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After a season away from the state wrestling tournament, the Cedar Rapids Prairie junior, Zach Witte, secured his return to the state finals. Just like he did when he was a state finalist as a freshman.

Witte scored a takedown and nearfall points in the final seconds to beat Sioux City North?s defending state champ and top-ranked Chad Ryan (HM @ 145), 5-1, in the 145-pound semifinals of the Iowa High School Athletic Association Class 3A state wrestling tournament Friday night at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

?I?m so glad I finally made it,? Witte said. ?This was my goal all year round. I still have one more step to where I want to be.?

Witte (37-0) will hang out with friends and enjoy the feat until tomorrow morning before focusing on his championship match against Urbandale?s second-ranked Gabe Moreno (40-1). Prairie Coach Blake Williams witnessed how Witte dedicated himself to overcome last year?s disappointment of not qualifying, placing third at district behind last year?s eventual state champion and runner-up.

?He knows he wanted to get back to where he was two years ago and now go out and win this thing,? Williams said. ?He?s happy, but he?s not going to be satisfied.?

Witte and Ryan produced an exciting, action-filled match, despite only managing to exchange escapes for a 1-1 score after regulation. Conditioning paid off for Witte in the sudden victory period. He had a little more gas in the tank when Witte countered Ryan?s takedown attempt, putting Ryan on his*back.

For Complete article by Eastern Iowa High School Sports