The 2023 Dan Gable Ms. Wrestler of the Year hails from Charles City.
The Comets Lilly Luft was honored with the top prize during the awards banquet Wednesday in Boone. Luft, who won the fan vote, also got the support in the overall voting coordinated by Fareway Stores, IAwrestle.com and the Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association (IWCOA).
The award caps off a stellar career in which Luft won three straight state titles, including the 130-pound crown at February’s first-ever state-sanctioned high school girls wrestling tournament. Luft will wrestle next fall for the University of Iowa women’s team.
Decorah’s Naomi Simon was on of the three finalists for Ms. Wrestler of the year.
On the boys side, neither Nashua-Plainfield’s Garrett Rinken in Class 1A nor Osage’s Nick Fox in 2A could garner the top honor in the final tally for Mr. Wrestler of the Year in their respective divisions. Rinken, a state champ this year at 126-pounds, and Fox, tops at 170-pounds, still have the distinction of each finishing first in their fan votes.
Waverly-Shell Rock’s Ryder Block, who won his second 138-pound state title this year, was a finalist in 3A, but the Mr. Wrestler of the Year award went to Iowa City City High’s Ben Kueter for the second year in a row.
Runner-up student athletes in each class will each receive finalist award plaques. A duplicate Wrestler of the Year trophy and duplicate Wrestler of the Year runner-up plaques will be provided to each high school where finalists attend, for permanent placement in the school trophy case.