New Changes to Seeding and Qualifying Process for State Wrestling Tournament

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DES MOINES, Iowa –  Wrestlers from across the state make their way to Wells Fargo Arena this week for the 2019 Iowa High School State Wrestling Tournament.

There are 672 wrestlers from 219 different wrestling programs participating this year.

Wednesday, the dual tournaments begin, and then the rest of the tournament starts Thursday.

IHSAA Media Relations Chris Cuellar said there some minor changes to the tournament this year in regards to the seeding and qualifying wrestlers.

“The IHSAA used to use a random draw with district champions and district runners-up at each weight class pulled into the 16-person brackets. The only stipulations were that district champions wouldn’t wrestle district champions in the first round, and we’d try to avoid setting up district rematches in the first and second rounds,” Cuellar said.

Cuellar said beginning this year the IHSAA will seed, or “rank”, the top eight wrestlers in each 16-person bracket.

Here is an in-depth look of the process. Cuellar said it was recommended from their wrestling advisory committee, board approval and the IHSAA office.

Catch Des Moines National Sales Manager Ryan Vogt said it is estimated 80,000 people will be in downtown Des Moines for the tournament.

Vogt said with recent weather, people will be most likely using the five miles of skywalk available.

“The traffic is always a little bit of a concern, especially for people trying to get to work in the mornings. With the skywalk system, you can really park your car and get right to the arena. You don’t have to worry about being outside and trudging through the snow or wind. You can go straight through the skywalk system and be right there,” Vogt said.

Vogt said more people will be using the skywalk that connects the new Hilton Hotel to Wells Fargo Arena. It was opened in 2018.

Dual tournaments begin Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. at Wells Fargo Arena. Weigh-ins start at 7:00 a.m.

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