DES MOINES | Riceville is back on the state wrestling map. Junior Chance Throndson is the reason why.

It had been 20 years since the Wildcats last crowned a state champion. The drought ended Saturday night in dominant fashion for the 132-pound state champion as he ousted Southeast Warren’s Blake Bauer 9-2.

“It feels great, and I have great pride in my school for doing it,” Throndson said.

Riceville coach Che Oulman recalled a conversation after last season’s state meet where the drive to Championship Saturday night began.

“Last year, he got third, and as soon as we got done with wrestling, it wasn’t ‘Thank God I got third.’ It was 'I want to be in the state finals next year,'” Oulman said.

He not only got to the final. He won it, becoming the school’s first champion since Ryan Friedrich in 1997.

“Hopefully it starts something after this and we get more guys down here next year,” Throndson said.

The lanky 132-pounder was nearly perfect after he allowed the first takedown Saturday. He was perfect at 132 pounds all season (his lone loss was at 138), and he ended his junior season 45-1.

“It’s very rewarding for our program and the community,” Oulman said. “There were a lot of people down here supporting Chance. It was a big weekend for Riceville.”

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