Off to State
The Blue Earth Area Buccaneers wrestling team will be sending four of its members to the State Wrestling Meet later this week, while the United South Central Rebels will be sending two to State.
For BEA, Zach Buseman (132 pounds), Jordan Stelter (138 pounds), Mike Ankeny (145 pounds) and Martin Granados Jr. (285 pounds) all qualified for State by placing first or second at the Section 2, Class A, Individual Wrestling Meet held on Saturday, Feb. 21, in Blue Earth.
USC’s two representatives at the State Meet will be Adam Knutson (145 pounds) and Derek Herman (152 pounds).
Here is how the BEA and USC wrestlers got there.
Buseman (29-14) had to wrestle an extra match in order to get his ticket to the State Meet.
He first claimed third place at 132 pounds with a very close 7-6 win over Derek Moore of Maple River.
But, then he had the opportunity to face Bryce Flowers of St. Clair/Loyola for True Second place, and defeated him 10-8 in overtime. That win earned him the trip to state.
In all, he was in five matches on Saturday.
Stelter (22-6) went all the way and claimed the 138 pound Section 2A championship.
He claimed the title with a 6-4 win over Russell Caldwell of Maple River.
To get there he had a 9-4 win over Nick Masso of Medford and a technical fall (16-0 score) over Logan Pruess of Jackson County Central.
Ankeny (33-8) had to battle his way to his first State Meet appearance.
He lost the championship match to Knutson of USC (31-9) in a 6-4 overtime decision. That put him in second place, temporarily.
Then the Bucs’ 145 pounder had to wrestle third place finisher Marcus DeLeon of Medford to determine True Second place.
Ankeny pinned DeLeon in 2:44 to claim the right to go to state.
BEA’s Granados cruised his way to the 285 pound championship.
First, he earned two byes, then pinned Trey Chatman of Hayfield in 1:48 in his first match, and followed that up with a fall in 55 seconds over Nate Elzen of Medford in the championship match.
The win pushed his season record to 32-2.
For USC, Knutson gained his State Meet berth by the 6-4 overtime win over BEA’s Ankeny at 145 pounds.
Knutson also won a 6-3 decision over DeLeon of Medford and pinned Garrett Kiser of Hayfield in 3:09 to get to the championship match.
Herman (32-4) battled his way to the championship match at 152 pounds, but lost a 15-5 major decision to Noah Greenfield of Maple River. That gave him second place for the moment.
However, he had to wrestle Luke Pygman of JCC to determine True Second place. Herman pinned Pygman in 1:10 to claim a trip to state.
The BEA Buccaneers also had four wrestlers who came close to the coveted trip to state, but ended up in third place.
Dalton Nagel came the closest of the four.
He took third place at 106 pounds with a pin of Justin Heckard of JCC in 1:37.
That propelled him into a True Second match with Ethan Arett of Belle Plaine. Nagel lost that match by a fall at 1:14.
Adam Legred took third place at 113 pounds with a pin at 1:37 of Willie Von Ruden of Medford. He scored a hard-fought 9-7 overtime decision against Cole Lenort of New Richland-Ellendale-Geneva in order to gain a spot in the third place match.
Jacob Johnson took third place in the 182 pound competition.
With only four wrestlers at that weight, Johnson had just two matches. After losing his quarterfinal match to Trevor Grems of Medford, Johnson scored an 11-1 major decision over Keith Maxon of NRHEG to take third.
At 195 pounds, BEA’s Jared Armon lost his first match to Lukas Trio of Maple River.
But, Armon recovered with a pin of Matt Strom of JCC in 2:55 followed by a 9-6 decision over Matt Jensen of NRHEG to claim third place.
Other local wrestlers who placed at the Section Meet included:
BEA’s Camden Bowers who took fourth place at 126 pounds when he lost the third place match to Morgen Moreno of Hayfield by a fall.
USC’s Keenan Biddle took fifth place at the same weight with a 39 second fall over Jared Moore of JCC.
BEA’s Cole Klinkner took fifth place at 120 pounds with a 12-5 decision over USC’s Jesse Meyer who then claimed sixth place.
BEA’s Roger Ziegler took fifth place at 160 pounds by a bye.
BEA’s Jesus Quintero took fifth place at 170 pounds with a pin in 5:42 over USC’s Casey Dobbe who then ended up in sixth place.
USC’s Ethan Morales took fifth place with an injury default win over Justin Tirevold of JCC at 220 pounds.
The State Wrestling Meet is scheduled to be held this week, Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 26-28, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The individual competition is held on Friday and Saturday.