ST. PAUL One year removed from seven finalists and one individual champion, the Marshall area received no gold medalists at the 2013 state wrestling tournament at the Xcel Energy Center.
Of the 23 area individuals who qualified for the state meet, two worked their way into the finals. Spencer Jenniges of Wabasso/Red Rock Central and JD Struxness of Dawson-Boyd/Lac qui Parle Valley each had a chance at gold Saturday evening, but both young men came up just short of the ultimate goal.
Jenniges, wrestling at 113 pounds, started his Saturday with a 2-1 decision over Blane Tschida in double overtime. Tschida, from Kimball Area, ended up in third place in the division, while Jenniges advanced to the Class A finals against undefeated, defending champion Cameron Sykora of Border West (Herman-Norcross, Wheaton, Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley).
Dawson-Boyd/Lac qui Parle Valley’s JD?Struxness, right, locks up with Cannon Falls’ Clay Broze during the 220-pound championship match of the Class AA individual state tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Broze edged out Struxness in an 11-10 decision to win the gold medal.
Wabasso/Red Rock Central’s Spencer Jenniges looks on alongside co-head coach Gary Hind after losing the 113-pound championship match.
Sykora completed the perfect season with 16-1 technical fall over Jenniges, who entered the state meet in search of a medal, no matter the composition.
"I was really motivated, I wanted to come in and place," Jenniges said. "I didn't last year, so I just wanted to come in and place this year."
As soon as he knew he'd be facing Sykora, Jenniges admitted that his goals changed from placing to winning at 113.
"I wanted to be the kid that beat him, but it didn't work out," he said.
Just a junior, Jenniges will have one more season to improve upon his second-place finish. Sykora, just a sophomore, will likely be back next year as well.
For Struxness, the 2013 season got off to a late start.
Sidelined with an injury to start the year, Struxness entered the state tournament with an unblemished 7-0 record. He would remain unbeaten until the Class AA 220-pound final, when a headlock takedown by Cannon Falls' Clay Broze with 34 seconds remaining, complimented by three near fall points, turned an 8-6 Struxness lead into an 11-8 advantage for Broze. Struxness scored a late reversal, but the clock expired on the season for Struxness and his hopes of improving on 2012's second-place finish at 220.
United head coach Ross Jurgenson said that the injury to start the season finally caught up with Struxness, as Broze (who finished the year 46-1) was able to wear down the typically physically imposing Struxness.
"Wrestling shape is when you sit, you miss. We had him in the pool doing some stuff, but when you miss mat time it's hard," Jurgenson said. "For him to do what he did, I was very, very proud of him. He got pumped in two headlocks in the final and only lost the match by one point."
Two other United grapplers entered the state tournament undefeated, despite starting the season on the injury list.
Heavyweight Brandon Schmitt came to St. Paul sporting a 24-0 record. The number had reached 26-0 until Kasson-Mantorville's Sam Stoll pinned Schmitt in the second round of their 285-pound semifinal.
Schmitt bounced back with a first-period pin to earn a shot at third place, but again was pinned in the second period, this time by Davion Franklin (who Schmitt had pinned in a quarterfinal match on Friday).
"He's a very fast 270-pound young man," Jurgenson said of Schmitt, who uses his deceptive quickness to catch opponents off balance. "That's why he's an all-state football player. But he's also just Brandon. He has a lot of heart and a lot of desire.
"For Brandon and JD to finish the way they did, it was unbelievable," Jurgenson added. "Both on short seasons, they were both injured, one from a rodeo accident and the other from football."
The United sent six individuals to state, with three advancing through to Saturday. Jurgenson was impressed with the performances of his group, which just missed out on the team portion of the tournament.
"I thought they wrestled very well, all of our kids," he said. "We had six kids up here and three of them were still alive on Saturday. They wrestled well, even our underclassmen that we brought up."
Also well represented at the state tournament were Wabasso/Red Rock Central and Minneota. The Bobcats sent five individuals to the Class A meet, while the Vikings topped them with six individual qualifiers.
Of those five Bobcats, all but one medaled. Jenniges took silver, while TJ Fulton, Tanner Rohlik and Alex Schroepfer all return home with hardware.
Fulton nabbed fourth place at 132 pounds and said his teammates were motivated by the team's lone defeat of the season, to Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg in the Section 3A finals.
"We had that little chip on our shoulder and that kind of motivated us through the section and now the state tournament," Fulton said. "It would be nice to be here as a team, but it also helped us in a way, too.
"It was nice to represent our section; it's one of the toughest sections in the state," he added. "To be bringing home medals, I think it made our school and our section proud."
Jenniges agreed, saying "It motivates you a lot. You always want to get as many people as you can to the state tournament."
