ST. PAUL - Twenty-eight area kids suited up for the individual state wrestling tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Friday. And by the end of Day 1, 12 remain in the hunt for a state title, with eight in Class A and four in Class AA.
Leading the way among the area teams on Friday was No. 3-ranked Minneota and No. 7 Wabasso/Red Rock Central, who both have four wrestlers in the championship semifinals.
Two weeks after falling to the Vikings in the Section 3A championship, the Bobcats are elated to have four kids - Brandon Goblirsch (120 pounds), Tanner Rohlik (138), Mitchell Rohlik (152) and Cody Welch (220) - in the hunt for a state title.
Photo by Joe Brown
Marshall's Campbell Hofstetter, left, tries to get out of the grasp of St. Paul Humboldt Chris Scott during their first-round match at 182 pounds in the Class AA individual wrestling tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Hofstetter fell in a 13-3 major decision.
"We're very happy, and you get into the semis, you will place," said Wabasso/RRC co-head coach Gary Hindt. "Can't do any worse than sixth."
Highlighting the Bobcats' run was Tanner Rohlik, who after beating New York Mills' Maison Roberts 8-3 in the first round, came up against Jackson County Central eighth-grader Keegan Moore, who ranks seventh in the state. Trailing 5-4 after the second period, Rohlik, ranked sixth in state, took a 7-6 lead with 40 seconds left in the match, eventually coming away with an 11-8 victory to move onto the semifinals. He will take on No. 4-ranked Jacob Anderson of River Valley for a spot in the 138-pound championship.
"Tanner's been here before. But in the early part of the match, he forgot that you have to go forward to win the match," Hindt said. "He was going to try and eek it out. As long as he stayed aggressive, I knew he could win."
Class A Individual Championship Results
113-Bryce Bruner pinned Evan Woitalla (Pierz), 2:39; Louie Sanders (Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial) dec. Bruner, 3-2
120-Mitchel Lexvold (Kenyon-Wanamingo) pinned Nicholas Esping, 1:31
132-Andrew Swedzinski pinned Rylee Anderson (Barnesville), 0:48; Swedzinski dec. Cody Whitney (Mille Lacs), 8-6
138-Theodore Bueltel pinned Bryce Ortloff (Deer River), 3:29; Bueltel dec. Austin Kidrowski (Norwood-Young America), 7-6
145-Travis Longtin dec. Sam McPhail (Pine Island), 8-0; Paden Moore (Jackson County Central) dec. Longtin, 6-1
152-Jordan Chouanard (Aitkin) dec. Alex Lessman, 7-2
170-Travis Schiefelbein (Kimball) pinned Isaac Josephson, 3:00
195-Adam Josephson tech. fall Dustin Waytashek (Pierz), 21-6; Josephson pinned Crag Brodeur (Blackduck/Cass Lake-Bena/Indus), 3:35
220-Josh VanOverbeke pinned Ryley Smude (Pierz), 1:57; VanOverbeke pinned Tony Reurink (Wadena-Deer Creek) 1:52
113-Tyler Berghuis (Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City) pinned Spencer Jenniges, 1:14
120-Brandon Goblirsch maj. dec. Jacob Gonsalez (United South Central), 14-3; Goblirsch dec. Richy Soto (St. James), 10-5
126-Hayden Rouser (Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City) pinned Derek Christians, 4:59
138-Tanner Rohlik dec. Maison Roberts (New York Mills), 8-3; Rohlik dec. Keegan Moore (Jackson County Central), 11-8
152-Mitchell Rohlik maj. dec. Mitchell Breuer (Goodhue), 10-1; Rohlik pinned Devin Wicks (Walker-Hackensack-Akeley/Nevis), 5:26
170-Cooper Moore (Jackson County Central) maj. dec. Nathan Mattison, 16-2
220-Cody Welch maj. dec. Austin Pagel (LeSueur-Henderson), 10-1; Welch maj. dec. Taylor Carlson (United North Central), 13-2
HWT-Aaron Bruihler (LeSueur-Henderson) pinned Alex Schroepfer, 1:08
182-Greg Erlandson (Breckenridge/Campbell-Tintah) dec. Chris Kaddatz, 5-3
Class AA Individual Championship Results
182-Chris Scott (St. Paul Humboldt) maj. dec. Campbell Hofstetter, 13-3
120-Brett Stolarzyk (Stewartville) tech. fall TJ Fulton, 17-2
126-John Weeding dec. Keng Xiong (St. Paul Johnson, 3-0; Weeding won by injury default to Eric Madson (Hutchinson)
152-Pat Hopkins (Grand Rapids) dec. Garth Ochsendorf, 5-3
160-Sam Haas maj. dec. Gus Phillips (Mongomery Lonsdale/Le Center), 17-4; Haas tech. fall Holden Nelson (Thief River Falls/Goodridge), 15-0
220-JD Struxness maj. dec. David Lange (Hinckley-Finayson/Pine City/East Central), 13-5; Struxness dec. Sam Olson (Foley), 5-4
HWT_Jesse Hein (Perham) dec. Brandon Schmitt, 3-0
132-Austin Kluis dec. Jordan Hanan (Annandale/Maple Lake), 7-2; Tyler Jobe (Grand Rapids) dec. Kluis, 1-0
170-Miles Hammerlund (Delano) dec. Ben Loosbrock, 8-2
195-Brad Schmidt won by injury default; Schmidt dec. Austin Torres (Watertown-Mayer/Mayer Lutheran), 7-1
Goblirsch advanced to the 120-pound semifinals with a 10-5 decision over ninth-ranked Richy Soto of St. James. He will face Wabasha-Kellogg's Mick Roemer in the semifinals.
