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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Gerke earns 150th win for Saints

If somebody asked Josh Gerke to run through a brick wall, his only question would be "Head first or feet first?"

Xavier wrestling coach Ryan Chambers was exaggerating when he made  that comment Thursday night, but not by much.

Gerke reached a major milestone Thursday when he collected the 150th  victory of his stellar career with a pair of wins against Waterloo  East and Waterloo West in a double-dual at Ron Thillen gymnasium.

Fittingly, the 150th victory came on a pin in 87 seconds against Joventay Burris of Waterloo West at 145 pounds. It was the 98th pin of  Gerke's career, extending his own school record and giving him a shot  at reaching the century mark before the year ends.

Xavier students came prepared with signs that said "150," and there also were big yellow balloons with the numbers 1-5-0 in his honor.

"It's pretty exciting. A lot of hard work and teammates pushing me,"  said Gerke. "The coaches have spent a lot of time with me. It's a big  milestone for all of us."

Gerke got a standing ovation after his 150th verdict.

"I had a big cheering section. A lot of my friends," he said. "It was  pretty exciting to be able to get a pin like that."

Gerke ranks second in school history with his 150 victories, trailing  only Clint Lembeck at 165. And if he reaches 100 pins, he'll become  only the third wrestler in Metro history in the century club with Matt  Wycoff of Marion (124 pins from 1997-2000) and Alijah Jeffery of  Linn-Mar (105 from 2011-14), according to the IHSAA website.

"I'd love to get to 100," said Gerke. "Hopefully I can get there."

Chambers said Gerke has been a model wrestler during his four-year  varsity career. It began when he collected 25 pins as a freshman and  has continued to today.

"It's exciting. It gives me goose-bumps just to think about it," said  Chambers, reflecting on Gerke's 150 wins and nearly 100 pins.

"He does whatever you want him to do. And he's a great leader for  these young kids. He brings them under his wing and takes care of  things."

Gerke got his 149th victory Thursday with a forfeit against Waterloo  East, but he went right to work for No. 150 in typical style with a  vicious headlock and pin against Waterloo West.

"Josh has a knack for getting people on their back," said Chambers.  "He's a true pinner. He's been a true pinner since he was a freshman.

"He's just dominant," the coach said. "He works hard, he's flexible  and he's just physically strong. Josh is without a doubt the most  dominant wrestler I've ever coached."

Gerke missed a few weeks this season due to a concussion in December,  but he's been healthy again for a month and going strong. His career  mark is 150-33 and his 29 pins this season are a school record.

Gerke is one of the most versatile prep athletes in Iowa as an  all-state defensive back for the Xavier football team, a premier 800  meter runner who finished sixth at the state meet last May, and a  superb wrestler who is ranked sixth at 145 pounds. He's the only  two-time Mississippi Valley Conference champion in school history  after pinning his way to an MVC title last Saturday at the league meet.

Gerke will decide this spring whether he wants to wrestle or run track  in college, but for now he's thinking about making a run for a state championship on the mat in Des Moines.

"It's huge," he said. "I've been dreaming about it since I was a kid.  It's my last chance. I'm going to go for it."

The Class 3A district meet will be held at Cedar Rapids Jefferson on  Saturday, Feb. 11, where Gerke could meet Caleb Conway of Marion for  the district title. Conway has handed Gerke his only two losses this  season and they probably will be seeded No. 1 and No. 2 at the  district tournament.

Two wrestlers from each weight class will make the state tournament  from the Jefferson district, so there would be room for both of them  at the state meet.

The Saints lost both dual meets Thursday, falling to Waterloo East  43-36 and losing to Waterloo West 39-37.

Patrick Chambers collected a pin against Waterloo East and a major  decision against Waterloo West at 132 pounds.


132 - Patrick Chambers (X) pinned Antonio Rodriguez, 2:36
138 - Ryan Cook (X) won by forfeit
145 - Ryan Valenzuela (WE) won by forfeit
152 - Josh Gerke (X) won by forfeit
160 - Garrett Ries (X) won by forfeit
170 - Raquen Saffold (WE) pinned Shane Scott, 5:16
182 - Tyrell Gordon (WE) won by forfeit
195 - Eric Gleiter (WE) dec. Erik Rodriguez, 6-0
220 - Payne Johnson (WE) pinned Alex Francois, 0:51
285 - Omar Begic (WE) major dec. Tommy Pudil, 15-3
106 - Darrell Lowery (WE) won by forfeit
113 - Brayden Good (WE) won by forfeit
120 - Keegan Schultschik (X) pinned Chryshaun Taylor, 1:27
126 - Peter Kennedy (X) won by forfeit


138 - Ryan Cook (X) dec. Gabriel Voldoire, 7-6
145 - Josh Gerke (X) pinned Joventay Burris, 1:27
152 - Garrett Ries (X) pinned Jacob McKnight, 2:48
160 - Jacob Oliver (WW) pinned Shane Scott 4:57
170 - Evan Baker (WW) pinned Quinn Miller, 0:47
182 - Dylan Meyer (WW) won by forfeit
195 - Erik Rodriguez (X) won by forfeit
220 - Sam Gerst (WW) pinned Alex Francois, 0:51
285 - Brendon Claussen (WW) dec. Tommy Pudil, 5-2
106 - Teme Larson (WW) won by forfeit
113 - Brenton Rodriguez (WW) won by forfeit
120 - Keegan Schultschik (X) won by forfeit
126 - Peter Kennedy (X) won by forfeit
132 - Patrick Chambers (X) major dec. Nicholas Knight, 17-5

Last Updated ( Friday, 03 February 2017 09:49 )  

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