Three wrestlers medal at state
Three area wrestlers returned from the State Wrestling Tournament in St. Paul with medals after placing in the top six in their individual weight class.
Blake Legred, of United South Central, finished second at 126 pounds, Zach Buseman from Blue Earth Area took home the fifth place medal at 152 pounds while fellow Buccaneer Trevor Oppedal garnered third place at 285 pounds.
Joe Schavey also competed at 132 pounds and lost his first round match. The Buccaneer senior was eliminated when the wrestler who defeated him lost in the second round.
The individual portion of the state tournament took place over a two-day period beginning March 2 and was held at the Xcel Energy Center.
All three area medal winners began the tournament with two wins each on the first day of the tournament to advance to the semi finals and a guaranteed spot on the podium.
Legred, who was the state champion at 106 pounds a year ago, won his first match with a 12-0 decision over Bren Salo, of New York Mills. Legred, a junior, then defeated Carter Sorenson of Fosston/Bagley by a technical fall to advance to the semi finals on Saturday.
An opening round pin by Buseman over Carter Endrizz, of Aitkin, advanced the Buc senior to the second round. A 5-0 decision over Tommy Wentzlaff, of Sibley East-Arlington, qualified Buseman for the semi finals.
Oppedal, a senior making his first state appearance, won his first match by a 7-2 decision over Brent Robley, of Caledonia-Houston. Oppedal met a familiar opponent in the second round as he faced his section finals opponent Mitch Oswald, of Westfield. Similar to the section finals, Oppedal was able to record a second period fall and punch his ticket to the semi finals.
Day two of the individual part of the tournament saw Legred advance to the championship match with a 3-0 decision over Dereck Ellingson, of Tracy-Milroy-Balaton, to face top seeded Michael Suda, of Pipestone Area.
Suda, a senior and the defending state title winner at 126 pounds, was able to claim the title with a 13-9 decision over Legred.
Buseman’s first match on Saturday saw him facing second seeded Jacob Tvinnereim, of Jackson County Central. Buseman fell behind 3-0 in the first period after being charged with an illegal clasp and giving up a take down. Buseman was able to get an escape in the third period, but Tvinnereim held on for a 3-1 decision and sent Buseman into the wrestle back part of the bracket.
Cole Vanoverbeke, of Minneota, was Buseman’s next opponent. A tight match resulted in a 2-0 decision in favor of Vanoverbeke.
Buseman, who was making his fifth appearance at the state tournament, ended his high school career with a victory. Wrestling for fifth place, Buseman was matched up against his second round opponent Tommy Wentzlaff who he had defeated 5-0. It was a closer match this time with Buseman scoring a take down while giving up an escape to claim fifth place with a 2-1 decision.
Oppedal dropped his first match on Saturday to eventual state champion Craig Orlando of Bertha-Hewitt-Verndale-Parkers Prairie by a 4-0 decision. Oppedal bounced back to pin his next opponent RJ Ehlert of Ottertail Central to advance to the third place match.
Wrestling each other for the third time in eight days, Westfield’s Oswald was leading Oppedal by a 3-2 score with just over 30 seconds remaining in the match. Oppedal was able to score a reverse and keep Oswald down to secure a third place medal by virtue of a 4-3 decision.