Mitchell Rohlik defeated Walker-Hackensack-Akeley/Nevis' Devin Wicks via pinfall in 5 minutes, 26 seconds. Earlier in the day, he advanced to the quarterfinals with a 10-1 decision against Goodhue's Mitchell Breuer.
"I just want to take it one match at a time and get in the placing rounds," Mitchell Rohlik said. "Then, hopefully I can do some damage."
Welch, ranked No. 1 at 220, was on a tear in his first two matches with two major decisions. But in order to become a state champion, Welch is hoping to eventually face the wrestler who beat him in the Section 3A finals, Minneota's Josh VanOverbeke, who also qualified for the semifinals at 220 pounds.
"I lost to VanOverbeke and that left a sour taste in my mouth," said Welch, who will face Goodhue's Weston Gadient in the semifinals.
"I'm going to do everything I can to get to the finals to meet up with him again and hopefully it turns out different this time."
Andrew Swedzinski (132), Theodore Bueltel (138), Adam Josephson (195) and VanOverbeke each reached the semis for the Vikings, a day after the team took third place in the Class A team tournament.
Bueltel had a particularly tough outing in his quarterfinal match, but ultimately came away with a 7-6 decision over Norwood-Young America's Austin Kidrowski.
"I worked a lot out of staying out of throws because I've lost two big matches because I got thrown in a headlock and stuck," Bueltel said. "I don't want that to happen again, especially at the state tournament."
For Canby, Chris Kaddatz's day came to a quick end after a 5-3 loss to Breckenridge/Campbell-Tintah's Greg Erlandson. Erlandson lost in the quarterfinals and Kaddatz was unable to get a wrestleback.
But after being diagnosed with asthma this winter, as long as bouts of mono and an MRSA infection in his knee, Kaddatz has no complains on how the season went.
"It was a long road to get here," Kaddatz said. "I had knee surgery in 10th grade, got my butt kicked all last year, and I got to come out of my shell in my senior year and got to the state tournament."
Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove senior 195-pounder Brad Schmidt got arguably the easiest first round in the state after winning by injury default against Mora's Sam Lawrence.
"I did talk to the kid and he said he tore a ligament in his shoulder and messed up his rotator cuff," Schmidt said.
So with a little time to kill, Schmidt got to eat, relax, and get some downtime before facing his quarterfinals opponent, Watertown-Mayer/Mayer Lutheran's Austin Torres.
Schmidt thought his conditioning would be a deciding factor, but with five blood stoppages, it hampered that advantage for Schmidt. But the Panthers' big man persevered for a 7-1 decision, setting up a semifinal match with the No. 1-ranked wrestler at 195 pounds, Kasson-Mantorville's Broc Berge.
"I knew (Torres) gets tired pretty easily, and I'm in good shape and thought I could wear him out," Schmidt said. "They got all the blood time and that helped him get his breath back. But I was able to keep my body low and stayed in good position."
Twelfth-ranked Dawson-Boyd/Lac qui Parle Valley got three kids into the championship semifinals, as John Weeding (126 pounds), Sam Haas (160) and JD Struxness are all two matches away from the state finals. Weeding and Haas hit personal milestones with their first wins on Friday, with Haas winning his 200th career match, and Weeding securing his 150th victory. For the trio that made the semifinals, United head coach Ross Jurgenson said all three of them are on a mission.
"They're really focused and that's nice to see," Jurgenson said. "All six of our kids wrestled hard."
In his first appearance at state, things were a tough go for Marshall junior 182-pounder Campbell Hofstetter, falling in his first match via 13-3 major decision to St. Paul Humboldt's Chris Scott.
"We were a little flat on our feet, and there were some nerves," Tigers head coach Justin Bouwman said of Hofstetter's loss. "(Scott) came right after us and didn't let him take a breath. We had him on the ropes one time and couldn't do it."
Things didn't get easier for Hofstetter in the wrestlebacks, as he faced the No. 5-ranked wrestler in 182 pounds, New London-Spicer's Tanner Tobkin.
Staying close with a 2-0 score after the first period, Tobkin took over in the second and third periods, winning the match by pinfall at 4:57. Hofstetter finishes the season with a record of 27-15.
In the state tournament for the third time in his high school career, things got off to a good start for Fulda/Murray County Central senior Austin Kluis, who won his first match at 132 pounds via 7-2 decision against Annandale/Maple Lake's Jordan Hanan.
But in the quarterfinals, Kluis ran into the No. 3-ranked wrestler in the state, Grand Rapids' Tyler Jobe. For two periods, the two were dead even, sitting at 0-0. But with about 30 seconds to go in the third period, Jobe got an escape, and Kluis was unable to get a takedown, falling 1-0. Kluis recovered in the wrestlebacks with a 5-1 win over Kasson-Mantorville's Branden Schorr.
"I think Jobe's a good wrestler, but I think Austin's a great wrestler, and at 1-0, the score showed it," said Warriors head coach Dan Blankenship.
Fulda/MCC teammate Ben Loosbrock also remains in the wrestlebacks. After losing in the first round at 170 pounds, Loosbrock recovered and snagged a pinfall at 4:33 over Monticello's Ross Henderson.
Individual wrestling resumes today, with wrestlebacks starting at 10 a.m. The championship quarterfinals start at approximately 11:15 a.m., and the championship matches are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.