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Several advance to state wrestling; Prunty and Byrne earn spots for WHS

Several wrestlers from across the region qualified for individual competition at the Minnesota State High School Wrestling Tournament following sectional action Saturday.

In Class A, the athletes were in Pipestone for the Section 3A tournament, while Dawson was the host for the Section 3AA tourney.

The state wrestling individual tournament is set for March 2 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Section 3AA

Worthington will be sending two individuals to the state tourney, as Jake Prunty won at 126 pounds and Mason Byrne came out on top at 195.

Prunty won in his finals match against Trevor Johnson of United, picking up a 12-5 triumph. Byrne, meanwhile, captured a 14-1 major decision over Jaiden Bahr of Marshall for the weight class championship.

Prunty will take a 34-2 record to state. Byrne is 24-3.

"Mason went up to 195 pounds and really was dominant," said WHS head coach Mark Prunty. "He's wrestled 182 for us for most of the year. But he has wrestled 195 a few times. So I thought that made him feel a little bit more comfortable."

In the semifinals, the top-seeded Byrne recorded a fall.

Prunty earned his 126-pound championship following an early scare. He had beaten his semifinal opponent, Maverick Goblirsch of Redwood River Valley, Saturday by an 11-1 major decision, but in the finals against Trevon Johnson of United, he was put on his back within the first 20 seconds of the match and trailed 5-0. Johnson, who was 31-4 going into the match, is known as a dangerous opponent -- a good pinner. But Prunty was able to get out of his bad spot, and he eventually won the match, 12-5.

"That's senior experience. Don't panic and work your way back into the match," said his father, Coach Prunty.

Several other Worthington wrestlers earned places at the individual tourney. Marcos Herrera was third at 220 pounds and lost a true second match. Jacob Neuberger was third at 285. Jaden Henning's matched his win total for the season at the section individual tournament by winning three times and placing fourth at 138 pounds. Damon Schutz was fifth at 106. Brayden Donkersloot (152), Kendrick Bickett (160) and Kyle Mullaney (170) placed sixth in their respective weight classes.

Section 3A

106: Ayden Horner of Tracy-Milroy-Balaton took second place and qualified for state by winning a 5-1 wrestleback decision over Payton Handevidt of Jackson County Central. Horner now has a 42-3 record this season.

113: Brent Willaby of Windom/Mountain Lake Area won by technical fall against Adrian Area’s Logan Taylor in the championship match.

120: Grant Budden of Pipestone Area took second, falling in a 4-2 decision to Sam Kulseth of St. James Area.

126: Pipestone Area’s Michael Suda will be back at state once again; he won the championship match in the weight class by a 12-4 score against T-M-B/W-WG’s Dereck Ellingson.

132: Hunter Burnett of Pipestone Area improved to 40-2 on the season by winning the title tilt against Minneota’s Teddy Pesch, 15-6.

138: Alex Borsgard of W/L won the title with a 15-4 major decision over Kalib Greenman of Canby.

145: Zach Spinks was another W/ML individual winner, blanking T-M-B/W-WG’s Anthony Axford by a 10-0 count in the finals match,

152: JCC's Jacob Tvinnereim earned a tight 6-4 victory over Cole Vanoverbeke of Minneota in the final.

160: Jared Schroepfer of Wabasso-Red Rock Central won a 9-2 decision over T-M-B/W-WG’s Nash Mayer for the weight class crown.

170: W/RRC’s Nick Altermatt improved his season record to 31-1 by taking a 4-2 decision in the finals against Jaden Kindopp of Canby.

182: Garrett Ploeger of Pipestone Area earned a 12-5 decision against Minneota’s Shawn Buysse in the final.

195: JCC’s Dalton Wagner won a championship by fall. He pinned Auston Buchholz of T-M-B/W-WG in 59 seconds in the final.

220: Tyler Timm of T-M-B/W-WG settled for second after falling 8-4 to Denver Noyes of Canby in the final match.

285: Scot Edwards of Adrian won a section title by fall in 3:05 over Josh Hansen of Canby.