City High Ends Season With Three State Champions


Amber Seaton

Junior, Cale Seaton winning his first state championship after sustaining a potential season ending injury.

Gabriel Egeland, Austin Chantry, and Sam Keuter

The State Wrestling tournament wrapped up from the 15th-18th of February and was extended this year. It was held at Wells Fargo arena in Des Moines. 

Looking back into the regular season the Little Hawks finished with a team record of 9-5 for dual meets. Winning both cross town rivalry duals, against West High and Liberty. 9 Little Hawk wrestlers earned spots to go to state including 3 time state champ Ben Kueter and prep national champ Gabe Arnold. 

106 lbs: Kendall Kurtz returned from a collarbone injury and held the 18th seed and won his first round match against the former 4th ranked wrestler from CR Washington. Kurtz when moving on to his next match ended up falling short to future champion Alexander Pierce from West High. Kendall won his wrestle back match almost allowing for him to earn a higher place but lost the next resulting in no movement.

113 lbs: Freshman Chris Davis the 113 pounder held  the 22nd seed and lost his first then went to the back side of the bracket to wrestle for third and won his second and had a tough third match but did not come out on top. This was a good experience for the young freshman in Davis and will come out for the best of him in his future years of wrestling. 

126 lbs: Cale Seaton earned the 1st seed in his bracket and proceeded to thrive even with the severe knee injury. Cale rolled through his bracket on to the finals where he won in a 4-3 thriller. Seaton was psyched after winning his first title after an amazing comeback that will be talked about for ages.

132 lbs: Kael Kurtz received the “5th seed” coming into the tournament and exceeded expectations by making it to the semifinals. But losing in a close match to Carter Freeman to move on to the finals. Kael won his wrestle back to advance to the third place match where he faced his rival Jayce Luna. He fell short against Luna 7-2, previously wrestling him 2 times this year.

138 lbs: Jake Mitchell seeded 13th entered his second year of qualifying. He went 3-2 on the weekend with tight matches and his second year of qualifying went 3-2 on the weekend with all his matches being very close. Despite his winning record, he came up one point short of placing. Jake made strong improvements throughout the year and that showed on the mat at state.

145 lbs: Senior Zach Fern made his debut in this year’s state tournament but fell short of placing. Despite losing his first two matches, making state is a great accomplishment for Zach and his team.

160 lbs: Ryan Ott received the 19th seed and returned for his 3rd time to the state tournament. Ott lost his first match and went straight to wrestlebacks where he could not manage to move on due to only being able to use one shoulder all year. Even with his shoulder injury, Ott finished his season with a winning record of 7-4.

182 lbs: Gabe Arnold  blew through his bracket and headed into the highly-anticipated matchup with Tate Naaktgeboren, reigning state champion. The match stayed very close as Naaktgeboren pushed it into triple overtime. Gabe came out on top, riding out Tate for 30 seconds and securing his first state title. Gabe, who is now moving on to wrestle at Iowa along with teammate Ben Kueter, is looking to take down the number one ranked wrestler at 174, Penn State’s Carter Starocci.

220 lbs: Ben Kueter made history at the state tournament this year, finishing his high school career 111-0 and a four time state champion. Ben was the seventh wrestler in Iowa history to accomplish an undefeated record, and four state titles. Ben showed great sportsmanship after the match  by hugging his opponent JoJo Lewis from dubuque hempstead who he has previously wrestled 3 times before in previous matchups. Ben was highly emotional after winning and held up a four when the ref raised his arm in victory he then bowed and that was the last of Ben Kueter in highschool sports.

With these 9 qualifiers this led to the team placing 5th and leading to three state champions and this being the most state champions we’ve seen from City High in a while. This was a historic and memorable year for the team and it will be one to remember for the ages.