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Iowa’s best high school wrestlers: Meet the state’s top seniors

Some of the top seniors in Iowa prep wrestling
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Each year, the list of senior wrestlers in Iowa is one filled with accolades and champions. 

This year is no different, as a couple of three-time state champions lead the way.

Carter Freeman of Waukee Northwest and Maximus Maganya from Waterloo East (by way of Waterloo Columbus) are hoping to join an elite list as four-time state champions this year.

Here is a look at the top senior wrestlers in Iowa: 

Carter Freeman, Waukee Northwest, 132

Freeman can put his name into the history books with a fourth state championship this year. He went 106-4 over the first three seasons, with three of those defeats coming as a junior.

Maximus Magayna, Waterloo East, 175

After three title runs at Waterloo Columbus, Maganya moved to Waterloo East this season as the North Dakota State University commit looks to make history.

Koufax Christensen, Waukee Northwest, 126

A two-time state champion and future Oklahoma Sooner, Christensen can add his name to a solid list with a third title this winter. He is coming off back-to-back titles after placing second as a freshman.

Tyler Harper, Norwalk, 113

Using his experience, Harper made it to the finals in 3A, scoring a silver medal with a record of 29-6. He plans to compete for Little Rock in college next year.

Carter West, Notre Dame Burlington, 113

A two-time finalist, West entered his senior season having won 102 of his last 107 matches overall.

Eli Becerra, Missouri Valley, 120

A three-time state finalist, Becerra has claimed gold, silver and bronze. He was first his freshman season and came into the year 130-6 overall.

Cael Morrow, Akron-Westfield, 120

A returning state champion, Morrow went 38-1 last year while earning gold in 1A. He plans to enroll at Minnesota-Mankato in the fall.

Dru Ayala, Fort Dodge, 120

Ayala looks to add another state title to the family legacy, as he has made the finals in 3A each of the past two seasons while going 79-6 during that time.

Carson Doolittle, Webster City, 126

A three-time bronze medalist, Doolittle, who is now coached by his brother and former state champion Drake Doolittle, has gone 115-11 coming into the year.

Cale Seaton, Iowa City High, 132

Seaton scored a state title in 3A last year after placing third his first two seasons. He went 37-4 last year and had 95 wins coming into the season. Seaton will attend South Dakota State in the fall.

Tucker Stangel, Osage, 157

A three-time medalist, Stangel won it all last year after placing fourth and third. Over his first three seasons, he has 124 wins, with six of his nine defeats coming as a ninth-grader.

Gavin Bridgewater, South Tama County, 190

Bridgewater has twice finished as a runner-up in 2A, going 79-9 over the past two seasons.

Evan Franke, Muscatine, 215

A state veteran, Franke has competed like a kid looking to go out on top this year. He has won multiple tournament titles and had a big summer on the state scene.

Brent Slade, Southeast Polk, 190

Slade already has state medals on his resume, and the Campbell-commit is searching for his first state title this season.

Kyler Scranton, Iowa City West, 175

After opening his final season with a Top-8 showing at the Donnybrook, the future Loras wrestler has claimed gold, silver and bronze at various events.

Braden Blackorby, Johnston, 175

Blackorby, who will be taking his talents to ACC-land and Virginia in the fall, was a state runner-up last year and recently finished third at the Ed Winger Invitational.

Gabe Carver, Urbandale, 165

Coming off a fourth at state, Carver won a title over the summer at the Iowa/USA Freestyle/Greco LC and was strong at the Ed Winger Invitational against top competition.

Grant Kress, Linn-Mar, 157

Kress, who has signed with South Dakota State, is always at the top of the leaderboard. He earned a freestyle title at the state Iowa/USA event last spring.

Anders Kittelson, Osage, 144

Kittleson, a key piece to the successful run for the Green Devils last year, is looking to do it again before he heads off the Air Force Academy in the fall.

Kane Naaktgeboren, Linn-Mar, 144

From a wrestling family Naaktgeboren tries to solidify his place in the family pecking order in his final season. He is set to attend Iowa State next year.

Damarion Ross, Fort Dodge, 175

Ross returrns after taking silver for the Dodgers as a junior. The older brother of Dreshaun Ross, Damarion has the chance to add his name to the family legacy this year.

Daniel Herrera, Ames, 285 

Herrera picked up a pair of state titles competing in California. Now, the future Cyclone is looking to earn gold in Iowa this winter. 

(Photo by Matthew Putney)

--Dana Becker I @SBLiveIA