BEA earns No. 2 spot; 2nd at SCC
The Blue Earth Area wrestling team gained the No. 2 seed in the Section 2A nine-team tournament held Feb. 20 in St. Clair.
The Bucs (21-3) faced No. 7 seed Maple River in the opening round. The winner went against either No. 3 Medford or No. 6 St. Clair-Loyola.
During the season, BEA defeated Maple River and Medford.
No. 1 seed Jackson County Central received a bye in the opening round and took on the winner between No. 8 Martin County West and No. 9 Blooming Prairie.
The Section 2A champion is scheduled to wrestle at 9:30 a.m. on March 4 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
BEA takes 2nd
The Bucs finished second at the South Central Conference wrestling tournament held Feb. 13 in Waseca.
St. James won the team title with 242 points, followed by BEA 202.5; Waseca 172; New Ulm 161.5; St. Peter 142.5; and Fairmont 104.5.
The Bucs had eight wrestlers advancing to the finals, with three winning individual championships.
Taking first place in their respective weights were juniors Jake Wirtjes (119) and Joe Franta (140), and senior Cody Eckhardt (189).
Earning runners-up finishes were seniors D.J. Gronewald (125) and Daniel Eckhardt (171); junior Travis Hagedorn (103); sophomore Josh Johnson (285); and freshman Carter Hanson (152).
top 3 places
103: 1st place: Hunter Retzlaff (St. Peter) pinned Travis Hagedorn, 3:05.
119: 1st place: Jake Wirtjes (BEA) dec. Angel Soto (St. James), 3-1.
125: 1st place: Nick Rydell (St. Peter) dec. D.J. Gronewald; 5-0. Rydell is rated No. 10 in Class AA.
140: 1st place: Joe Franta (BEA) dec. Brady Stauffer (St. James), 6-4.
152: 1st place: Jamie Gieseke (New Ulm) dec. Carter Hanson, 18-11.
160: 3rd place: Abi Vasquez (BEA) dec. Jordon Lilleodden (New Ulm).
171: 1st place: Brandon Pederson (Waseca) dec. Daniel Eckhardt, 5-1.
Pederson is ranked No. 1 in Class AA; Eckhardt is ranked No. 4 in Class A.
189: 1st place: Cody Eckhardt (BEA) pinned Dale McMullen (St. James); 3:41. Eckhardt is ranked No. 9 in Class A.
285: 1st place: Scott Hines (Fairmont) dec. Josh Johnson, 7-2. Hines is ranked No. 3 in Class AA.