The top senior wrestlers from northeast Iowa and southeast Minnesota who have completed outstanding high school careers will face off in the 17th annual all-star “Border Battle” dual meet Friday, March 9, at 7 p.m., at the Crestwood High School.
   “Things are still up in the air as far as who will be wrestling for Minnesota,” stated Dennis Meirick, president of the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame, which is hosting the event. “Minnesota just finished their state tournament and will be putting their team together in the next few days.”
   Two Iowa state champions will headline the Iowa squad this year. Ryan Steffens won the state title at 145 pounds this year to become Cresco’s 66th state champion. Steffens is a four-time state semifinalist and had a 152-37 career record. Chance Throndson of Riceville will also be on the mat after winning his state title in 2017.
   Meirick noted wrestlers from Crestwood, New Hampton, Waukon, South Winn, MFL, Postville and Riceville will wrestle for the Iowa squad. Minnesota won last year’s Border Battle to even the record between the squads at 8-8.
   “We’re expecting some real headliners from both states to be here. Right now Iowa has two state champions committed and southeast Minnesota is the hotbed in Minnesota wrestling,” Meirick stated. “People who watch northeast Iowa wrestlers closely will see that a couple of state champions and other top place finishers are missing from our squad. They were invited but had schedule conflicts. We are disappointed they aren’t with us, but it’s a busy time for athletes,” he added.
   This year’s Border Battle will also feature its first bout between highly ranked women wrestlers. Iowa will be represented by South Winn’s Felicity Taylor. Taylor is a three-time Upper Iowa Conference champion at 106 pounds. In Flowrestling’s first-ever national rankings of women this past summer Taylor was ranked seventh in the nation. She is a state AAU champion and this past summer she placed fifth at the Junior Women’s National Championships in Fargo, S.D. Taylor completed her high school record at 105-45.
   “Minnesota is trying to find a match for Felicity. If they can’t find someone we may have to have her wrestle an exhibition. We’re here to promote wrestling and Felicity represents wrestling very well,” Meirick said. “We’re pleased to offer this up-and-coming sport here.”
   Other Iowa wrestlers who have already committed include: Uvaldo Camarillo, Postville; Brady Olson, MFL; Tanner Tollefsrud, South Winn; Chris Guest, Crestwood; Cale Reicks, New Hampton/Turkey Valley; Noah Glasser, New Hampton/Turkey Valley; Tristan Hansmeier, Waukon; Manning Kuboushek, South Winn; Gabe Kipp, South Winn; Areon Day; New Hampton/Turkey Valley; Jacob Knutson, Crestwood and Jackson Lukes, South Winn.
   “We have to thank the coaches from both Iowa and Minnesota who make this happen every year,” Meirick said. “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 event are $6 for adults and $5 for students and will be sold at the door at Crestwood.