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How Close Were The 3Xers To Winning 4 And Interesting Connections Between The 4?!? Cory Christensen, Cole Welter, Deric Thomas, Chris Halblom

Cole Welter: Don Bosco, Class Of 2013

The Welter family is one of the best wrestling families to come out of one of the best ever HS wrestling programs in the state of Iowa.  Don Bosco! Cole Welter won 3 state titles for the Dons in 2007, 2009 and 2010. He placed 1-5-1-1…  He had a career record of 162-15 and was named the 1A Outstanding Wrestler of 2010.  He was also an accomplished baseball player in HS and went on to wrestle at Wartburg where he won a national title.  Cole’s brother, Brandon was a 4X placer/2X finalist and his cousin, Clay was a 2X state champion as well for the Dons. The one season that he did not win state was his Sophomore year, in which he placed 5th. He was put on the consolation side in a loss to Adam Hight from Nodaway Valley.


Cory Christensen, Winterset, Class Of 1993

Christensen won titles as a Sophomore, Junior and Senior and beat some HAMMERS in the finals. As a Sophomore, he defeated Adam Hutchinson from West Delware in the finals. As a Junior, he defeated Brian Fuhrmeister of West Liberty in the finals and as a Senior, he defeated Brad Horton from Norwalk in the finals.  Cory’s father is widely respected and highly decorated wrestling coach for Winterset, Gary Christensen. Cory went on to win a national title for Simpson College at the D3 level. The only year he did not win state was his Freshman season, although he did qualify.



Christopher Halblom, Center Point-Urbana in 2008 and Alburnett in 2009-2011

Chris Halblom won his first state title for Alburnett as a Sophomore in 2009 and it was the beginning of something huge at Alburnett.  With my brothers in the youth scene at the time, I was well-aware that Alburnett had a powerhouse in the works and the moment Chris won his first title, I remember thinking, “wow, this is the beginning of something that’s going to be HUGE for Alburnett HS wrestling.” I knew that Alburnett run was coming… it was just a matter of when. And Halblom was who made me officially decide that Alburnett had officially arrived. He went on to win 2 more titles in 2010 and 2011. He compiled an amazing record of 167-4. He was a 4X finalist and the only year he did not win state was his Freshman year For Center Point Urbana, in which he placed 2nd at 2A 103 to Tanner Schmidt of Charles City.  Halblom and Alburnett teammate Tyler Shulista were one of the best 1-2 punch combos in the Alburnett lineup for a couple years there.  His brother, Drake Halblom was also a stud wrestler for Alburnett…He placed 4th twice, I believe.  Chris Halblom went on to wrestle for UNI after HS.


Derric Thomas, Mason City Newman, Class of 2010

Derric Thomas was a big deal. The best wrestler to ever come out of Mason City Newman. He was a 4X state finalist, placing 2-1-1-1. He had tough competition every single year and in 2 out of the 4 years he wrestled in the finals, he faced a fellow state champion.  Thomas went on to wrestle at North Iowa Area Lakes Community College. He was defeated by Cole Welter from Don Bosco as a Freshman in the state finals…the only year he did not win state.


Interesting Connections Between These 4 Guys:

  • In 2009, Halblom, Thomas and Welter all won state in 1A and at consecutive weights; 112, 119, 125.


  • Both Cory Christensen and Cole Welter went on to become D3 national champions. Christensen for Simpson, Welter for Wartburg.
  • Both Halblom and Thomas wrestled Ben McMahon from Don Bosco in the finals in one of their 3 championship wins.  Both of them wrestled not only a Don Bosco wrestler in 2 finals matches, but a Welter.  Halblom defeated McMahon and Cole Welter’s brother, Brandon Welter in the finals while Thomas defeated McMahon, but suffered his only loss at the state tournament as a Freshman in the state finals vs. Cole Welter.
  • Cory Christensen became an assistant coach for Don Bosco when Cole Welter was in high school.  According to Don Bosco standout, Bryce Schares and Cole Welter himself, nobody realized how good Cory was for a little while after he arrived and they soon found out once the practice grind began.  By all accounts, he is very well-liked by that DB wrestling squad.
  • Derric Thomas and Cole Welter had one of the most interesting rivalries this state has ever seen.  The one year Thomas did not win state, Welter brought home the wall chart. The one year Welter did not win, Thomas brought home the wall chart.  They wrestled all 4 years in high school. As Freshmen, Welter pinned Thomas in the district and state finals.  As Sophomores, Thomas defeated Welter with a last second takedown and went on to win state the following week while Welter placed 5th. As Juniors, Thomas defeated Welter by 5 or so points at the Catholic Duals. As Seniors, they wrestled at the Catholic Duals again and Welter won 3-1.  This rivalry would be PERFECT for my Inside The Rivalry series, so guys if you are interested in doing one of those, please hit me up!
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