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College wrestling: Minnesota West nearly comes back

WORTHINGTON -- As home openers go, it was as exciting as it gets. The Minnesota West wrestling team didn't win, however, falling to visiting Northland 29-18 on Saturday. Victory or defeat came down to the very last match, and for a while it looke...

WORTHINGTON - As home openers go, it was as exciting as it gets.
The Minnesota West wrestling team didn’t win, however, falling to visiting Northland 29-18 on Saturday.
Victory or defeat came down to the very last match, and for a while it looked as if the Bluejays would get a fall there and a come-from-behind team victory.
“It was an exciting dual,” said West head coach Bob Purcell. “We were leading at heavyweight 4 to 1 and we just got a takedown. It looked like we were going to pin their heavyweight, and he rolled through and got the fall.”
Worthington heavyweight, Lavez Burton, a freshman from Southfield, Mich., entered his match with Northland’s Tyshaun Brown with the Jays trailing 23-18. A pin would have given West the victory by a single point. But Brown rallied for a fall of his own in 4:18.
The Bluejays won at 149 pounds, 157 and 165, and Terrence Works won by forfeit at 125. Jays 141-pounder Lamont Cannon didn’t make weight, but he wrestled and won an exhibition match at that weight class.
At 149 pounds, Minnesota West’s Nathan Barker, who attended school in Adrian before entering military service, defeated Northland’s Tanner Schreifels 12-7.
At 157 Jared Nickman, a medical redshirt who missed most of the 2014-15 campaign due to a broken jaw, beat Nathan Harms in a fall at 4:48. On Saturday, Purcell didn’t declare Nickman fully recovered from last season’s injury, but he’s getting there.
“He’s just really rounding out and getting his weight back,” Purcell said.
At 165, the Bluejays’ Jesse Regalado, another military veteran who attended school in Worthington and Jackson County Central, breezed past Northland’s Alex Giese 12-5.
Northland’s Steven Holecek won by forfeit at 133. Teammates Eric Gonzalez scored a 16-1 technical fall on West’s Tearon George at 184, and at 197 Philip Jackson won by forfeit.
Minnesota West will host Ridgewater at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday before going on the road Saturday to Mitchell, S.D., for the DWU Open.

Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
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