L-S fourth-grader Maxwell Mintle, the son of Brent and April Mintle, received All-American honors after competing in the Midwest Classic Nationals with 1,460 wrestlers from across the nation the first weekend in April. Competing in Kearney, NE, Maxwell wrestled in a 32-man bracket with wrestlers from Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Montana, Kansas, Texas, and Iowa. He placed third with a 5-2 record in the 10U 80-pound class – earning three pins, one major decision win, and one decision win while suffering two losses.
Each round was 30 seconds longer than what Maxwell is used to wrestling. He lost round six to Zachary Wessley, a wrestler from Kansas whose hefty record was 107-11 for the season. Maxwell wrestled back for third place, beating Karson Downing, an Iowa rival. Maxwell’s final loss of the day came from the battle for true second with Maurice Bell of Omaha, NE.
“It was hard work,” Maxwell said after the event. “I liked getting to see what other state’s wrestlers were like.”
Maxwell and his brothers, Matthew and Miles, joined Team Iowa the next weekend as they traveled to Kingsport, TN, for the National Elementary Duals.
The boys competed for the Iowa Elementary National Dual Team made up of sixth graders and below. Iowa brought three teams with 20 wrestlers per team to wrestle against 32 other teams from all over the U.S.
The Mintles’ team competed in seven duals total over three days and finished 13th in their bracket after pool wrestling. The boys had three former college wrestlers as coaches, and their dad, Brent Mintle, was the fourth coach.
Matthew was an alternate at 55 pounds on the drive to Tennessee and quickly turned into his team’s starting 60-pound wrestler. He finished 1-5 on the weekend, but impressed all the coaches as he saved the team a lot of points with several tight matches. He lost a thriller of a match, 2-1, against a fourth-grade place winner who had the entire team excited. The tough format also meant waking him up a couple times for his match, which also made everyone smile.
Maxwell also wrestled up a weight class for the team, competing at 85 pounds. Maxwell went 3-4 on the weekend and finished with a match that ended regulation 0-0, and he got a takedown in overtime to win. The Mintle family’s favorite memory of Maxwell was when he came off the mat after losing a tough match, looked at the coaches, and said, “Dude, that kid had a mustache and armpit hair.”
Miles also finished the weekend with a 3-4 record in the 116-pound weight class. Miles was a great team leader and lost one match in overtime, and on Friday night, he lost a thriller in the third period after being up 5-4 late in the period. Miles ended his elementary career on a very high note.
“This will be the boys’ only opportunity to ever be on the same dual team, and it was an honor to watch them root for their brothers and other Iowans,” their dad, Brent said. “I was also excited as they didn’t come home satisfied. Miles and Max both came one win away from earning All-American medals in this event, and they made a list with coaches of what they need to work on for next season. The boys also want to thank a couple local sponsors who made this opportunity possible. To have three L-S wrestlers represent Iowa was an honor.”