A total of eight wrestlers from Blue Earth Area and United South Central qualified for the individual portion of the Class A State Tournament that got under way on Friday, March 2.
For the Bucs, 220-pounder senior Josh Johnson took first place at the individual Section 2A Meet held Feb. 27-28 in Blue Earth to earn a trip to state.
Taking second place and also going to state for the Bucs are junior Carter Hanson at 160 pounds and sophomore 195-pounder Kysten Zierke.
"We knew who we thought had a chance to qualify for state. It's a tough section. But, you're always hoping you can sneak a couple more in there," says Buc head coach Randy Wirtjes.
United South Central had two Section champs in Dylan Herman at 126 pounds and 182-pounder Brady Thisius.
Finishing in second place for the Rebels were Jake Gonsalez at 120 pounds, Derek Herman (132) and Colten Carlson (170).
It will be the second straight state appearance for Johnson, who made it last year at 215 pounds.
Johnson reached the finals by pinning Zach Nirk of Blooming Prairie in 1:49.
In the championship match, he won a 3-1 decision over Paul Sonnek of Maple River.
Carter Hanson also is making a return trip to state. Like last year, the Buc junior needed to win a true second match to qualify.
Hanson had little trouble making the 160-pound finals, defeating his two opponents by a technical fall.
In the finals, Hanson trailed Class A No. 1-ranked Darick Vancura of Jackson County Central 5-2 when he cut the lead to two points on an escape with 30 seconds left in the match.
But, Vancura got a takedown and two near fall points with seven seconds on the clock to win, 9-3.
Hanson dominated Dillon Parpart of New Richland-Ellendale-Geneva in the true second match with a 16-1 technical fall in 3:13.
Kysten Zierke also needed a true second match. The Buc sophomore needed just 31 seconds to pin Medford's Nate Elzen.
USC's Dylan Herman eeked out a 1-0 win in his championship match over Eliot Jurries of Jackson County Central, scoring the only point when he was let go for an escape in the second period.
Brady Thisius also had to battle to win gold.
The Rebel senior led 2-1 after one period and tied at 4-4 with Seth Petranek of New Richland-Ellendale-Geneva after two periods.
At the start of the final period, Thisius scored on an escape to take a 5-4 lead.
With 55 seconds left, Thisius added four points on a takedown and a near fall. But, Petranek got a reversal of his own to make the score 9-6. Thisius was let go for a point and won 10-6.
Derek Herman had to win a true second match after losing an 11-2 major decision to Aaron Trio of Maple River in the finals.
Herman earned a trip to state by pinning Dylan Boettcher of St. Clair/Mankato Loyola in 3:44.
106: Dillon Kubiatowicz (New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva) dec. Ryan Gronewald, 6-4; Gronewald pinned Jon Hansen (Blooming Prairie), 5:00; Dom Alger (United South Central) dec. Gronewald, 6-0.
113: Alec Huber (BEA)?pinned Albert Zamarripa (Blooming Prairie) 1:55; Tyler Keller (Medford) dec. Gronewald, 7-0; Jade Waltz (NRHEG) maj. dec. Huber, 17-9.
120: Isaac Vasquez (BEA) pinned Max Klingeman (Southland), 4:57; Dustin Esplan (NRHEG) pinned Vasquez, 5:02; Vasquez tech. fall Walker Person (Maple River), 17-2, 4:04; Jordan Biehn (Jackson County Central) maj. dec. Vasquez, 12-0, for 3rd place.
126: Mike Ankeny (BEA) pinned Scott Sheely (Southland) 1:27; Eliot Jurries (JCC) maj. dec. Ankeny, 16-4; Ankeny pinned Charlie Ward (St. Clair/Loyola), 1:03; Ankeny pinned Zak Walters (MR), 1:39, for 3rd place.
132: Derek Herman (United South Central) pinned Luke Schavey, 5:28;
Schavey dec. Ryan Timko (JCC), 14-7; Dylan Boettcher (St. C/L) pinned Schavey, 4:51; Dane Elwood (Medford) wins by injury default over Schavey, for 5th place.
138: Andrew Keller (Medford) dec. Jesse Alleven, 5-0; Jacob Staloch (NRHEG) maj. dec. Alleven, 16-4.
145: David Lassahn (NRHEG) pinned Jacob Johnson, 2:39; Skylar Peterson (USC) pinned Johnson, 3:10.
152: Mitch Stoltzman (MR) pinned David Franta, 3:49; Franta dec. Gage Thom (St. C/L), 7-1; Nathan Krohn (NRHEG) dec. Franta, 5-4; Franta pinned Kyle Williamson (BP), :56.
160: Carter Hanson (BEA) tech. fall Luke Stephens (Southland), 15-0, 2:05; Hanson tech. fall Hunter Clayton (Medford), 15-0, 2:54; Darick Vancura (JCC) dec. Hanson, 9-3, for 1st place; Hanson tech. fall Dillon Parpart (NRHEG), 16-1, 3:13, for true 2nd place.
170: Colten Carlson (USC) pinned Chris Ramos, 1:59; Dan Larson (Medford) maj. dec. Ramos, 8-0; Matt Dahle (NRHEG) dec. Ramos, 11-6, for 5th place.
182: BEA no wrestler.
195: Kysten Zierke (BEA) pinned Geoff Ramaker (NRHEG), 3:43; Zierke pinned Casey Decker (MR), :29; Pat Hanson (JCC) pinned Zierke, :53, for 1st place; Zierke pinned Nate Elzen (Medford), :30, for true 2nd place.
220: Josh Johnson (BEA) pinned Zach Nirk (BP), 1:49; Johnson dec. Paul Sonnek (MR), 3-1, for 1st place.
285: Jarod Grunklee (BP) maj. dec. Martin Granados, 11-3; Granados pinned Luke Krengel (MR), 1:20; Granados maj. dec. Nathan Muhlenbeck (JCC), 12-0, for 3rd place.
Other USC wrestlers:
106: Dom Alger, 3rd place.
145: Skylar Peterson, 5th place.
285: Nathan Muhlenbeck, 4th place.