Wrestlers 5th at Maher Invite
The Blue Earth Area wrestling team finished fifth in the nine-team field at the Dick Maher Invitational held Saturday, Dec. 5, in Blue Earth.
The Bucs had two champions, one runner-up and three third-place finishers.
United South Central crowned three champions and three runners-up on its way to a fourth-place finish.
The Brainerd Warriors took home the team trophy with 186.5 points, edging out Jackson County Central with 176. Taking third was Martin County West with 169.5, followed by USC (166.5) and BEA (154) to round out the “Top 5.”
Two Madelia-Truman wrestlers took home individual trophies.
Adam Cooling, who was defeated in the finals at 125 pounds, was given the Dick Boran Award, while Alex Cooling was named the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler.
Junior Joe Franta and senior Daniel Eckhardt won gold medals at 140 and 171, respectively.
Franta breezed into the finals with a pin and major decision in his first two matches.
In the championship match, Franta defeated Jessen Franzen of Brainerd, 8-2.
Eckhardt, who is ranked No. 10 in Class A, also had little trouble getting to the finals, scoring a major decision and a pin in 43 seconds in his first two matches.
Eckhardt put Tanner Menke of Jackson County Central to his back with 15 seconds left in the second period and registered a pin at 3:50.
Two other Buc wrestlers have started out the season ranked in the “Top 10.”
Travis Hagedorn is No. 7 at 103 pounds and Jake Wirtjes holds down the No. 8 spot at 125.At 189 pounds, Cody Eckhardt lost 4-3 in the finals to Sam Pagel of Brainerd.
Claiming bronze medals for the Bucs were Wirtjes at 119, Carter Hanson (152) and Taylor Andrews (215).
Wirtjes posted a 2-1 record for the tourney, while Hanson and Andrews each went 3-1 on the day.
United South Central’s champions were Dylan Herman (103), Dylan Thisius (160) and A.J. Dreyer (215).
Herman decisioned Aaron Trio of Maple River 9-3 to take first.
Thisius had little trouble in his match, scoring a fall at 3:25.
Dreyer, ranked No. 1 in Class A, won his title with an 8-5 win over Jordan Phibbs of Jackson County Central.
Winning silver medals for the Rebels were Dustin Dylla (130), Preston Staloch (145) and Tony Willette (275).
Dylla lost 7-1 to Aaron Padenos of Brainerd in the finals.
At 145, it was a battle of ranked wrestlers.
No. 6-ranked Alex Cooling of Madelia-Truman decisioned the No.7-rated Staloch to win the gold medal.
In the final match of the tournament, Payten Crosby of Martin County West pinned Willette in 1:31 to take first-place at heavyweight.
103: Travis Hagedorn (BEA) maj. dec. Trevor Schultz (Martin County West), 13-5; Dylan Herman (United South Central) dec. Hagedorn, 12-8; Bryon Fostner (Madelia-Truman) dec. Hagedorn, 11-9; Cameron Henning (Jackson County Central) pinned Hagedorn, 1:02, for fifth-place.
112: Jesse Alleven (BEA) maj. dec. Damonic Alger (USC), 9-1; Isaac Pfeffer (M-T) dec. Alleven, 9-3; Dan Babineau (Brainerd) maj. dec. Alleven, 13-3.
119: Jake Wirtjes (BEA) bye; Paden Moore (JCC) dec. Wirtjes, 9-6; Wirtjes pinned Ben Johnson (USC), 1:22; Wirtjes pinned Dylan Dietz (Maple River), 1:56, for third-place.
125: David Franta (BEA) bye; Franta dec. Anthony Michelson (JCC), 5-2; Adam Cooling (M-T) pinned Franta, 6:00; Chad Farley (USC) pinned Franta, 3:23; Michelson (JCC) pinned Franta, 3:16, for fifth-place.
130: DJ Gronewald (BEA) pinned Jason Mclaughlin (M-T), 2:29; Aaron Padenos (Brainerd) dec. Gronewald, 11-4; Gronewald dec. Nick Borneke (Waterville-Elysian-Morristown-Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton), 2-0; Spencer Johnson (JCC) pinned Gronewald, :51, for third-place.
135: Mitch Heronimus (BEA), bye; Joey Kinley (Worthington) pinned Heronimus, 1:16; Alex Cleberg (JCC) pinned Heronimus, 1:19.
140: Joe Franta (BEA) pinned Tucker Roeker (WEM-JWP), 2:59; Franta maj. dec. Kyle Wiese (WOR), 16-7; Franta dec. Jessen Franzen (Brainerd), 8-2, for first-place.
145: Matt Dulas (BEA); Taylor Freeman (JCC) dec. Dulas, 5-2; Shane White dec. Dulas, 10-4.
152: Carter Hanson (BEA) dec. Aaron Wittrock (MR), 7-1; Levi Ringnell (MCW) dec. Hanson, 7-2; Hanson dec. Jordan Thomas (M-T), 3-0; Hanson maj. dec. Brady Thisius (USC), 12-4, for third-place.
160: Abi Vasquez (BEA), bye; Dylan Thisius (USC) pinned Vasquez, 4:15; Vasquez pinned Aaron Griese (MCW), 1:104; Levi Rubin (Brainerd) pinned Vasquez, :44; Vasquez pinned Brett Joramo (M-T), 1:32, for fifth-place.
171: Daniel Eckhardt (BEA) maj. dec. Nick Haynes (M-T), 17-4; Eckhardt pinned Lance Brolsma (MCW), :43; Eckhardt pinned Tanner Menke (JCC), 3:50, for first-place.
189: Cody Eckhardt (BEA) maj. dec. Cole Wenzel (USC), maj. dec., 11-1; Eckhardt dec. Alex Eustice (WEM-JWP), 6-2; Sam Pagel (Brainerd) dec. Eckhardt, 4-3, for first-place.
215: Taylor Andrews (BEA) pinned Kory Anderson (Brainerd), :38; Jordan Phibbs (JCC) dec. Andrews, 2-0; Andrews pinned Dustin Vogel (WEM-JWP), 1:47; Andrews maj. dec. Cam Hanson (MCW), 14-3, for third-place.
275: Jason Mertens (BEA), bye; Payten Crosby (MCW) pinned Mertens, 1:59; Jordan Bents (WOR) pinned Mertens, 5:13.