PREP WRESTLING: Dragons advance to stateSLAYTON — Adrian Area is heading back to the MSHSL Class AA Dual Team Wrestling State Tournament. The Dragons (29-3 overall) earned their first trip back to the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul after defeating Quad County (45-28) in the semifinals and Dawson-Boyd/Lac Qui Parle Valley (36-24) for the Section 3 Tournament title Friday at Murray County Central High School in Slayton.
SLAYTON — Adrian Area is heading back to the MSHSL Class AA Dual Team Wrestling State Tournament.
The Dragons (29-3 overall) earned their first trip back to the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul after defeating Quad County (45-28) in the semifinals and Dawson-Boyd/Lac Qui Parle Valley (36-24) for the Section 3 Tournament title Friday at Murray County Central High School in Slayton.
“It was a battle and we knew that it would be coming in,” Adrian Area head coach Gregg Nelson said. “We had big leads early and we knew (our opponents) would storm back.”
In both duals, the Dragons dominated the lower weights.
Against Quad County, Adrian Area’s Skylar Hieronimus pinned Victor Rivera in 1:55 at 106, Jaydan Bullerman pinned Trevor Fagen in 55 seconds at 120, Michael Pruess pinned Zach Kluver in 2:46 at 126 and Tony Lynn pinned Alex Wolf in 52 seconds at 132.
Hunter Heitkamp produced an 18-5 major decision against Dylan Johnson at 138, while Logan Rogers preserved a 7-4 decision against Kirby Winson as the Dragons won six of the first seven bouts to build a 31-4 lead halfway through the dual.
“We’re really tough down low and coaches know it, too,” Bullerman said. “Every match, we go out therew expecting to get all of those wins so that it doesn’t have to come down to the last bout. There isn’t any pressure, but getting those wins sets the tone for the rest of match.”
That strategy also worked for Adrian Area during the section title clash against Dawson-Boyd/Lac Qui Parle Valley.
Hieronimus pinned Donald Bothum in 1:24 at 106, Logan Nelson pinned Trystan Bukowski in 38 seconds at 120, Bullerman jumped up to 126 to pin Cole Struxness in 22 seconds, Pruess also wrestled up to pin Christian Thoen in 2:40 at 132.
After Lynn scored a 12-6 decision over Action Herman at 138, the Dragons had a 27-4 lead by winning five of the first six bouts.
“We like to make hay down low even though we’re not too bad on top, either,” Coach Nelson said. “Our tablesetters are down below. That’s what we like to do.”
Against Quad County, Matthew Slater (10-0 major decision at 160), Jesse Slater (13-0 major decision at 170) and Adam Garms (3:15 pin at 220) sealed the win as Adrian Area moved into the championship bout with 17-point (45-28) victory.
Dawson-Boyd/Lac Qui Parle Valley pushed the Dragons a little harder in the title round.
The United picked up weight-class victories at 145, 160 and 170 before Rogers (9-4 decision at 152) and Jesse Slater (4-2 decision at 182) clinched a state berth for Adrian Area.
“I knew that I had to win, no matter who I wrestled. It didn’t matter if it was anybody,” Jesse Slater said. “I just wanted to weather the storm until the third period, especially if (Joe Weeding) was going to come out like a ball of fire.”
But Jesse Slater’s strategy was thrown out the window after the Adrian Area wrestler picked up the first two takedowns of the match to build a 4-0 lead after two periods.
“I got the first takedown … I think it was on an outside sweep … and it all changed,” Jesse Slater said. “Then, I needed to get defensive by keeping him down and run out the first period.”
Weeding deferred to Jesse Slater at the beginning of the second period and the Dragons’ grappler chose down. That’s when Jesse Slater overpowered Weeding, rose to his feet right away and scored the second takedown of the bout.
“I needed to stay underneath (Weeding’s) arms, keep him down and control him,” Jesse Slater said. “If he were to get away, at that point, it wasn’t a big deal. After he scored two points against me, I knew I needed to wrestle smart.”
Slater was able to run out the clock before being greeted by his teammates, who hugged him during in an exciting sideline celebration.
“Winning a match that officially sent us to state is the best thing ever,” Jesse Slater said. “I can’t explain how happy this makes me feel. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
Garms added a 7-2 decision over Jordan Staab at 220 before the Dragons were presented with gold medals and a plaque for winning the Section 3 Tournament title.
Adrian Area’s opponent and match time for the MSHSL Dual Team Wrestling State Tournamwent was not available before press time.
Daily Globe Sports Editor Jeff Arenz may be reached at 376-7328.
SECTION 3 TOURNAMENT
At Murray County Central, Slayton
ADRIAN AREA 36,
DAWSON-BOYD/LAC QUI PARLE VALLEY 24
106: Hieronimus (AA) pin D. Bothum, 1:24; 113: J. Bothum (DB/LQPV) major decision R. Elias, 14-6; 120: Nelson (AA) pin Bukowski, 0:38; 126: Bullerman (AA) pin C. Struxness, 0:22; 132: Pruess (AA) pin Thoen, 2:40; 138: Lynn (AA) decision Herman, 12-6; 145: Abraham (DB/LQPV) decision Heitkamp, 10-4; 152: Rogers (AA) decision Ireland, 9-4; 160: Ochsendorf (DB/LQPV) decision M. Slater, 2-1; 170: Wilander (DB/LQPV) major decision Gyberg, 12-4; 182: J. Slater (AA) decision Weeding, 4-2; 195: Garms (AA) decision Staab, 7-2; 220: J.D. Struxness (DB/LQPV) major decision Sieve, 13-3; 285: Schmitt (DB/LQPV) pin Cleveland, 0:07.
ADRIAN AREA 45, QUAD COUNTY 28
106: Heironimus (AA) pin Rivera 1:55; 113: Specht (QC) major decision R. Elias, 10-1; 120: Bullerman (AA) pin Fagen, 0:52; 126: Pruess (AA) pin Kluver, 2:46; 132: Lynn (AA) pin Wolf, 0:52; 138: Heitkamp (AA) major decision D. Johnson, 18-5; 145: Rogers (AA) decision Winson, 7-4; 152: Hatch (QC) pin J. Elias, 3:17; 160: M. Slater (AA) major decision H. Johnson, 10-0; 170: J. Slater (AA) major decision Fisher, 13-0; 182: Lalim (QC) pin McCann, 3:35; 195: Cox (QC) pin Sieve, 2:38; 220: Garms (AA) pin Bratsch, 3:15; 285: Bossman (QC) pin Cleveland, 3:02.