Redhawk wrestler Briar Blake secures third tournament title

Junior grappler now ranked No. 4 in state

The Redhawk girls wrestling team placed sixth out of a dozen teams at last Saturday’s Belle Plaine Girls Invite. From left to right, Faith Dvorak, Addy Hochstetler (wearing her second place individual medal), Briar Blake (wearing her first place individual medal), Grace Dvorak, and Ava Monat (wearing her first place individual medal) are pictured. Not pictured, Olivia Youngblood. PHOTO COURTESY OF ANDREW KNAACK

BELLE PLAINE – While most folks were still in recovery mode last Saturday following the Thanksgiving holiday, the North Tama girls wrestling squad was back on the mats at the Belle Plaine Girls Invite where they added several more accolades to their already top-notch season including a tournament championship by undefeated Briar Blake, a runner-up finish by Addison Hochstetler, and a sixth place overall team finish.

Ahead of the tournament, junior grappler Blake was ranked No. 4 at 170 pounds by IAWrestle, becoming the first girls wrestler from North Tama to make the rankings.

The Redhawks took sixth place overall out of a dozen teams by scoring 73 points just behind Waterloo West in fifth with 80 points and Aplington-Parkersburg-Grundy Center in fourth with 82 points.

After a bye in her first round, Blake won her semifinal match by fall over Abigail Hatcher of Grinnell in 3:21 before taking the championship by pinning No. 8 Madilyn Rowson of Pleasatville in 4:42.

To secure her second place finish in the 140 pounds bracket, Hochstetler (9-3) received a bye as well in the first round, after which she won both the quarterfinal by fall and then the semifinal by decision (15-9) over Katelyn Brandhorst of Woodward-Granger.

In the final round, Hochstetler was pinned by Pekin’s Lila Miller.

In the 110 pounds bracket, Redhawk freshman Grace Dvorak (6-6) took fourth. She went 2-2 with pins in the first round and consolation semifinal round. During the third place match, she lost by decision (8-5) to Ella Clark of Pleasantville.

Dvorak’s freshman teammate Olivia Youngblood (1-2) took fifth at 115 pounds, winning her final match by decision (11-7) over Rachel Kok of Moravia, while Faith Dvorak (7-6) placed sixth at 135 pounds by going 2-3 over the course of the tournament which included a 58 second pin of BGM’s Mia Sunkle in the first round.

And in her very first high school wrestling appearance, Redhawk JV wrestler Ava Monat took first place at 125 pounds by pinning Marissa Degase of Woodward-Grainger in the first round, taking a bye in the second round, and then pinning Kyliee Babcock of AP-GC for the tournament title in one minute, 53 seconds.

The full Redhawk wrestling team – both boys and girls – is set to compete this week Thursday, Nov. 30 at home in the Redhawks Nest in Traer.

This will be the first home meet of the season for both squads, while also being the boys’ 2023-24 season opener.

North Tama will face a trio of powerful wrestling teams on Thursday including Union, Vinton-Shellsburg, and Aplington-Parkersburg.

Redhawk senior Case Monat and junior Kolt Knaack were both ranked by IAWrestle ahead of the meet.