Greene County senior Kale Petersen finished his Ram career with a perfect 61-0 record, winning his second straight title Feb. 18, a 13-5 victory over Osage's Anders Kittleson in the 2A, 132 pound final.  PHOTO BY ABBY DAVIS

Petersen secures second straight state title during routine ‘business trip’

Managing Editor

Kale Petersen’s third state championship was methodical and precise, minus one final piece of athletic flare.

The Greene County senior’s backflip on the brightest of stages signified the end of a dominant - yet fairly brief - stint as a Ram.
Petersen had just captured the 2023 Class 2A, 132 pound wrestling state title Saturday, Feb. 18 thanks to an impressive, 7-3 victory over Osage’s Anders Kittleson.
It was merely the last piece of a meticulous business plan.

A blueprint that included 61 consecutive victories, back-to-back state titles and not a single loss. The most dominant two season run in school history was nothing but a blip on Petersen’s radar.
He was destined for success. Committed to triumph.

“Last year, my first time in 2A, it was a big change for me,” Petersen said. “Everyone was doubting me, saying I wasn’t going to win. I had something to prove.
This year, it definitely was just a business trip.”

Last winter, Petersen was on a mission to prove he belonged, upsetting a two-time state champion in the final. This year, he was hell-bent on showing the state he was the best, and did so with relative ease.
The senior waltzed his way through the 132-pound bracket, securing three consecutive major decisions before a fairly routine win in the final. The wins kept on coming, and Petersen never slowed down.

“I’m kind of used to it,” Petersen said when asked how it felt to win again. “It usually doesn’t set in for about a day. The next day is the next day, then a day after that. That’s when I’m back to training. I don’t take too many breaks after state.”

Petersen won his first state title as a sophomore for West Fork in Class 1A in 2021, then transferred to Greene County, where he won his second championship, this time in 2A in 2022.


Kittleson presented a unique challenge in the championship match. The pair are teammates at Sebolt Wrestling Academy in Jefferson, and have met each other several times in competition. Petersen won their most recent meeting, 5-2 in the Cliff Keen Independence Invitational, and used that as fuel for their final showdown. He jumped out to a slim lead and held on through the finish.

“I feel like I wrestled a good match, he’s a tough opponent,” Petersen said Saturday. “We know each other. It’s kind of hard to wrestle someone like that in a big tournament like this. I had to make the most of it and I guess we came out with the Dub.”

The match was tight throughout, but Petersen managed to scratch out a win, his 41st of the season and 61st overall. He wasn’t as cool, calm and collected as he appeared during the match. The senior knew things could get tense with two guys who knew each other well, and actually fought a bout of anxiousness.

“It feels amazing,” Petersen said. “I was a little bit nervous before the match, but you have to overcome that nervousness. That last high school match was a blast.”

To never lose a match at Greene County puts Petersen in an exclusive club. He moved away from family to achieve a dream, capturing a pair of 2A titles while also securing a scholarship to the University of Iowa. He spent the last two years living with Sebolt Wrestling Academy CEO TJ Sebolt, committed to becoming a wrestling legend.

The sacrifices paid off.

“I’m thankful for everything that’s happened in these past four years,” Petersen said. “I’m thankful for my parents, my mom and dad, they’re the most dedicated people I’ve ever seen in the world. And TJ, he got me through a lot in my life. Without him, I’d be a no one right now. I have to give props to him. I love you, TJ. Thank you so much.”

Contact Us

Jefferson Bee & Herald
Address: 200 N. Wilson St.
Jefferson, IA 50129

Phone:(515) 386-4161