DES MOINES — Two fingers held high in the air. That’s all Cullan Schriever needed to signify how big this moment was to him.
Schriever, the top-ranked wrestler at 106 pounds in Class 3A, added to his legacy Saturday night inside Wells Fargo Arena with his second title in two years. He did it with a 9-3 decision vs. No. 2 Drake Ayala of Fort Dodge.
Schriever is the first Mason City wrestler to win multiple titles since Tim Krieger did it in the 1980s.
“Just getting my hand raised being a state champ again, and it’s just the whole entire atmosphere,” Schriever said of the best part of this moment. “It’s awesome.”
The formula didn’t change for Schriever in the title match. He was going to come out aggressive and get his shots in against a kid in knew well in Ayala. The two train together and had one prior match this season, an 8-5 win for Schriever in the CIML tournament.
In Saturday’s match, a first-period takedown helped set Schriever up for a big night.
He led 2-1 after a period and added an escape and a takedown in the second to go up 5-1. Even with a lead in the state finals, Schriever stayed aggressive with two more takedowns in the third to cruise to the 9-3 victory.
“I’m just proud of the way I came and wrestled,” Schriever said. “Some stuff was a little sloppy and I could tune some stuff up, but it’s always fun to get out here in front of the crowd and put on a show.”
Maybe where he was best was on his defense.
With the third-period lead, Schriver had to fend off some desperation shots from Ayala to just get something, and he used each to turn it into offense.
“He can go out and score points, he’s good really at re-attacking when kids come after him,” Mason City coach Dusty Rhodes said. “It took the Fort Dodge kid a little while but eventually he was going to have to score points, and Cullan, his re-attacks are awesome and he got (two) takedowns the third period. That’s how he does it.”
The win keeps Schriever’s hopes of becoming a four-time state champion intact. But he’s more ready to get back to work than to start thinking about milestones down the road.
“It obviously comes in my mind, but I’m not focused on it at all,” he said. “I was just focused on this this year, and now it’s just time to move on, start freestyle and Greco right away, try and make the world team and win the worlds.”