Preseason Nationals

It’s a long way from Lake City to Cedar Falls, Iowa…having driven by both, I would guesstimate the driving time at around…an even 24 hours or so. Maybe 20 if you have major endurance, a lead foot and radar in the vehicle.

That’s a major trip, is the point, and that’s what Columbia senior Kaleb Warner did (I think the Warners flew, though, to be accurate about it) to compete in the Cliff Keen USA Wrestling Preseason Nationals tournament at the UNI-Dome on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa this weekend.

Warner’s competing at 138 pounds this weekend in the 11th-12th grade division, finishing 4-2 on the day and finishing among the top 24 wrestlers in the draw, which was pretty sizable. He won his first 2 rounds, both by major decision. Warner defeated Wisconsin’s Dylan Kellner, 11-2, and Iowa’s Seth Wennermark, 9-1. His next match, in the round of 32, Warner lost in the round of 32 to the nation’s #11-ranked wrestler at 138, Illinois’ Vince Turk, who went on to finish third in the tournament, by a 9-1 major decision.

Warner opened his road on the back end with a 1-0, double-OT win over Louie Sanders of Minnesota, then won by fall in the second period over Nebraska state placer Cody Lambert. His tournament came to a close against Wisconsin’s Stetson Clary, who pinned Warner in the third period.

Warner will be competing in the Super 32 in Greensboro, N.C., next weekend.

I covered wrestling for 15 years up north and "retired" in both 1992 and again in 2011. But I couldn't stay away. Started Northeast Florida Matmen in 2013, Northwest Florida Matmen in 2015. We combined those sites into North Florida Matmen in the summer of 2018. And, we've started South Georgia Matmen in November of 2018. Our work is never paywalled, our content is searchable for all time. We're here because the kids keep lacing 'em up, so we'll keep writing 'em up.

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