2024 IGHSAU State Championships
MV’s Nikki Olson Pins Down State Title
Olson completes Championship Chase – Lady Reds first State Champ
By Matt Gengler, Sports Editor
It has been five days since Missouri Valley senior heard the final slap of the mat at the 2024 Iowa Girls High School State Wrestling Championships. When the slap went down, so did Lady Red senior Nikki Olson full of emotion as she had achieved her lifelong dream. The Chase for the Championship was complete, as Olson pinned down her first state title in her final match in a Lady Reds singlet.
“I’m still on Cloud 9, as it still doesn’t seem real,” stated the first Lady Red State Champion in school history. “I have been waiting and working for this for so long, and I finally did it. It’s amazing to blaze a trail not only in Iowa wrestling, but in our own Missouri Valley wrestling room. Our program is something special, and I can’t wait to see who the next Lady Red write their names in history. I feel so proud that every wrestler who walks in this room will get to see a state championship banner hanging.”
As soon as her opponent was stuck, she buckled in emotion, raised her arms in triumph, and jumped into and took down her Head Coach, Keefer Jensen, saying “We Did It!!”
After that, she went over and embraced all of her teammates who have been with her every step of this journey.
“It was so special having them with me, supporting and cheering me on,” Olson stated. “They always believed in me (state championship dreams), and told me how much I could accomplish. Words cannot express what all their support means.”
Olson dominated the 155-lb state field, recording an improbable five pins at the state level on the way to the championship.
“There were times when the goal seemed impossible to reach, but I had to ground myself and stay focused during those times,” added Olson. “When my hand was being raised, I realized that the last four years of growing and becoming a better wrestler all led to this point. I got my final move locked up, and she was on her back, I knew it was mine. As soon as the final whistle blew and the ref smacked the mat, it all became real. I finally did it, and accomplished what I have been working for my entire career. I heard everyone cheering for me, and it was the greatest feeling ever. All of the late nights and early mornings to get me to that spot, and it paid off exactly how I hoped it would. It was so surreal.
Nikki becomes the second state champion in her family, as her older brother, Arron, won a state title in his final prep match in 2019.
“When Arron won his title, the entire family felt pride, and I new that was so special,” Nikki stated. “I couldn’t help but imagine what it would be like to have that feeling myself. When I decided to start wrestling, he made it clear he wanted me to get to that point as well. He coached me through my matches, critique film, he knews what its like to be a champion, and he was with me every step of the way. Having him in my corner gave me extra confidence and kept me in the right frame of mind. He’s driven me to practices, been with me for all the off-season tournaments, or just walking me through his own experiences. I can’t express how thankful I am, because he’s been with me every step of this wrestling journey.”
Olson concludes by recognizing all the people who have been a part of this amazing journey, “From the moment I made the decision to start wrestling, and told them I would need a pair of shoes, they have been with me every step of the way. Don Brothers and Lonnie Haase have kept me going, as they have always been a phone call away, and is willing to support all the area youth wrestlers. They both pushed me and help me launch my wrestling career. It was in the wrestling room where I fell in love with the sport, and Brian Daugherty and the MV Wrestling Club had a lot to do with it. Where it was taking extra time to work, or challenging myself, they knew I could handle it. Finally, Keefer Jensen and Sean McIlnay have been with me every step of the way, they never stopped pushing me toward greatness.”
Olson stated after every match during the 2024 State Tournament Jouney – “I’m going to get what’s mine.”
State Title Dreams became Reality for Olson on Groundhogs Day (Feb. 2, 2024) – Something she won’t every forget. State Champion has a great ring to it.
2024 Girls State Wrestling Championships
Feb 1, 2, -- X-Tream Arena, Coralville
155: NICOLE OLSON (43-1, First Place, 2024 State Champion) pinned Ashlynn Carter-Shook (Mount Vernon), :44; pinned Glorious Fridley (Southeast Warren/Melcher Dallas), 1:10; pinned Miley Walz (East Buchanan), 5:31; pinned Ajaah Cox (Cardinal), 1:35; pinned Haylee McGrew (Ankeny), 3:44. 2024 State Tournament Record: 5-0.