Riggins proves it was no fluke

By Jeff Budlong for The Predicament

Waverly-Shell Rock's Aiden Riggins scored the winning takedown with 40 seconds left in the third period to defeat Ankeny's two-time defending state champion Caleb Rathjen 3-2.

The Class 3A 152 battle was scoreless after the first period and Rathjen had an escape to take a 1-0 lead to the third. However, Riggins proved to be the aggressor, shooting multiple times and paying it off in the third period.

"This is pretty awesome," Riggins said. "The takedown was all grit, hard work and I guess I just wanted it more than him."

Riggins said he decided to bump up to 152 this season specifically to have the chance to challenge himself with a match like Saturday night's.

He edged Rathjen, who will wrestle at the University of Iowa, 9-8 when the two teams dualed earlier this season.

"He said he was in football shape and I guess I was in fantasy football shape then, but we came out here again -- props to him, he is a really tough opponent -- and battled and I wanted it more and came out on top."

Rathjen won the 138-pound title over Fort Dodge's Dreyzon Phillips a year ago to add to his state gold-medal haul that included the crown at 126 his sophomore season, 3-2, over West Des Moines Valley's Nick Oldham. 

The Go-Hawks claimed their third straight 3A team title, 154.5-146, over Waukee as McCrae Hagerty joined Riggins as a state champion to go along with nine wrestlers placing.