Eight qualify for state
Blue Earth Area and United South Central each had four wrestlers compete in the individual portion of the State Meet held March 4-5 in St. Paul.
Qualifying for BEA was senior Jake Wirtjes at 125 pounds; senior Joe Franta (152); sophomore Carter Hanson (160); and junior Josh Johnson (215).
The Rebels’ freshman Dylan Herman qualified at 112 pounds; Dustin Dylla (140); Brady Thisius (189); and heavyweight Tony Willette.
For Wirtjes, it’s his second straight State Meet. Last year, he placed sixth at 119.
At the Section 2 Class A individual meet held Feb. 26 in Blue Earth, Wirtjes pinned his way to the 125-pound title.
In the finals, he earned a fall in 1:21 over David Lassahn of New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva.
Franta kept his perfect record intact, improving to 36-0.
The No. 6-ranked Franta faced No. 4-rated Bryan Andrews of Martin County West in the title match.
Trailing 7-6 with 1:16 left in the final period, Franta scored a takedown with 45 seconds left to edge Andrews 8-7.
It’s the second time Franta has beaten Andrews this year. He won a close 9-7 decision to claim first place in the Dick Maher Invite last December.
“I knew it was going to be a tough match,” says Franta. “I have to give my coaches a lot of credit. They have put in a lot of time this season in getting us ready to compete.”
If qualifying for state for this time as a senior and trying to remain undefeated wasn’t pressure enough, Franta also had an added incentive.
“The whole family was here to watch. I just wanted to wrestle well and put on a good show,” he says. “It’s wild!”
Hanson and Johnson had a tougher time earning a trip to state. Both needed to win a true-second match; beating a wrestler who took third place and they had not yet wrestled.
Hanson pinned Dan Larson of Medford in 1:43, while Johnson registered a fall in 3:33 over Todd Erickson of New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva.
For Hanson, it’s his second straight state appearance and the first for Johnson.
USC’s No. 5-ranked Dylan Herman also had a battle in his 112-pound championship match. Herman scored a takedown with 11 seconds left in the first-minute overtime period to beat No. 4-ranked Zach Kuhns of Maple River 4-2.
No. 7-rated Dustin Dylla had little trouble in the finals, winning an 11-2 major decision over NRHEG’s Jacob Staloch.
No. 10-rated heavyweight Tony Willette claimed first place with an upset 10-6 win over No.5-ranked Payten Crosby of Martin County West.
103: Alec Huber maj. dec. Bryce Flowers (St. Clair/Loyola), 9-0; Tyler Keller (Medford) tech. fall Huber, 15-0, 4:11; Huber pinned Jet Wayne (New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva), 2:45; Russell Caldwell pinned Huber, 2:17, for 3rd place.
112: Jordan Biehn (Jackson County Central) maj. dec. Jesse Alleven, 15-4; Alleven pinned Cameron Brown (Blooming Prairie), 2:33; Alleven dec. Tyler Logan, 3-1; Biehn (JCC) dec. Alleven, 6-4 in overtime, for 3rd place.
119: Travis Hagedorn dec. Jake Gonzalez (United South Central), 8-6; Dustin Esplan (NRHEG) dec. Hagedorn, 9-4; Hagedorn pinned Nick Von Ruden (Medford), 2:33; Eliot Jurries (JCC) tech. fall Hagedorn, 18-3, 5:29, for 3rd place.
125: Jake Wirtjes pinned Brock Burmeister (Martin County West), 3:28; Wirtjes pinned Keegan Moore (JCC), 4:37; Wirtjes pinned David Lassahn (NRHEG), 4:37, for 1st place.
130: Nathan Krohn (NRHEG) pinned Mike Ankeny, 1:51; Ankeny dec. Dane Elwood (Medford), 12-5; Badger Flowers (St. Clair/Loyola) pinned Ankeny, 1:53; Ben Johnson (USC) maj. dec. Ankeny, 16-4, for 5th place.
135: Brandon LeBlanc (NRHEG) maj. dec. Isaac Vasquez, 11-0; Vasquez pinned Dylan Prokopec (Blooming Prairie), 4:51; Seth Olson (USC) pinned Vasquez, 5:54; John Goebel (St. Clair/Loyola) dec. Vasquez, 7-3, for 5th place.
140: Dustin Dylla (USC) pinned Mitch Hieronimus, 2:53; Ben Johnson (St. Clair/Loyola) pinned Hieronimus, 2:58.
145: Cody Ripka (NRHEG) dec. Dylan Johnsrud, 10-4; Johnsrud pinned Gage Thom (St. Clair/Loyola), :20; Seth Barkosky (Maple River) pinned Johnsrud, 1:38; Logan Sonnek (USC) pinned Johnsrud, 5:25, for 5th place.
