Taylor Caps Impressive State Meet Run With 126-pound Title


Photo by Jeff Yoder / 2A photo gallery

John Naughton

For Your Prep Sports

DES MOINES – Iowa’s four-time state wrestling champion club is an elite fraternity in high school sports.

Only 27 athletes have reached that milestone.

Solon’s Hayden Taylor took the first step on the journey Saturday in the Class 2A state wrestling tournament at Wells Fargo Arena. The freshman beat Winterset’s Bryce Hatten in the 126-pound final 11-3.

Winning as a ninth grader is essential to making a four-for-four dream a reality.

Taylor proudly wore his championship medal around his neck – and will focus on the joy that brought for the time being.

“Obviously, that’s a long-term goal,” Taylor said. “But just getting this first one feels really satisfying.”

Taylor became Solon’s fifth individual state wrestling champion. Randy Beranek won in 1978, Cody Kroul in 2004, Lance Evans in 2014 and Bryce West in 2017.

He finished the season with a 51-2 record, winning all four state tournament matches.

Taylor started wrestling as a six-year-old. By the time he joined a club, he was hooked. He decided he wanted to wrestle when he was older.

“From there on, the passion just took over,” Taylor said.

Taylor took a 5-0 lead after two periods against Hatten, a junior who finished 35-4.

Then he pushed the pace, pursuing a takedown and escape strategy. He had three takedowns in the final period.

“My game plan was to go in there and score as many points as I can,” Taylor said.

He dominated the tournament, winning one match by fall, another by a technical fall and a the title match by major decision.

The closest score he had was an 8-2 decision against Camanche’s Eric Kinkaid, who ended in fourth place.

Taylor’s semifinal win was a technical fall over No. 1-ranked Andrew Flora of ADM of Adel. It was Flora’s only loss this season. He won by fall in the third-place match.

Solon’s other place winners were Zeb Ginda (fifth, 132 pounds), Jax Flynn (seventh, 170) and Mike Hoyle (sixth, 220).

Iowa City West’s Hunter Garvin nearly reached the top step of the medal stand, too.

The freshman took state runner-up honors in the Class 3A 120-pound final, falling to Fort Dodge’s Carson Taylor 13-8.

Garvin finished the season 39-4. After trailing 5-1 after two periods, Garvin rallied -- cutting the margin to 8-7 in the third.

West’s Grant O’Dell finished eighth at 106 pounds. Three others took sixth place: Graham Gambrall at 138, Will Hoeft at 182 and Landon Green at 220.

Class 2A State Meet

Team Scores – 1. West Delaware 76.5; 2. Spirit Lake Park 63.5; 3. Clear Lake 62.5; 4. Union 60.5; 5. Solon 58.5; 6. Centerville 57; 6. Sergeant Bluff-Luton 57; 8. Prairie City-Monroe 56.5; 9. Crestwood 56; 9. Independence 56

Championship Matches

106 – No. 3 Carter Fousek (Crestwood) dec. No. 2 Blaine Frazier (Burlington Notre Dame) 7-5 SV-1

113 – No. 1 Matthew Lewis (Centerville) pinned No. 8 Isaiah Weber (Independence) 2:57

120 – No. 1 Drake Doolittle (Webster City) dec. No. 2 Nathaniel Genobana (Centerville) 9-4

126 – No. 3 Hayden Taylor (Solon) major dec. No. 5 Bryce Hatten (Winterset) 11-3

132 – No. 1 Eric Faught (Clear Lake) dec. No. 2 Jack Gaukel (Sergeant Bluff-Luton) 3-1 SV-1

138 – No. 1 Jack Thomsen (Union) dec. No. 5 Chase McLaren (Atlantic) 10-3

145 – No. 1 Joey Busse (Humboldt) dec. No. 3 Will Esmoil (West Liberty) 4-3

152 – No. 3 Kyler Rieck (Spirit Lake Park) major dec. No. 1 Adam Ahrendsen (Union) 16-8

160 – No. 1 Skyler Noftsger (Ballard) dec. No. 6 Justin McCunn (Red Oak) 8-3

170 – No. 1 Paul Ryan (Mount Vernon) dec. No. 2 Sage Walker (Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont) 4-2

182 – No. 2 Tristin Westphal-Edwards (Washington) dec. No. 1 Kyler Fisher (Southeast Valley) 6-5

195 – No. 1 Julien Broderson (Davenport Assumption) tech. fall No. 6 Kolton Bus (Central Lyon-G-LR) 16-0

220 – No. 1 Cody Fisher (Woodward-Granger) dec. No. 8 Kaden Sutton (ADM) 12-7

285 – No. 1 Spencer Trenary (Clarion-Goldfield-Dows) pinned No. 5 Derec Weyer (Harlan) 3:12

Consolation Semifinals (Area Athletes Only)

132 – No. 3 Jalen Schropp (Williamsburg) dec. No. 6 Zeb Gnida (Solon) 1-0

220 – No. 2 Dakoda Powell (Spirit Lake Park) dec. No. 3 Mike Hoyle (Solon) 10-4

Fifth Place Match (Area Athletes Only)

132 – No. 4 Kruise Kiburz (Winterset) dec. No. 6 Zeb Gnida (Solon) 6-5

220 – No. 7 Kade Hambly (Clear Lake) pinned No. 3 Mike Hoyle (Solon) 2:59

Seventh Place Match (Area Athletes Only)

170 – No. 9 Jax Flynn (Solon) dec. No. 4 Jackson Kinsella (Creston) 3-2

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