Voelker, West Delaware get the job done

By Jeff Budlong for The Predicament

DES MOINES -- Persistence paid off for Wyatt Voelker in a big way.

The West Delaware junior 195-pounder put on a dominating show to cap a 38-0 season with a 15-7 victory over New Hampton/Turkey Valley's Jacob Reicks Saturday at the Iowa State Wrestling Championships.

"I have been looking to do this for a long time," Voelker said. "Failed freshman year in the semis, failed last year as everyone knows, and I spent 365 days for this moment.

"All the hell I went through, all the hard practices, all the rough stuff, this feels really good."

Voelker handled Reicks by a 16-7 major decision in the finals of the South Winneshiek Invite earlier this season. It was more of the same Saturday as he built an 11-4 lead after two periods. He celebrated the win by jumping into Hawks' head coach Jeff Voss' arms after the match.

"I didn't just want to win, I wanted to dominate," he said. "I think I did a pretty good job."

Voelker earned bonus points in all but two of those victories this season and dominated this weekend, outscoring his opponents 63-23.

Voelker said the last two years of disappointment were used as motivation to get the elusive state championship. He has seen several areas of growth in his wrestling.

"It's my feet, my condition and most importantly right here," said Voelker pointing to his head. "I believe I am the best 195-pound kid in the country, and no one can handle my pace or anything on my feet."

He credited his teammates and coaches for pushing him in the wrestling room every day to make the growth that was needed. 

Voelker and heavyweight Carson Petlon both claimed titles for the Hawks. Petlon downed Grinnell's Kamrin Steveson 3-0.

West Delawre saw all 11 qualifiers place as they wrapped up the Class 2A team title over runner-up Osage, 150-96, Friday night. It came a year after West Delaware entered state as the 2A team favorite only to fall all the way to fifth.

"[The win] wasn't just for me, it was for my team, the name on the singlet, for my parents," Voelker said. "I don't think us as a team talked about last year one time. We say the same principles before and after practice every day, and we say, 'State champs on three.'"