Schroepfer took fifth place at 285, while Rohlik grabbed third place at 145 pounds with a 7-3 decision over Holdingford's Trevor Scott.
St. Paul was less kind to the Vikings.
Just three of the six qualifiers advanced to Saturday, while Brock Buysse was the only Viking to return with a medal. Buysse went undefeated on Friday, but found himself relegated to the consolation bracket at 106 pounds after losing in the championship semifinals by a 4-2 decision in triple overtime to silver medalist Seth Elwood from Medford. Buysse fell by decision again in the consolation semifinals, but rebounded with a 2-0 decision victory over Kenyon-Wanamingo's Jared Clawiter to claim first place.
Minneota's Alec Engler and Landyn VanOverbeke each lost their consolation quarterfinals matches Saturday morning and were knocked out of the tournament as a result.
Fulda/Murray County Central's Ben Loosbrock was also struck down on Saturday morning, falling in a 4-0 decision to the third-place finisher at 160 pounds in Class AA, Andrew Fogarty of Scott West.
106- 1. Austin Anderly (LeSeuer-Henderson), 2. Seth Elwood (Medford), 3. Brendon Coyer (Osakis), 4. Wyatt Stevens (Windom/Mountain Lake), 5. Brock Buysse (Minneota), 6. Jared Clawiter (Kenyon-Wanamingo)
113- 1. Cameron Sykora (Border West), 2. Spencer Jenniges (Wabasso/Red Rock Central), 3. Blane Tschida (Kimball Area), 4. Joey Majerus (Zumbrota-Mazeppa), 5. Joe Fischenich, 6. Zack Kuhns (Maple River)
120- 1. Louie Sanders (Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial), 2. Shane Novak (New York Mills), 3. Hank Friedrichs (Chatfield), 4. Jordan Biehn (Jackson County Central), 5. James Goman (Trinity School at River Ridge), 6. Zach Blonigen (Eden Valley-Watkins)
126- 1. Quinten Berres (Kimball Area), 2. Tyler Tensen (Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa), 3. Tyler Keller (Medford), 4. Kyle Drehmel (Goodhue), 5. Jason Meyer (Sibley East), 6. Jared Willaby (Windom/Mountain Lake)
132- 1. Eliot Jurries (JCC), 2. Harvey Friedrichs (Chatfield), 3. Dylan Herman (United South Central), 4. TJ Fulton (Wabasso/RRC), 5. Gus McCarthy (Border West), 6. Austin Brockhoff (Sibley East)
138- 1. Tanner Trembley (Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial), 2. Hunter Retzlaff (Sibley East), 3. Logan Peterson (Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City), 4. Marcus Hamer (Kimball Area), 5. Bruce Lemon (Frazee), 6. Brian Wold (Aitkin)
145- 1. Larry Bomstad (ACGC), 2. Paden Moore (JCC), 3. Tanner Rohlik (Wabasso/RRC), 4. Trevor Scott (Holdingford), 5. Shane Siewert (Lake City), 6. Jerod Novak (Aitkin)
152- 1. Garret Hoffner (Mahnomen/Waubun), 2. Zachary Carlson (Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg), 3. Chris Pfarr (LeSueur-Henderson), 4. Brady Bos (Pipestone Area), 5. Sam McPhail (Pine Island), 6. Luke Norland (JCC)
160- 1. Adam Cooling (Madelia/Truman/Martin Luther), 2. Jordon Rothers (KMS), 3. Keegan Moore (JCC), 4. Mitch Lange (Royalton/Upsala), 5. Austin Maanum (Border West), 6. Carter Hanson (Blue Earth Area)
170- 1. Darick Vancura (JCC), 2. Niko Anderson (Fillmore Central/Lanesboro/Mabel-Canton), 3. Aaron Bates (Sibley East), 4. Maverick Whitcomb (ACGC), 5. John Westman (Badger/Greenbush-Middle River), 6.Tyler Ziegler (Frazee)
182- 1. Will Balow (Lake City), 2. Patrick Rooney (BBE), 3. Porter Secrist (Wabasha-Kellogg), 4. Colten Carlson (United South Central), 5. Dillon Card (Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale), 6. Collin Huckbody (Walker-Hackensack)
