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College wrestling: Former prep standouts Prunty, Tvinnereim get seconds

Former Worthington Trojan Jacob Prunty, now with Concordia College, lifts Brandon Carroll of Augustana College during a match at the Worthington Open wrestling tournament held at Minnesota West on Saturday. (Tim Middagh / The Globe)

WORTHINGTON -- First-year college wrestlers Jacob Prunty and Jacob Tvinnereim both say they’ve still got a lot to learn. But they both placed second in their weight classes Saturday at the prestigious Worthington Open Tournament.

Prunty, a Worthington High School graduate wrestling for the Concordia College Cobbers, captured his silver at 133 pounds. Tvinnereim, from Jackson County Central now redshirting at Augustana, was the runner-up at 157 pounds.

Both area matmen say they’re enjoying their college experiences, they get along well with their teammates, and they’re doing their best to learn everything they can to complete the successful transition from high school to college wrestling.

“It’s a lot different from high school, that’s for sure. But it’s fun out there. It’s a new challenge, and every day I just try to get better,” said Prunty during a break between matches at Minnesota West’s Center for Health and Wellness.

Prunty, son of former WHS head wrestling coach Mark Prunty, opened Saturday’s tournament with a bye, then decisioned Brandon Carroll of Augustana by a 5-3 decision. He reached the 133-pound finals by beating Willie Meine of Southwest Minnesota State University 7-2. In the finals, he was decisioned by Trenton McManus of Minnesota State-Mankato, 8-3.

When the former Trojan dynamo has been on the mat this winter, he’s performed well. But he missed a couple of weeks due to skin issues. Then, after he was prescribed the wrong medicine to counteract it, he came down with an infection that caused him to miss another week. He has now been healthy for three weeks, and his performance at the Open testifies that he’s back on track.

“It hasn’t been the ideal season I’ve wanted,” he confessed.

He just keeps pressing on in the knowledge that college matmen are more physical than high school wrestlers, and faster, too.

“I think what I have (in my arsenal) is good enough, but I have to perfect what I have, more. In high school you can afford to be a little sloppy, but in college you can’t afford to be,” he said.

Tvinnereim’s Saturday tournament was also impressive. He decisioned Tavoris Smith of Iowa Lakes Community College 5-0 in his first match, then decisioned Alexander Skaare of Concordia 10-7. He advanced by an injury default to the finals, where he lost to Concordia’s Adam Jaeger 5-3.

As a redshirt, the former Huskies standout knows that his job this year is simply to improve.

“I’m getting a lot of experience,” he said. “I’m trying to win every match I’m in, but right now I’m trying to prepare to get better -- and get ready for next year and beyond.”

So far, so good.

“The speed and intensity in every match (is higher in college). Here, you have to be going hard seven minutes no matter who they are,” he said. “In high school I always tried to be an aggressive wrestler. In college, that translates well. The one thing I can say is, when you shoot a shot, you gotta stay with it.”

Five Bluejays see action

Minnesota West head coach Bryan Cowdin sent five of his Bluejays into the fray.

At 125 pounds, Christophe Romero placed fifth. At 157, Adam Rients went 1-2. At 165, Braydon Johnson went 1-2. At 174, Isaac Rue went 0-2. And at 285, Siddney Kounlabout went 0-2.

Both Rients and Johnson recorded falls in their victories.

Rients, a freshman from Waterville, won his first match by pinning Innocent Nsengiyumva of Concordia in 2:54. Johnson, a freshman from Janesville, won his second match with a fall in 2:56 over Russ Jennett of Iowa Central Community College.

Championship round

Here are the results of the Worthington Open championship matches:

125 -- Camron Neal, Ellsworth CC, defeated D’riece Shirley of Ellsworth CC by injury default.

133 -- Trenton McManus, Minnesota State-Mankato, decisioned Jacob Prunty of Concordia, 8-3.

141 -- Tanner Day, Augsburg, pinned Scott Cook of Ellsworth CC, in 3:39.

149 -- Cooper Siebrecht, Minnesota State-Mankato, decisioned Yarhoski Aldiva of Iowa Central, 5-0.

157 -- Adam Jaeger, Concordia, decisioned Jacob Tvinnereim of Augustana, 5-3.

165 -- Neil Clement, Minnesota State-Mankato, won by 18-1 technical fall over Alfred Daniel of Rochester CC.

174 -- Bailee O’Reilly, University of Minnesota, beat Kolby Kost of Augustana by injury default.

184 -- Caden Steffen, University of Minnesota, decisioned Elijah Dirkx of Morningside, 8-1.

197 -- Corey Schmidt, Itasca, major decisioned Jacob Dykes of Southwest Minnesota State University, 12-2.

285 -- Charles Griffin, Ellsworth CC, decisioned Steven Hajas of Augustana, 3-2.

Doug Wolter

Doug Wolter is the Daily Globe sports editor. He served as sports reporter, then sports editor, news editor and finally managing editor at the Daily Globe for 22 years before leaving for seven years to work as night news editor at the Mankato Free Press in Mankato. Doug now lives in Worthington with his wife, Sandy. They have three children and seven grandchildren. Doug, retired after a lengthy career in fast-pitch softball, enjoys reading, strumming his acoustic guitar and hanging around his grandchildren. He also writes books on fiction. Two of his stories, "The Genuine One" and "The Old Man in Section 129" have been distributed through a national publisher.

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