Waverly-Shell Rock’s Aiden Riggins Enters Iowa Wrestling Program

Tom Brands and the Hawkeye Wrestling Program are capitalizing on the state of Iowa’s resurgence in elite-level wrestling talent.

Already, Brands and his staff have secured engagements from Nate Jesuroga of Southeast Polk and Ben Kueter of Iowa City High, two top prospects for the state in the 2023 class who are also considered the top 10 national rookies. This was after Drake Ayala from Fort Dodge and Caleb Rathjen from Ankeny joined the program as part of the 2021 recruiting class.

On Saturday night, another top contender in the state, Aiden Riggins, senior at Waverly-Shell Rock, informed Hawk Central that he has also committed to the Iowa wrestling program.

Riggins is Iowa’s first engagement in 2022. He picked the Hawkeyes over Iowa State, Michigan, Purdue and South Dakota State, and plans to 165 / 174 lbs. He is considered the 34th overall hope nationally, according to MatScouts, and is currently ranked third in the country at 160 pounds.

Riggins’ recruiting stock has skyrocketed over the past year. He went 36-0 and won a Class 3A state title for the Go-Hawks in February. He reached the Cadet Men’s Freestyle World Team Trials final in April. He played a pivotal role in Team Iowa’s run for first place in the Junior Nationals in June, then reached the finals of the Junior National Men’s Freestyle Championships in July.

But, really, Riggins has long been one of the best wrestling talents in the country. He placed second at the Cadet Folk Style Nationals in 2019, then reached the 15U Men’s Freestyle World Team Trials final later that summer. He has represented Iowa at various regional and national age level competitions since the summer before his freshman year at Waverly-Shell Rock.

Iowa high school wrestling fans have known this for a while now. Riggins will be 122-5 overall in his senior season with the Go-Hawks. He is a three-time State Medalist in Class 3A and has helped Waverly-Shell Rock win tag team titles in each of the past three seasons.

The Hawkeyes have built a national championship program thanks in large part to talented wrestlers from out of state who have come to Iowa City. Those recruiting and development efforts paid off this season when Iowa won the NCAA Championships, the 24th in program history but their first since 2010.

With talented state wrestlers like Riggins now joining the program, it’s clear Brands has plans to build their next national title squad with talent from here in Iowa.

Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.

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