195- 1. Nathan Rose (Sibley East), 2. Kysten Zierke (Blue Earth Area), 3. Tyler Patron (New York Mills), 4. Lucas Etchason (Triton), 5. Justin Viss (Chatfield), 6. Cotlon Laymon (West Marshall)
220- 1. Lucas Damm (ACGC), 2. Chase Norton (KMS), 3. Ryan Tipcke (Goodhue), 4. Kyle Johnson (Barnesville), 5. Taylor Carlson (United North Central), 6. Christopher Zimmer (Walker-Hackensack)
285- 1. Lance Briard (River Valley), 2. Jarrod Grunklee (Blooming Prairie), 3. Kelsey Bocek (Minneapolis Patrick Henry), 4. Tyler Jenson (Benson), 5. Alex Schroepfer (Wabasso/RRC), 6. Nick Langer (Kenyon-Wanamingo)
106- 1. Tucker Sjomeling (Delano), 2. Trevor Schultz (Fairmont/Martin County West), 3. Paul Fitterer (Cannon Falls), 4. Jake Allar (Benilde-St. Margaret's), 5. Gabe Shea (Kasson-Mantorville), 6. Jacob Jewett (Glencoe-Lester Prairie)
113- 1. Jarred Oftedahl (Benilde-St. Margaret's), 2. Abbot Aho (Fergus Falls), 3. Skyler Petry (Waterville-Elysian-Morristown/Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton), 4. David Flynn (Scott West), 5. Jakob Stageberg (New London-Spicer), 6. Stephen Holecek (Thief River Falls)
120- 1. Anthony Luft (Worthington/Round Lake-Brewster), 2. Tyler Funk (Foley), 3. Griffin Parriot (New Prague), 4. Logan Stiller (Monticello), 5. Tyler Giza (Fergus Falls), 6. Dylan Connell (Chisago Lakes Area)
126- 1. Nate Thomas (Kasson-Mantorville), 2. Juan Torres (Simley), 3. Zach Siegle (Scott West), 4. Tristan Manderfield (Foley), 5. Ty Griffin (Rockford), 6. Blake Miller (Staples-Motley)
132- 1. Kyle Gliva (Simley), 2. Scottie Bonds (St. Paul Humboldt), 3. Brady Berge (Kasson-Mantorville), 4. Logan Kass (Perham), 5. Keith Thell (Foley), 6. Jake Weierke (Scott West)
138- 1. Coltan Laganiere (Kasson-Mantorville), 2. Brett Stolarzyk (Stewartville), 3. Luke Zilverberg (Scott West), 4. Mason Brownlee (Tri City/Cleveland), 5. Zach Beaumaster (Monticello), 6. Zach Baker (Detroit Lakes)
145- 1. Mitchell Hartwig (Glencoe-Lester Prairie), 2. Mack Short (Simley), 3. Jordan Hanan (Annandale/Maple Lake), 4. Drey Loge (Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus), 5. Zack Zimmer (Becker), 6. Parker Jackson (Detroit Lakes)
152- 1. Jake Short (Simley), 2. Josh Selly (Tri City/Cleveland), 3. Nathanael Holecek (Thief River Falls), 4. Walker Thiele (Totino Grace), 5. Carter Holthaus (Albany), 6. Lucas Roe (Grand Meadow/Leroy Ostrander/Kingsland)
160- 1. Brady Ayers (WEM-JWP), 2. Jordan Theede (Lewiston-Altura/Rushford-Peterson), 3. Andrew Fogarty (Scott West), 4. Holden Nelson (Thief River Falls), 5. Wayne Voss (Simley), 6. Colton Vekved (Becker)
170- 1. Nick Wanzek (Simley), 2. Codie LaFromboise (Mora), 3. Corben Hansen (Kasson-Mantorville), 4. Isaac Florell (Totino Grace), 5. Connor Metzger (MAHACA), 6. Bobby Lee (Becker)
182- 1. Jamison Evans (Grand Rapids), 2. Christian DuLaney (Benilde-St. Margaret's), 3. Brian Bertram (Byron), 4. Tyler Midas (Foley), 5. Mitch Robinson (Zimmerman), 6. Greg Johnson (Lewiston-Altura/Rushford-Peterson)
195- 1. Lance Benick (Totino Grace), 2. Broc Berge (Kasson-Mantorville), 3. Tyler Jakes (Mankato West), 4. Carson Hagen (Worthington/RL-B), 5. Chandler Arredondo (Richfield), 6. Mitch Struffert (Foley)
220- 1. Clay Broze (Cannon Falls), 2. JD Struxness (Dawson-Boyd/Lac qui Parle Valley), 3. Jacob Claybaugh (Waseca), 4. Nathan Preston (New Prague), 5. Joe Schiller (Totino Grace), 6. Jake Filk (Hutchinson)
285- 1. Sam Stoll (Kasson-Mantorville), 2. Preston Woods (South St. Paul), 3. Davion Franklin (Watertown-Mayer), 4. Brandon Schmitt (Dawson-Boyd/LQPV), 5. Colton Pollock (Big Lake), 6. Evan Bain (Lewiston-Altura/Rushford-Peterson)