152: Best of the Best, Lance Runyon

By Joshua Swafford for The Predicament

1.) Lance Runyon- SE Polk-SR

2.) Kyler Rieck- Spirit Lake Park-SR

3.) Kory Van Oort- West Sioux-SR

4.) Carter Schmidt- Norwalk-SR

5.) Adam Ahrendsen- Union- SO

6.) Brady Henderson- North Linn-SR

* No wrestler had a better season than Lance Runyon did this year.  The kid wrestled a tough schedule that consisted of multiple placers, state champs, nationally ranked guys, etc.  And Lance…dominated.  He finished 41-0 with 37 pins, 2 MD’s and 2 decisions by scores of 7-2 and 9-2.  He defeated a smorgasbord of state champs, nationally ranked foes, placers, etc. from other states as well as Iowa.  He won the Gardner-Edgerton, CIML, The Red Owens, The Cheesehead and State.  He finished off his career by placing 5th, 3rd, 3rd and 1st at state and was in some of the most stacked brackets I’ve seen.  My personal prediction is that we will see Runyon continue to improve and that he will be successful for UNI at the D1 level.  One thing about Runyon…the kid has consistently proven himself to be competitive on the national level, year after year.  Seriously, this kid was reeling in Tulsa, USA, etc. National titles a decade ago and has never had a phase in his career where he wasn’t able to beat or compete with the best guys in the nation at his weight.

* Kyler Rieck from Spirit Lake Park has been in some straight-up cobra pits for brackets and has fared well. He placed 4th as a Freshman, DNP as a SO, 2ND as a JR and won it as a SR this year.  In doing so, he avenged one of his only losses of the regular season by defeated Easton Graff in the semis.  One of the most exciting matches in the tournament.  Kyler has gone bear hunting and when asked which of the two are more intense, wrestling or bear hunting, he quickly replied, “wrestling!” Rieck will continue to be successful, on and off the mat.  There aren’t many safer bets than that.

* Kory Van Oort placed 2nd behind Kaleb Krall 2 years ago and finished off his HS career by winning state.  Great season, great career for him.

*  Carter Schmidt was one of the last undefeated 3A wrestlers in the state when he met up with his best friend, Lance Runyon in the district finals in which Runyon won by fall.  Schmidt only lost one more time, to Runyon in the state finals by score of 9-2.  He placed 4th at state as a JR.

* Adam Ahrendsen is a SO from Union who has been making a ton of noise. He qualified as a FR at 2A 138 and was 2nd to Rieck at 2A 152 this year.  His biggest wins were over Cade Tenold, Jake Matthaidess, Bryson Hervol, Matthew Doyle and Scott Betterton.

* Brady Henderson qualified for state 3 times and was runner-up his final 2 years.  He only had 2 losses as a Senior; to Kory Van Oort in the finals and to Adam Ahrendsen at the Bobcat Jerry Eckenrod Inv.

IN THE HUNT:  Jake Matthaidess from North Scott placed 3rd in 3A.  He has been a giant-killer since his Sophomore year, defeating numerous high placers and a state champ or two.  Can be streaky, but he put things together at state this year and finished/performed how most of us knew he could.  Cade Tenold is one-half of the Tenold twins.  He defeated former state champ, Kaleb Krall from Wapsie Valley in the quarters and the next round he ran into eventual champ, Kory Van Oort, in which he lost a controversial last-second decision. Ironic thing is that Van Oort and Krall met in the finals at 2A 138 in 2017. Cade placed 4th. Benjamin Smith from Iowa Valley Marengo placed 3rd and will be back again for his SR. season next year.