Jake Lee heads to state tourney
It literally came down to the last match of the Section 2 Class A individual wrestling tournament in Blue Earth to see whether Blue Earth Area was going to have an entry at the State Meet held Feb. 27-March 1 in St. Paul.
Heavyweight Jake Lee lost 4-0 in the finals to Nick Fischer of Waterville-Elysian-Morristown. The first two place finishers in each weight class qualify for the individual State Meet.
Fischer, the No.3-ranked heavyweight in Class A, improved his record to 35-2 and earned a trip to State.
But for Lee, the Buc junior would have to wait 45 minutes before taking on Martin County West’s Tucker Schumann in a true-second match to decide who was going to State.
Many of the spectators began filing out of the gym after medals were awarded for the 215-pound weight class. However, Buc fans remained in their seats and waited in anticipation.
Chants of “Let’s go Jake” began in unison minutes to Lee and Schumann taking the mat.
Lee admits he was nervous before the start of the match. That all changed when he pinned Schumann in 1:36 of the first period.
“My goal was to qualify for State. I’m happy that is done now,” says Lee. “Now, I want to medal at State.”
Head coach Randy Wirtjes says the Section Meet provided stiff competition in all weight classes. He says Lee’s hard work during the season paid off.
“I don’t think he knows how good he can be. He’s so athletic and explosive,” says Wirtjes.
The head coach says “a couple of wins at State” would show his heavyweight he’s able to wrestle with kids of that level.
Despite entering the State Meet with a 32-6 record, Lee perhaps has even surprised himself on the season he’s had so far.
“I was going to quit at the beginning of the season. I didn’t even show up for the first team meeting,” says Lee.
BEA had 10 wrestlers winning a medal by placing in the top six.
Sophomore Dan Eckhardt took home a bronze medal at 145 pounds, Joe Franta (119) and Mat Willner (215) took fourth in their weight class.
Jake Wirtjes (112), Jared Resutek (125) and Taylor Andrews (189) all took fifth.
Jackson County Central qualified seven wrestlers for State.
Maple River will be represented by Paul Norgren (112), Alex Bach (171) and Aaron Norgren (189), while United South Central will have Jake Bonsack (140) and Mike Linder (215).
103: Jake Wirtjes (BEA) bye; Dustin Dylla (United South Central) dec. Wirtjes, 6-2; Wirtjes dec. Jesse Jaeger (Maple River), 7-2; Zack Keller (Medford) tech. fall Wirtjes, 16-0 in 3:31; Dylla pinned Wirtjes, 1:26 for fifth place.
112: D.J. Gronewald (BEA) tech. fall Riley Young (Blooming Prairie), 15-0 in 4:45; Paul Norgren (MR) pinned Gronewald, 1:40; Gronewald pinned Badger Flowers (St. Clair), 3:00; Gronewald pinned Dylan Habinger-Burris (WEM), 3:41; Zach Wigern (USC) pinned Gronewald, 2:46; Gronewald pinned Dustin Nelson (MCW), 1:48 for fifth place.
119: Joe Franta (BEA) bye; Franta pinned Adam Driessen (Blooming Prairie), 5:24; Kyle Sieberg (MR) dec. Franta, 7-2; Franta dec. Josh Schroeder (NRHEG), 13-6; Andy Eustice (JWP) maj. dec. Franta, 12-2 for third place.
125: Jared Resutek (BEA) bye; Josh Dalbec (NRHEG) pinned Resutek, 1:07; Resutek pinned Seth Johnson (Blooming Prairie), 1:32; Resutek maj. dec. Tyler Neal (JWP), 13-0; Seth Amberg (USC) pinned Resutek, 1:19; Resutek pinned Dalbec, 3:08 for fifth place.
130: Mark Bartley (BEA) maj. dec. Aaron Niles (Blooming Prairie), 19-11; Derek Marzahn (WEM) pinned Bartley, 5:06; Bartley tech. fall Alex Moen (NRHEG), 16-1 in 6:00; Bartley maj. dec. Travis Neal (JWP), 12-2; Ryan Sieberg (St. Clair) pinned Bartley, :55; Niles maj. dec. Bartley, 12-2 for fifth place.
135: Blair Oachs (MR) pinned Collin Nienhaus (BEA), 1:15; Nienhaus pinned Jake Zak (Blooming Prairie), 1:58; Levi Ringnell (MCW) pinned Nienhaus, 6:53 in OT.
140: Tyler Johnsrud (BEA) bye; Tyler Yule (Medford) pinned Johnsrud, 5:07; Brady Ayers (WEM) dec. Johnsrud, 10-4.
145: Dan Eckhardt (BEA) bye; Eckhardt dec. Scott Schoneck (MR), 8-3; Tim Bartness (NRHEG) dec. Eckhardt, 6-4; Eckhardt dec. Blake Boran (WEM), 7-4; Eckhardt dec. Lance Brolsma (MCW), 3-1 for third place.
152: Sinjin Bell (BEA) bye; Gaven Schlaak (New Richland/Hartland/Ellendale/Geneva) pinned Bell, 1:58; Bell dec. Alex Eustice (Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton), 6-4; Jacob Johnson (JCC) pinned Bell, :48; Dylan Thisius (USC) pinned Bell, 3:35 for fifth place.
160: Cody Eckhardt (BEA) bye; Cody Poshusta-Schmitz (BP) pinned Eckhardt, 1:26; Reid Balzer (Medford) dec. Eckhardt, 8-3 in OT.
171: Jake Elzen (Medford) pinned Clinton Nienhaus (BEA), 2:45; Kevin Lamont (WEM) pinned Nienhaus, 2:50.
189: Taylor Andrews (BEA) bye; Nick Stevermer (USC) pinned Andrews, 2:59; Andrews dec. Ray Johnson (St. Clair), 6-2; David Lindell (NRHEG) pinned Andrews, 1:13; Andrews dec. Sean Crayne (MCW), 9-3 for fifth place.
215: Mat Willner (BEA) maj. dec. Thomas Schroht (Medford), 15-2; Willner pinned Ethan Thate (MCW), 1:36; Mike Linder (USC) dec. Willner, 3-0; Willner pinned Andrew Wolter (WEM), 3:28; Aaron Haggerty (NRHEG) dec. Willner, 7-5 for third place.
285: Jake Lee (BEA) bye; Lee pinned Pete Guse (MR), :48; Lee pinned Alex Dreyer (USC), 1:30; Nick Fischer (WEM) dec. Lee, 4-0 for first place; Lee pinned Tucker Schumann (MCW), 1:36 for true second-place.