152: Joe Franta tech. fall Derek Kruse (St. Clair/Loyola), 20-5, 3:39; Franta dec. Bryan Andrews (MCW), 8-7, for 1st place.
160: Carter Hanson pinned Derek Drees (Blooming Prairie), :20; Hanson wins by injury default Scott Schoneck (MR); Cooper Moore pinned Hanson, 3:14, for 1st place; Hanson pinned Dan Larson (Medford), 1:43, for true 2nd place.
171: Levi Ringnell (Martin County West) dec. Devon Jahnke, 3-0; Jahnke pinned Adam Wanous (Blooming Prairie), 1:50; Pat Hanson (JCC) dec. Jahnke, 9-4; Matt Dahle (NRHEG) dec. Jahnke, 6-3, for 5th place.
189: Kysten Zierke dec. Jarrod Grunklee (Blooming Prairie), 10-8; Seth Petranek (NRHEG) dec. Zierke, 8-2; Zierke dec. Alec Schauer (Medford), 9-2; Alex Tewes (JCC) maj. dec. Zierke, 17-5, for 3rd place.
215: Josh Johnson dec. Blake Arret (Blooming Prairie), 9-2; Jordan Phibbs (JCC) dec. Johnson, 3-0, for 1st place; Johnson pinned Todd Erickson (NRHEG), 3:33, for true 2nd place.
285: Cody Root (NRHEG) dec. Martin Granados, 4-2; Brandon Pygman (JCC) pinned Granados, 4:43; Granados dec. Paul Sonnek (Maple River), 3-2, for 5th place.
112: Dylan Herman pinned Cameron Brown (Blooming Prairie), 3:51; Herman pinned Jordan Biehn (JCC), 3:14; Herman dec. Zack Kuhns (Maple River), 4-2 OT, for 1st place.
119: Travis Hagedorn (BEA) dec. Jake Gonzalez, 8-6; Gonzalez tech. fall Tanner Lange (MCW), 22-5; Eliot Jurries (JCC) pinned Gonzalez, 5:51; Gonzalez pinned Nick Von Ruden (Medford), 4:39, for 5th place.
125: David Lassahn (NRHEG) dec. Derek Herman, 6-0; Herman pinned Keegan Moore (JCC), 3:01; Chance Offedahl (St. Clair Loyola) dec. Herman, 7-6, for 3rd place.
130: Seth Johnson (Blooming Prairie) pinned Ben Johnson, 1:26; Johnson dec. Dylan Dietz (Maple river), 9-2; Nathan Krohn (NRHEG) maj. dec. Johnson, 9-0; Johnson maj. dec. Mike Ankeny, 16-4, for 5th place.
135: Seth Olson dec. John Goebel (St. Clair/Loyola), 6-2; Bronson Steuber (JCC) tech. fall Olson, 16-0, 3:07; Olson pinned Isaac Vasquez (BEA) 5:54; Mitch Stoltzman (Maple River) pinned Olson, 1:12, for 3rd place.
140: Dustin Dylla pinned Mitch Hieronimus (BEA), 2:53; Dylla pinned Tyler Olson (Maple River), :51; Dylla maj. dec. Jacob Staloch (NRHEG), 11-2, for 1st place.
145: Darick Vancura (JCC) pinned Logan Sonnek, :48; Sonnek dec. Tyler Cozine (Blooming Prairie), 7-2; Cody Ripka (NRHEG) dec. Sonnek, 2-0; Sonnek pinned Johnsrud (BEA), 5:25, for 5th place.
152: No entry.
160: Scott Schoneck (Maple River) pinned Travis Brown, 1:40; Brown pinned Derek Drees (Blooming Prairie), :36; Dan Larson (Medford) pinned Brown, 2:41; Brown wins by injury default, for 5th place.
171: Colten Carlson pinned Adam Wanous (Blooming Prairie), 1:54; Levi Ringnell (MCW) maj. dec. Carlson, 8-0; Carlson pinned Matt Dahle (NRHEG), 3:43; Carlson tech. fall Pat Hanson (JCC), 20-4, 4:47, for 3rd place.
189: Brady Thisius pinned Alec Schauer (Medford), 3:24; Thisius dec. Alex Tewes (JCC), 5-2; Seth Petranek (NRHEG) dec. Thisius, 5-0, for 1st place.
215: No entry.
285: Tony Willette pinned Zach Nirk (Blooming Prairie), 1:35; Willette dec. Brandon Pygman (JCC), 6-4; Willette dec. Payten Crosby (MCW), 10-6, for 1st place.