Rochester wins MCAC Duals in Worthington
Minnesota West goes 0-3, but all of the Bluejays' competitors won at least one match
WORTHINGTON -- To no one’s surprise, Rochester Community College captured the championship of the Minnesota College Athletic Conference (MCAC) Wrestling Duals Saturday at Minnesota West Community and Technical College.
The Yellowjackets defeated three opponents at the Center for Health and Wellness in Worthington. Other competing teams were Itasca, Ridgewater, Northland and Minnesota West.
West, which did not fill all its weight classes, lost its first match 40-6 to Ridgewater, then lost its second 45-12 to Rochester, and its third 53-6 to Itasca.
The Bluejays’ win against Ridgewater was turned in by Joe Kallevig at 157 pounds, by fall. The Jays’ Matthew Harris (141 pounds) won by fall in the first period of his match against Rochester, and in the same dual meet, West’s Nathaniel Dolezel won by fall at 197 pounds. In the Itasca match, West’s Brandon Montgomery won his heavyweight match by injury default -- his first win of the 2022-23 season.
Those were the only four Minnesota West wrestlers who competed Saturday. A fifth, Deante Porter, was unable to compete.
West head coach Randy Baker said he was pleased to see all four of the Bluejays’ competing wrestlers won at least once. But they can do better, he admitted.
“I don’t think we looked as sharp as we could have been,” Baker said. “We made some mistakes that we need to clean up. It’s not about effort, it’s just about mistakes that we made.”
Some of the Bluejay wrestlers are still lacking in match experience. Kallevig, who’s competed at least a dozen times, is the only Jay who has a healthy number of matches to draw upon.
Minnesota West will host the annual Worthington Open on Saturday, which should give all five of its wrestlers a hefty dose of experience. The weight classes are set up to be 16-man brackets, so a competitor would need to win four straight matches to be an individual champion. Each wrestler could have five matches on the day.
At the latest count, there are 28 teams expected to send wrestlers in the tournament that features freshmen, sophomores and non-varsity starters. Baker said there could be between 160 and 180 wrestlers in Worthington for the event.