Earning their tickets to state
WORTHINGTON -- Laying everything on the line Saturday afternoon, 22 area wrestlers placed in the top two in their respective divisions at the Section 3AA individual tournament and qualified for the state tournament starting Thursday at 10 a.m. in St. Paul.
Adrian Area had the most qualifiers with six, while four wrestlers from both Fulda/Murray County Central and Windom/Mountain Lake-Butterfield-Odin will be in action at Xcel Energy Center.
Tracy-Milroy-Balaton will send three wrestlers to St. Paul, while Pipestone Area and Red Rock Central/Westbrook-Walnut Grove had two competitors apiece advance.
Bryant Schroeder is Worthington's lone state-qualifier, as he extended his season by winning the 215-pound division.
T-M-B's Zach Campbell defeated Worthington's Joey Kinley (fall, 5:09) and Adrian's Jake Dorn (6-0 decision) to claim the title.
After defeating Marshall's Derek Varpness (fall, 3:08) and Kinley (6-2 decision), John Bush of Pipestone Area squared off with Dorn in the true-second match. With a trip to the state tournament the reward, Bush scored a 7-4 victory to move on.
F/MCC's Cody Nolt went through the tournament undefeated, putting the capper on his weekend with victories over Adrian's Stephen Loosbrock (1-0 decision) and W/ML-B-O's Josh Falk (9-1 major decision) in the semifinals and finals, respectively.
Falk and Loosbrock matched up in the true-second event, with Falk gaining a victory with a pin in 5:39.
It was Jason Jeremiason of Marshall taking home the title, as his victories over Adrian's Brock Bullerman (9-3 decision) and F/MCC's Justin Reinsma (8-0 maj. decision) gave the Tigers their first state qualifier on the day.
Bullerman and Reinsma ended up facing each other in the true-second match. It was close all the way, but Reinsma pulled off the 1-0 victory to move on.
After beating Andrew Fodness of Luverne/Hills-Beaver Creek 5-3 in the semifinals, Sam Fischenich of W/ML-B-O pinned Marshall's Sam Oglesby in 1:44 to earn the title.
Oglesby finished as the runner-up, as he had previously beaten third-place finisher Josh Anderson from Montevideo (9-4 decision in semis).
Luke Prairie of T-M-B advanced to the state tournament with victories over W/ML-B-O's Spencer Johnson (fall, 3:30) and Montevideo's Zach Weckwerth (technical fall, 19-2 in 3:37) in the semifinals and finals, respectively.
Adrian's Matt Gades -- who had lost to Johnson in Friday's quarterfinals -- won four matches Saturday to take second-place hardware.
Gades started with a victory over RRC/W-WG's Nathan Mattison (14-4 major decision) before he beat F/MCC's Tyler Giese (6-0 decision) and PA's Taylor Aaland (7-3 decision) to reach the true-second match, where he topped Weckwerth 5-0 to advance.
W/ML-B-O's A.J. Stevens capped his tournament with respective semifinal and final victories over F/MCC's Chris Witzel (technical fall, 16-0 in 4:48) and Adrian's Tony Thier (5-2 decision).
Thier -- who had defeated T-M-B's Chad Cooreman 10-7 in the semis -- defeated Witzel 9-8 to win the true-second match. Witzel had defeated Cooreman 8-7 to advance to the true-second competition.
Following a semifinal victory over Marshall's Brett Crecelius (3-2 decision), Adrian's Nate Barker won the title by beating PA's Taylor Evans 4-1.
Evans was awarded second place for his prior victory (5-2 decision in the semifinals) over third-place finisher Scott Beech from F/MCC.
Montevideo's Tony Klosterboer earned the crown following his victories over RRC/W-WG's Gavin Mattison (6-1 decision) and T-M-B's Derek Evans (4-3 decision) in the final two rounds.
Evans had defeated Adrian's Andy Heitkamp 7-5 in the semifinals, and was awarded second place for that victory. Heitkamp defeated Mattison 10-6 to finish in third place.
Winning his final two matches by identical 7-0 decisions -- over PA's Tyler Fruechte and RRC/W-WG's Taylor Mattison -- Andy Henning of F/MCC took home the top honors.
Mattison advanced to the championship match with his victory over Adrian's Jordan Reker (9-5 decision) in the semis. Reker followed with victories over Redwood Valley's Jared Schiller (5-2 decision) and W/ML-B-O's Mason Anderson (fall, 1:05) to finish third, as his loss to Mattison meant there would be no true-second match.
Redwood Valley had its only state-qualifier in this division, as the Cardinals' Brady Myers defeated RRC/W-WG's Nick Schroeder (11-3 major decision) and Adrian's Zach Reker (9-7 decision) in his last two matches.
Reker finished as the runner-up as his previous victory (12-2 major decision in the semis) over third-place finisher Dan Dieter of T-M-B was enough to send him to St. Paul.
Kody Kramer of F/MCC collected victories over Adrian's Tyler Wagner (6-4 decision) and T-M-B's James Prairie (10-6 decision) in his final two matches to win the gold medal.
Wagner and Prairie went toe-to-toe with each other in the true-second bout, with Wagner coming away with a 12-5 victory.
F/MCC's Will Steinmetz gave the Warriors back-to-back titles, topping Marshall's Dan Marron (7-3 decision) and RRC/W-WG's Joe Pfarr (7-6 decision) in the semis and finals, respectively.
Pfarr finished second as his prior victory (11-4 decision in semis) over third-place finisher Brian Anderson of RV sealed his state-tournament entrance.
Schroeder pinned L/H-BC's Sam Dooyema in 1:18 to advance to the title match, where he scored a 6-4 victory over Caleb Bruns of Marshall.
Bruns earned the silver medal, as his previous victory (6-1 decision in semis) over third-place finisher Glen Kruger of Adrian allowed him to move on.
Adrian's Will Lutmer was the king of the heavyweight division, as his victories over PA's Sean Ennen (fall, 1:43) and Marshall's Blake Nath (9-3 decision) in the final two rounds catapulted him to the state tournament.
Ennen and Nath squared off in the true-second event, and Nath pulled out a tight 9-8 victory to keep his season alive.
MANKATO -- Jackson County Central, champions of the team sectional last week, qualified five wrestlers for the individual state tournament -- all of whom won their weight classes.
Cooper Moore (103) advanced with a 4-2 decision over Bronson Steuber of Fairmont, Cole Von Ohlen (119) defeated Ryan Timmerman of St. Peter by a score of 5-2 in his final, Torey Stewart (135) beat Tony Valek of Scott West, 5-1, to win his class, Travis Rutt (160) scored a technical fall in 5:55 against Don Thomas of Mankato East, and Caleb Lines (171) topped Peter Eischens of Scott West, 14-2.
Derek Schlager (112), Jacob Johnson (140) and Randy Hummel (145) all took third place in their weights.