PREP WRESTLING: Reinsma makes historyLUVERNE — With all eyes on Elissa Reinsma Saturday, the Fulda/Murray County Central wrestler didn’t disappoint.
By: Aaron Hagen, Worthington Daily Globe
LUVERNE — With all eyes on Elissa Reinsma Saturday, the Fulda/Murray County Central wrestler didn’t disappoint.
Attempting to become the first female state qualifier in Minnesota history, Reinsma put herself in a good position entering Saturday’s competition, and needed to only finish in the top two to advance to the state tournament.
Despite a 4-3 loss to Adrian’s Nate Lynn in the finals, Reinsma finished second in the Section 3AA tournament, making wrestling history.
“I don’t know how to explain it,” Reinsma said after the match. “It’s awesome.”
But for the sophomore 103-pounder, the accomplishment didn’t hit her Saturday afternoon.
“Maybe when I go up there and I’m actually on the mat and I see everyone up there and all the people in the crowd, it will hit me,” Reinsma said.
Reinsma has been to the state tournament before — but not like this.
She has seen her older brother, Justin, wrestle at the Xcel Energy Center, in St. Paul, in previous years. Instead of sitting in the stands looking down on the wrestlers, she will be on the mat, looking up at the stands.
“It’s going to be different,” Reinsma said. “I’ve been up there since my brother’s eighth-grade year. Just going there, it’s huge. It’s going to be totally different going there wrestling instead of watching from the stands.”
Lynn, who defeated Windom/Mountain Lake/Buttefield-Odin’s Derek Swoboda in the semifinals, will be making his first trip to the state meet.
“What I tried to do was get out there and get the first takedown and get a lead on her and just see what happens from there,” Lynn said. “I tried to stay calm when I was out there. I tried not let it get to me and keep wrestling good.”
Lynn did strike first in the match.
With a late takedown in the first period, the ninth-grader had a two-point advantage entering the second period.
“He got the takedown at the end of the first period and that made me mad a little bit,” Reinsma said. “But I still battled hard and tried to come back. But he wrestled good.”
In the second, Reinsma responded.
She scored a reversal and tied the score at 2-all heading into the final two minutes.
Lynn scored two more on a reversal in the third, taking a 4-2 lead.
“I was just thinking that I had to score some points if I was going to win the match,” Lynn said.
Reinsma scored another point on an escape, but couldn’t overcome the deficit in a 4-3 loss.
“I’ve worked hard all year and to finally make it, it feels good,” Lynn said.
The two have wrestled five times before Saturday afternoon’s match, with Reinsma still holding the 3-2 lead.
John Weeding won the third-place match, and because Reinsma defeated him in the semifinals, there would be no true second match, sending Reinsma into the record books.
“I’m proud of her, just like I’m proud of the other four that made it to state and the other wrestlers who placed,” F/MCC head coach Dan Blankenship said. “If she can go up there and focus and everybody can leave her alone once she’s walking on the mat, I think she’ll be all right.”
After Elissa gave the Warriors their first qualifier of the day, Justin had a chance to become the second at 130.
Facing Sam Haas of Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd, Reinsma had an early lead and held on for a 3-0 victory.
“I wrestled him earlier in the year,” Justin said. “For a freshman, he’s an outstanding wrestler and he just doesn’t stop. He’s good on his feet and he didn’t quit. I knew I had to go out and get the first takedown, and that first takedown was huge. I had to ride him tough in the second period.”
Justin, who qualified for the fifth time, will be half of the first brother-sister tandem at state.
“It’s a good time,” Justin said. “She did well and wrestled well. She practiced hard all year long and I’m very proud.”
Even though the state tournament is a second home to Justin, he wasn’t looking past Saturday.
“It’s exciting,” Justin said. “It’s always exciting to get back; this is the tournament that you don’t really want to look past, and it’s nice to get it out of the way.”
As a senior, he has his sights set high.
“(Being my) last year, for the fifth time being up there, I have to win it,” Justin said. “That’s my goal. I have to get to the top.”
While the Reinsmas were making history, it was another teammate who was creating excitement.
Senior Scott Beech, wrestling at 145 pounds, had the early lead, but the match was tied at 6-all at the end of regulation.
However, he scored two points in overtime for an 8-6 victory.
