Ehrich takes first at BSC meet
Max Ehrich took first place in the 160-pound weight class to lead a total of five Blue Earth Area Buccaneer wrestlers claiming all-conference honors at the Big South Conference Wrestling Tournament on Saturday, Jan. 11, in Worthington.
All-conference designation is given to the top three finishers in each weight bracket. In addition to Ehrich’s first place finish, Davis Sunken and Nick Frank finished second at 126 and 182 pounds respectively. Ty Peterson took third at 120 pounds while Luke Mertens wrestled to a third-place finish at 195 pounds.
Conference coaches voted last week for “wild card” all-conference selections. The names of those selected will be released the week of Jan. 20.
Ehrich began his trek to the top of the podium with a second period pin of Kent Lais of Worthington.
Next, Ehrich, who is the No. 7-ranked wrestler in Class A at 160 pounds, took on Class A No. 6-ranked Tallin Johnson of St. James Area. It was a tight match with Ehrich eventually earning a 13-10 decision.
Ehrich defeated Class AA No. 8-ranked Grant Louwagie of Marshall by an 8-6 decision to take first place.
“Max had a real good tournament,” head coach Randy Wirtjes said. “He faced some tough competition and came out on top.”
Sunken began his day with a bye and then defeated Wyatt Wescott of St. James Area with a first period pin. Sunken then came from behind to down Class AA No. 8-ranked Hsa Law Eh of Marshall, 10-4.
Sunken faced Class AA No. 2-ranked Jaxson Rohman of the Martin County Red Bulls in the championship with Rohman winning 9-1.
Frank reached the championship round courtesy of first-period pins in his opening two matches. The 182-pound junior pinned Jackson County Central’s Trace Michelson in 1:39 and then earned a fall over Andy Fischer of Redwood Valley in 42 seconds.
Marshall’s Spencer Wambeke downed Frank 8-2 in the championship to give Frank his second-place finish.
Peterson won his first match over New Ulm Area’s Carter Brandees by a 10-0 major decision. Peterson then lost to the Red Bulls’ Class AA No. 3-ranked Lucas Jagodzinske in the semifinal round.
In the match for third place, Peterson secured his all-conference status by out-pointing JCC’s Thomas Freking 9-2.
Mertens won his first match with a 9-4 decision over Worthington’s Tanner Hennings. Sam Dunker of JCC scored a 16-7 major decision over Mertens in the semifinals to send the BEA junior to the match for third place.
Mertens took the bronze medal with a 7-2 decision over Caleb Arndt of New Ulm Area.
“I thought we wrestled pretty well,” Wirtjes commented. “The competition is tough, but we had more all-conference winners this year than last year so that is a positive thing.”
Other Buc wrestlers who placed were Koby Nagel with a fourth-place finish at 152 pounds, Kean Hicks, who took fifth at 170 pounds and Caleb Beeler, who took home sixth place at 138 pounds.