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Raiders’ Dahlke headed to state

Dawson Dahlke
Dawson Dahlke

PLEASANTVILLE – Collins-Maxwell-Baxter senior wrestler Dawson Dahlke achieved a dream Saturday by qualifying for the state tournament after placing second at the Class 1A district meet in Pleasantville.

Dahlke (19-13) defied the odds at sectionals last week by winning a sectional title at 285 pounds after coming in as the third seed. On Saturday he stepped up again, earning a pin in his first match to reach the finals.

Dahlke pinned Eddyville-Blakesburg/Fremont’s Luke Welch in the district semifinals. Welch sported a superior record to Dahlke at 29-10, but Dahlke managed to get Welch’s shoulders down three minutes, three seconds into the match to score another big postseason win.

“We knew he had to get through his first match and would have a real shot at state,” CMB head coach Joe Bartello said. “We wrestled hard and finished with the pin.”

In the finals Dahlke was pinned in 1:14 by Sigourney-Keota’s Bryce Brown, who improved to 31-4. But he did not have to compete in a wrestleback to secure a trip to state.

“We are very proud of Dawson,” Bartello said. “It’s the first time in five years (someone made state) for CMB, so we’re really excited. Dawson has shown tremendous improvement – not just from his freshman year, but during this season – and it has been great to watch him grow and develop his skills. We cannot be happier for what he achieved today.”

The state individual tournament begins today (Thursday) at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. Class 1A competition will start at 7 p.m.