Adrian’s Brock Bullerman finished second after defeating Tracy-Milroy-Balaton’s Luke Prairie in the wrestlebacks.
Beech will join the Reinsmas and teammates Andy Henning (160), and Travis Radke (215) at the state meet.
“Elissa has wrestled well, and she expects to go up there and do something,” Blankenship said. “Justin and Andy are returning state participants. Scott Beech, a senior, it’s his first time up there. But there is no time like the present to do anything.”
Luverne’s Sam Dooyema also picked the right day to accomplish a first.
Wrestling in the finals at 215, Dooyema was looking to win his first individual title and make a return trip to state.
Through the first 5:55, those feats were both in question.
Trailing 7-5 in the final seconds, Wabasso’s Jacob Welch was called for stalling, bringing the score to 7-6.
From there, Dooyema scored two-points in the final five seconds and won 8-7.
“It’s kind of a blur,” Dooyema said. “Honestly, I don’t really remember the end all so much. He caught me in that move in the first period, and I was down by three points. The second period, I got a little bit worried, but I didn’t want it end like that. I didn’t want to put my fate at the state tournament in somebody else’s hands. So I said, ‘I have to do this.’ It kind of was a blur. I got the takedown at the end; I’ll have to watch the tape.”
But he couldn’t have picked a better time for his first career title.
“I’ve always ended up getting second or third in every other tournament, but last year I got second and even this year, I never could quite win an individual tournament,” Dooyema said. “It’s kind of fun to win this one; it’s the big one.”
Worthington had a trio of wrestlers in the semifinals, with Tony Thier (152) and Jordan Schroder (heavyweight) each advancing to the finals. Jake Steffl (215) lost to Jacob Welch in the semifinals and finished fourth.
Wrestling a familiar opponent in Adrian’s Neal Mulder, Thier scored three points in the second period en route to a 4-1 victory.
“It’s great that I’m going back, but it’s good that both Neal and I made it,” Thier said. “It’s kind of a double-win situation.”
Mulder and Thier had seen each other more than once in their careers.
“I’ve been wrestling Neal, and I just kind of knew what he did and he kind of knew what I did,” Thier said. “It was a close match, and I countered some of his stuff.
“I’d rather wrestle a kid I didn’t know because then I wouldn’t know what to expect.”
At heavyweight, Fairmont’s Scott Hines defeated Schroeder 14-9.
However, Schroeder finished second and qualified for the state tournament.
“Obviously, (Thier’s and Schroeder’s) goals from the beginning of the season was to get back up to St. Paul, and to accomplish that is wonderful,” Worthington head coach Mark Prunty said. “Jordan would have obviously liked to have gotten first, but he’s still up to the state tournament. That’s the main thing, and now he has to get ready for Wednesday night.”
Other area individuals who qualified were: Drake Borsgard (W/ML/B-O) at 112, Zach Campbell (T-M-B) at 125, Sam Fischenich (W/ML/B-O) at 135, Spencer Johnson (W/ML/B-O) and Stephen Loosbrock (Adrian) and 171 and Shea Klooster (Adrian) and Colton Evans (T-M-B) at 189.
“This was just a great individual tournament all around with the competition and action,” Prunty said. “The fans got their money’s worth.”
Section 2A tournament
Five Jackson County Central wrestlers qualified for the state tournament.
Darick Vancura (112 pounds) pinned his opponent in 5:12 to win a True Second match and advance, and the other four each won the section championship at their respective weight classes.
Bronson Steuber (119) won a 13-2 major decision, Jessie Regaldo (130) won a 5-1 decision, Taylor Menke (135) won a 5-4 decsion, and Cooper Moore (140) recorded a fall in 5:17 in the title match at Blue Earth Area High School.
Section 3A tournament
Brandan Alfson was the only Pipestone Area wrestler to qualify for the state tournament.
The junior 160-pounder lost via technical fall in the title match, placing second and advancing.
John Bush, a junior 112-pounder for the Arrows, lost a True Second match, finished third and failed to qualify for state.
Section 4A tournament
Red Reck Central/Westbrook-Walnut Grove’s Ryan Schroepfer and Taylor Mattison each qualified for the state tournament.
Schroepfer, a sophomore, cruised to the section championship at 103 pounds. He recorded first-period pins in his first two matches before winning a 4-0 decision in the title bout.
Mattison, a senior, placed second at 171 pounds to advance.
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