In the class 3A semifinals at the state high school wrestling tournament Des Moines Roosevelt’s John Nicholson won the battle of returning champs. Last year’s 152 pound champion scored all three takedowns in the match to beat Derek St. John of Iowa City West, handing last year’s 145 pound champ his first loss of the season.

Nicholson says takes pride in his offensive power and offense beat the defense in this match. Nicholson says he sensed St. John was getting tired as the match progressed. He says he knew he was going to get tired, and he saw it when he got ahead. Nicholson says doubt sets in when you get behind and that makes it hard to win.

Clinton sophomore Dom Chase will wrestle for his first state title on Saturday night. Chase edged Demetrious Taylor of Waterloo East 4-2 in the 125 pound semis. Chase finished fifth in 2008 at 112 pounds. Chase says it’s great being a sophomore and being the title match and says hopefully he can be a three-time champion.

Chase says he is thrilled to have a chance to wrestle in the finals.