Bucs grab 10 medals at Sections
The Blue Earth Area wrestling team had 10 finishing in the ‘Top 5’ in their weight class at the Section 2A individual meet held Feb. 28 in Blue Earth.
United South Central had seven wrestlers place in the ‘Top 5.’
Earning a State berth for the Bucs was No. 4-ranked Mat Willner (39-0) at 215 pounds and No. 3-ranked heavyweight Jake Lee (39-1). Both seniors won championships at their respective weights.
For the Rebels, 145-pounder Preston Staloch (26-7) and A J Dryer (20-9) at 215 pounds placed second and a chance to compete at State.
Staloch needed a true second match to secure his State bid after losing 9-2 in the finals. He didn’t disappoint Rebels fans, pinning Bryan Andrews of Martin County West in 5:25.
Taking third place for BEA at 112 pounds was Jake Wirtjes. The Buc sophomore lost a true second match to Darick Vancura of Jackson County Central.
The Bucs had five wrestlers place fourth, D.J. Gronewald (119), Joe Franta (125), Bryce Werner (135), Dan Eckhardt (152) and Cody Eckhardt (171).
Carter Hanson (130) and Taylor Andrews (189) earned fifth-place medals.
USC had two bronze medal winners in Dylan Thisius (152) and Jake Herman (160). Thisius lost a trip to State when he was defeated 8-2 in a true second match against Tim Bartness of NRHEG.
Taking fourth for the Rebels was Zach Wigren (130), while Jay Staloch (103) and Dustin Dylla (125) placed fifth.
103: Travis Hagedorn (BEA) bye; David Lassahn (New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva) dec. Hagedorn, 7-1; Kyle Edlin (Jackson County Central) dec. Hagedorn, 8-3.
112: Jake Wirtjes (BEA) bye; Wirtjes maj. dec. Adam Utzinger (Medford), 12-0; Chase Levos (St. Clair-Mankato Loyola) dec. Wirtjes, 7-0; Wirtjes tech. fall Dustin Esplan (NRHEG), 19-2; Wirtjes dec. Dustin Wolff (Waterville-Elysian-Morristown-Janesville- Waldorf-Pemberton) 9-4 for third place.
119: D.J. Gronewald (BEA) bye; Gronewald dec. Reid Offedahl (St. C-ML), 6-4; Bronson Steuber (JCC) maj. dec. Gronewald, 15-4; Gronewald pinned Mitchell Nowak (Martin County West), 1:16; Dylan Habinger-Burris (WEM-JWP) pinned Gronewald, 5:13 for third place.
125: Joe Franta (BEA) bye; Franta dec. Dustin Dylla (United South Central), 5-4; Alex Anderson (MCW) pinned Franta, 4:24; Franta dec. Spencer Johnson (JCC), 6-1; Paul Norgren (Maple River) dec. Franta, 7-0 for third place.
130: Carter Hanson (BEA) bye; Zach Wigren (USC) dec. Hanson, 7-2; Hanson dec. Josh Dalbec (NRHEG), 11-4; Brad Maas (Medford) dec. Hanson, 7-0; Hanson dec. Will Howieson (MR), 3-0 for fifth place.
135: Bryce Werner (BEA) maj. dec. Derek Kruse (St. C-ML), 12-0; Werner maj. dec. Brady Thisius (USC), 10-1; Werner forfeit; Cole Kavitz (Medford) maj. dec. Werner, 9-0.
140: Collin Nienhaus (BEA) bye; Cooper Moore (JCC) pinned Nienhaus, 1:13; Brandon Espe (NRHEG) maj. dec. Nienhaus, 12-3.145: Preston Stalloch (USC) pinned Sinjin Bell (BEA), 1:26; Bell pinned Andrew Keller (Medford), 2:38; Aaron Niles (Blooming Prairie) tech. fall Bell, 17-2 5:38.
152: Dan Eckhardt (BEA) bye; Eckhardt dec. Dylan Thisius (USC), 2-0; Tyler Yule (Medford) dec. Eckhardt, 9-2; Eckhardt pinned Lance Brolsma (MCW), :59; Thisius (USC) dec. Eckhardt, 3-2 for third place.
160: Jacob Nienow (MR) pinned Cody Klinksiek (BEA), 5:20; Nich Dorschner (MCW) dec. Klinksiek, 6-2.
171: Cody Eckhardt (BEA) bye; Eckhardt pinned Jon Ullvang (St. C-ML), 3:00; Calab Svenby (Medford) maj. dec. Eckhardt, 11-2; Eckhardt pinned Cam Hamson (MCW), 1:24; Alex Eustice (WEM-JWP) maj. dec. Eckhardt, 13-2 for third place.
189: Taylor Andrews (BEA) bye; Reid Balzer (Medford) maj. dec. Andrews, 10-2; Andrews dec. Alex Tewes (JCC), 1-0; Andrews dec. Ray Johnson (St. C-ML), 5-1, Kevin Lamont (WEM-JWP) pinned Andrews, 4:50; Andrews dec. Sean Crayne (MCW), 7-0 for fifth place.
215: Mat Willner (BEA) bye; Willner pinned Steve Schulz (Medford), 1:01; Willner pinned Colton Schroer (WEM-JWP), 3:11; Willner pinned AJ Dryer (USC), 1:08.
285: Jake Lee (BEA) bye; Lee pinned Garrett Ramstad (JCC), :11; Lee pinned Blake Crosy (MCW), :44; Lee dec. Andrew Wolter (WEM-JWP), 6-2.