Despite finishing third in the fan vote, Charles City’s Lilly Luft is not one of the three finalists for the Dan Gable Ms. Wrestler of the Year.
Fareway Stores, Inc. and IAwrestle present the awards in coordination with the Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association (IWCOA). Three finalists from each of the three state wrestling classes for the men and combined all classes for the women’s award, regardless of their year in school and weight class, have been selected by fan and IWCOA committee votes.
Luft, a two-time state champ after winning the 130-pound title last month, did not make the top three announced this week in advance of the state wrestling tournament. The fan vote was considered to be the “tiebreaker” vote if needed to break a tie in voting by the 12-member panel of coaches and officials selected by the IWCOA.
The top three female wrestlers to advance to the awards luncheon next week are Ella Schmit of Bettendorf, the top vote getter in the fan vote; Alexis Ross of Fort Dodge, who finished second in fan voting; and Eva Diaz of Waverly-Shell Rock, who was sixth in voting among fans.
The Mr. & Ms. Wrestler of the Year Award winners will be announced Tuesday, February 22nd in Boone.
North Iowa is represented with finalists in all three classes for the Dan Gable Mr. Wrestler of the Year Award.
Making the top three finalists in Class 1A is Chet Buss of North Butler-Clarksville. Buss is a two-time state champion and is wrestling at the state tournament in Des Moines for the three-peat.
Cresco-Crestwood’s Carter Fousek is among the top three for the Class 2A Mr. Wrestler Award, not surprising given he’s a three-time state champ. Fousek would like to score title number four in advance of joining the Iowa State wrestling team next fall.
Among the three Class 3A finalists is Waverly-Shell Rock’s Aiden Riggins. He went undefeated in claiming a state title last year as a junior and has committed to wrestle collegiately at Iowa. Riggins and fellow Go-Hawk Eva Diaz make Waverly-Shell Rock the only school to be represented with finalists for both Mr. and Ms. Wrestler of the Year Awards.