DES MOINES | There was no smile, not even a smirk, after Mason City’s Cullan Schriever walked off the mat Friday afternoon inside Wells Fargo Arena. He expected more out of himself. Still, he’s a state finalist and has yet to be beat.
Isaac Bartel offered a brief grin after he punched his ticket to his first state final, but his even-keeled reaction was predictable.
It was four matches and four victories for the Mason City duo on Friday, meaning a trip to the state title match is on the horizon for both. The pair could make a little history Saturday night as well. Mason City hasn’t won multiple state championships in the same season since 1982 when four Mohawks (Dail Fellin, Tim Krieger, Todd Piper and Todd Krieger) tasted gold.
“It’s a pretty big deal,” said Bartel, who would prefer to simply let his wrestling do the talking for him.
Bartel (28-3) reached the 195-pound title bout by handing Iowa City High’s Jacob Dykes, ranked fourth, his first loss 3-1 in the semifinal round. That came after a first-period fall over Fort Dodge’s Tristan Licht earlier in the day.
“Both of them are doing what they should be doing. Both of them deserve to be wrestling in the state finals, and they are,” Mason City coach Dusty Rhodes said.
There was more of a sense of frustration for Schriever on Friday despite dominating two top-three wrestlers.
In his eyes, the performance in a 10-5 win over third-ranked Conrad Braswell of Cedar Rapids Prairie in the semifinal round was unacceptable.
“Horrible,” he called it.
“It’s just those last two periods. I could have teched him if I would have kept my pace up from the first period. I should have put up a lot more points.”
To be clear, he had no issue with how the match began. The top-ranked 106-pounder who is aiming to be Mason City’s first freshman state champion put on a takedown clinic in the opening two minutes. It was five first-period takedowns. Schriever, 28-0, thought that should have set the tone for a more convincing win.
“To win a match you have to wrestle all three periods. I didn’t,” he said.
Schriever kept his perfect season intact and will face fourth-ranked Ben Monroe of Ankeny Centennial in the championship.
In wins over the second- and third-ranked wrestlers at 106 Friday, Schriever recorded eight takedowns and didn’t allow any.
In a win Friday morning over West Des Moines Valley’s second-ranked Nate Oldham, a 7-3 vicotry, he controlled the match for six minutes.
“I try to do things right, and I’m just trying to be the best,” Schriever said.
Bartel’s finals opponent is a familiar one. He and top-ranked Kaden Sauer of Dowling Catholic have wrestled three times this season. All three have gone to Sauer, the only wrestler to beat Bartel this season. Last season, Bartel beat Sauer three times.
“Revenge would be sweet in the championship,” Bartel said.
For Rhodes, the plan is to wrap gold medals around two wrestlers Saturday.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “You see what these guys do every day. You see the amount of work they put in. If it pays off and they win something like a state title, it’s super rewarding.”
Mason City is 10th in Class 3A team standings with 41.5 points. Southeast Polk has clinched the 3A championship with 147.5 points.