Podium placewinning by senior Tristan Hansmeier highlights overall positive 2017-2018 Waukon wrestling season under first-year head coach Mason Berns

Hansmeier wrestles in Iowa-Minnesota Border Battle ... Waukon wrestling 170-pound senior Tristan Hansmeier was among the top senior wrestlers from northeast Iowa and southeast Minnesota who took part in the 17th annual Iowa-Minnesota All-Star Border Battle dual meet Friday, March 9 at Crestwood High School in Cresco, an event sponsored by the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame in Cresco. A sixth-place finisher in the Class 2A 170-pound State Tournament bracket to top off his senior season for the Indians, Hansmeier squared off against Caledonia senior Zach Schneider (that bout pictured at right), the Class A 160-pound State Champion at last week’s Minnesota High School State Wrestling Tournament. Schneider scored a fall over Hansmeier, and he also won a 4-3 decision over New Hampton senior and Class 2A 170-pound third-place State Tournament finisher Noah Glaser of New Hampton. Schneider provided two of the Minnesota squad’s six wins at the event, as Team Iowa posted a 41-24 team score victory over Minnesota to take a 9-8 lead in the annual series. Photo by Nate Troy, Cresco Times-Plain Dealer.

The 2017-2018 Waukon wrestling team battled through a 7-13 season this winter under first-year head coach Mason Berns. That overall record included a mark of 1-5 in Northeast Iowa Conference (NEIC) competition, placing the mat Indians sixth in the final seven-team NEIC standings.

While that season record continues to be a work in progress, steps forward continued to be made for the program in Berns’ first year at the varsity wrestling helm. One of those biggest steps was the podium placement of senior 170-pounder Tristan Hansmeier, who wrestled to a sixth-place finish among the Class 2A elite in that State Tournament weight bracket. Hansmeier’s sixth-place finish was the mat Tribe’s first top-eight podium finish at the season grand finale since Adam Benzing placed sixth at 145 pounds in his senior campaign in 2015. Winning his first two matches in his State Tournament bracket, Hansmeier also became the Indians’ first semifinalist on the championship side of a State Tournament bracket since 2008 Waukon High School graduate Frank Weymiller wrestled to a fifth-place finish at 189 pounds during his senior season.

“Any time one of your wrestlers makes the stand at the State Wrestling Tournament, it signifies that you have a solid wrestler in your program and that the direction of the program is in good shape,” Coach Berns said. “I say ‘program’ because Tristan has been a part of the entire ‘wrestling program’ since he was young. It starts at the youth level, followed by middle school, and the Waukon wrestling ‘program’ concludes in high school.  Following the program and its coaches along the way helps lay the foundation for the wrestler, but the rest of what they build is entirely up to the wrestler. Tristan was set back by an injury his junior year and coming in as a senior, he was driven every practice to get better, with that mindset everything else followed. This is the mindset we have been working hard on and will continue instilling in the room; show up, work hard, and focus on improving weaknesses and sharpening strengths.”

For more complete coverage, pick up this week's print edition or subscribe to our e-edition by clicking here.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet