The State High School Wrestling Tournament resumes this morning with the quarterfinal round in class 1A. Pocahontas area leads a close team race in 1A after advancing four into the quarterfinals. Coach Mitch Parker says team success is more than just the winners bracket. He says it’s all about who can bounce back from losses as well as getting as many competitors into the semis as possible. Belle Plaine is one of three teams tied for second, two points behind. Coach Bob Yilek’s team sent six of eight wrestlers into the quarterfinals. Yilek says his team is “peaking at the right time.” Again this week, the tournament is playing to large crowds in Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines. With eight mats going at once, the traffic can be heavy, especially with the students who like to roam from one match to the other. Despite the traffic jams, the crowds are well behaved according to Bernie Saggau, the executive director of the Iowa High School Athletic Association. Saggau says the crowds enjoy the atmosphere that goes with the tournament. Saggau says it’s “organized confusion” and a celebration of the schools which have athletes in the competition. The ability to move around is one of the unique features of the tournament. Saggau says Iowa’s high school wrestling tournament is the biggest in the country.
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