Xayachak advances, two others place
The Windom-Mt. Lake wrestling team will have one participant at the Class AA Individual State Tournament, which begins Friday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
At Saturday’s Section 3AA Tournament in Morris, junior Preston Xayachak advanced to the state tourney for the first time in his career by winning the 106-pound weight class.
Xayachak opened the tournament with a 13-0 major decision over Mario Gradillas of Quad County. He then won an 8-0 major decision over Andrew Sandau of New London-Spicer. In the semifinals, Xayachak pinned Pierce Rohman of Martin County in 3:24.
In the championship match, Xayachak rallied in the closing seconds to force overtime against Ben Gunlogson of Dawson-Boyd/Lac Qui Parle Valley/Montevideo United. In overtime, Xayachak recorded a takedown just before time expired to claim a 7-5 victory.
Xayachak (38-5) will face eighth-grader Cassen Brumm of Annandale-Maple Lake (36-6) in the opening round of the state tournament. Xayachak was not ranked in the final state rankings from The Guillotine, while Brumm was ranked eighth.
The winner will face either sophomore Kyle Stangl of Pierz (34-8) or freshman Broc Vaughan of Kasson-Mantorville (35-9) in the second round, while top-ranked Lawson Eller of New Prague potentially waits in the semifinals.
Two other Cobra wrestlers finished the tournament with section medals. At 138 pounds, freshman Aiden Holmberg lost his opening-round match, then picked up back-to-back wins in the consolation bracket before taking two losses to finish in sixth place.
At 145 pounds, sophomore Noah Holmberg won his opening match by fall before losing in the second round. Holmberg won a fall to earn a spot in the medal round, but too back-to-back losses to finish sixth.