CRESCO, IA — The top senior wrestlers from northeast Iowa and southeast Minnesota who have completed outstanding high school careers will face off in the 13th annual all-star “Border Battle” dual meet at 7:00 p.m., Friday, March 7 at the Crestwood High School.
“Things are still up in the air as far as who will be wrestling for Minnesota,” stated Dennis Meirick, president of the hosting Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame. “Minnesota just finished their state tournament this weekend and will be putting their team together in the next few days.”
Meirick noted wrestlers from Decorah, Turkey Valley, Osage, South Winneshiek, MFL and Crestwood have committed for the Iowa squad. The Border Battle dual meet record is 6-6 after the Minnesota squad picked up a win last year.
The Minnesota team will consist of senior wrestlers from school districts located in Mower, Fillmore and Houston counties. The Iowa team will consist of seniors from school districts drawing students in from Mitchell, Howard, Winneshiek and Allamakee counties. As in the past, both teams could draw a few wrestlers from outside the boundaries.
Iowa wrestlers who have accepted the invitations include eight state place finishers: 132 pound Hunter Slifka who placed third for Crestwood this year and is a three-time state qualifier; 132 pound Chris Hanke, Osage who placed 7th in 2013; 138 pound Christian Fox of Osage who placed third this year and is a two-time state qualifier; 152 pound Douglas Perrin of Osage who is a two-time state place finisher; 182 pound Nathan Howe of MFL who placed sixth at state this year; 195 pound Christopher Brincks of South Winneshiek who placed second at state this year and fifth in 2013; 285 pound Luke Kuennen of Turkey Valley who placed fifth this year; and 285 pound Austin Ashbacher of Decorah who placed sixth last year and is a three-time state qualifier.
Other wrestlers competing for Iowa include: 145 pound Erick Buckendahl of Turkey Valley; 152 pound Riley Meirick of Turkey Valley; 152 pound Cody Ritner of Decorah, 152 pound Isaac Hover of Crestwood, 160 pound Tyler Randall of Osage; 160 pound Charles Hadacek of Turkey Valley; 170 pound Dillon Johnson of Osage; 170 pound Levi Henry of Crestwood; 195 pound Brandon Slifka of Crestwood; and 220 pound Kyle Reicks of Turkey Valley.
“We have to thank the coaches from both Iowa and Minnesota who make this happen every year,” Meirick said. “We really have to scramble to make this happen but it’s always worth it because we do this to honor our seniors who have given so much to our sport. It’s always exciting.”
Border Battle organizers hope to feature about 15 to 20 matches again this year.
Tickets for the event are $6.00 and $5.00 for students and will be sold at the door at Crestwood.