Four of Nebraska’s finest are competing in the prestigious Walsh Ironman tournament that includes 500 wrestlers from 96 schools representing 26 states competing in 14 weight classes. Three of the four are in the heart of Scottsbluff’s lineup, and the other wrestler is looking for his third state title this season. Pre-seeds were released today:

126 Mario Ybarra #12

145 Ben Rodriguez #7

182 Trevor Nichelson #5


We asked the four wrestlers two questions heading into this weekend:


What is your mindset going into this tournament?

Devon’Tae Gutierrez of Scottsbluff:
“My mindset is knowing that I have practiced hard and that I can wrestle at the highest levels of competition.”

Mario Ybarra of Scottsbluff:
“Wrestling one match at a time. I need to know my positions and and take advantage of them. Every point counts in this tournament, so I have to be looking for every opportunity to score.”

Ben Rodriguez of Scottsbluff:
“To go in there confident and take it one match at a time.”

Trevor Nichelson of Ashland-Greenwood:
“My mindset going into this tournament is to wrestle to win every match and get as much as I can out of the trip.”

What made you want to compete at the Walsh Ironman?

Devon’Tae Gutierrez:
“The competition. I know that if I can compete with the wrestlers at this tournament, I can compete with anyone in the state.”

Mario Ybarra:
“It’ll be just a great experience going out there. Everyone knows about this prestigious tournament, so it’s just awesome I can come out here and compete. I want to prove something out here and show that I’m capable of competing with these tough wrestlers.”

Ben Rodriguez:
“It will be a good experience and preparation for state. The harder the schedule, the more ready you are for the post season.”

Trevor Nichelson:
“I wanted to try to get into the iron man tournament to get some really high level competition in season to challenge me and push me to improve.”


Advice from former Ironman placers and Four-time Nebraska State Champions:

Colton Adams of Scottsbluff:

“Wrestle your match and don’t be nervous. Don’t wait to see what your opponent is going to do, you need to set the pace. It can be hard and eye opening for the first time, but if you can hang with people at that tournament, you can hang with anyone.”

Doyle Trout of Centennial:
“It’s not what you really expect, the main gym is small. I would say the kids are more stingy and wrestle more east coast. For example, they have better transitions and are tough on top. But it’s just like any other tournament, you have to wrestle your style and be mentally prepared.”

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