounds: Huck, sixth, 2-3; 113: Rinken, first, 4-0; 132: Nelson, seventh, 3-2; 145: Munn 1-2.
North Butler/Clarksville results: 120 pounds: Arjes, fifth, 4-2; 285: Buss, first, 4-0.
Sumner-Fredericksburg results: 106 pounds: Meyer 0-2; 195: Kuhlmann 0-2.
Tripoli results: Brocka, second, 3-1.
Wapsie Valley results: 106 pounds: Krall 1-2; 113: Schmit, third, 4-1.