Two Viking grapplers and two from Turkey Valley will participate in the 12th annual all-star "Border Battle," held Friday, March 8, at 7 p.m. at Crestwood High School.
Decorah's Hans Holkesvik and McKinleigh McCabe, along with Turkey Valley's Austin Vrzak and John Hageman, highlight members of the Iowa team. Holkesvik took seventh at state last month at 152 pounds while Hageman, 132 pounds, is a three-time state qualifier.
Also competing are members from New Hampton, Nashua-Plainfield, Osage and Crestwood, including Leighton Gaul (120 pounds, New Hampton); Cody Marks (145, Nashua-Plainfield); Colin Barker (160, Osage); Skyler Hulshizer (220, St. Ansgar/Riceville); Reed Ellingson (152, Crestwood); Austin Lukes (182, New Hampton); Josh Larson (195, Crestwood); Bret Jefferies (220, Osage); and Drew Dirksen (220, New Hampton).
"Things are still up in the air as far as who will be wrestling for each squad," said Dennis Meirick, president of the hosting Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame. He also noted injuries and scheduling conflicts for the Iowa squad has resulted in additional invitations just being issued.
Iowa holds the lead in the Border Battle at 6-5.
"We thank the coaches from both Iowa and Minnesota who make this happen every year," said Meirick. "With Minnesota's state tournament so much later than Iowa's, we really have to scramble to make this happen, but it's always worth it because we do this to honor our seniors who have given so much to our sport. It's always exciting."
Tickets for the events are $6 and $5 for students and will be sold at the door at Crestwood.