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Four from area advance to state wrestling

Section 3A Individual Tourney
Windom-Mt. Lake and Wabasso-Red Rock Central will each have two wrestlers competing in the Class A State Tournament, which begins Friday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

The four area wrestlers placed in the top two of their respective weight classes at the Section 3A Tournament, held Friday and Saturday in Canby.

WML had two section champions and eight total medalists. WRRC had two section runners-up and five medalists.

Windom-Mt. Lake had two wrestlers crowned section champions.

Senior Brett Willaby, who won the 126-pound state championship a season ago, returns to state as the Section 3A champion at 138 pounds. Willaby opened the tournament with a technical fall, then defeated Logan Sherer of Adrian 9-0 in the semifinals. In the championship match, Willaby faced Minneota's Jonah Gruenes, who had defeated Willaby earlier in the season. This time, the match was scoreless until the final seconds, when Willaby tried to escape from the bottom position. During a last-second scramble, Guenes was penalized a point for an illegal hold, giving Willaby the section title with a 1-0 victory.

At 132 pounds, junior Kade Sammons qualified for his first state tournament by winning the section title. Sammons had a bye into the semifinals, where he pinned Chase Irlbeck of WRRC in 1:21. In the championship match, Sammons jumped to a commanding early lead on his way to an 8-4 victory over Kade Lozinski of Minneota.

The Cobras had one third-place finisher. Senior Eli Mutz won by fall to advance to the semifinals, where he was pinned by Scot Edwards of Adrian. Mutz then recorded a fall in the wrestlebacks before pinning Jayden Gamrak of Minneota in 1:48 to place third. Because Edwards lost the championship match, Mutz was ineligible for a true second bout.

At 120 pounds, sophomore Caden Swoboda won by fall in the first round, then lost by technical fall to Ayden Horner of Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove. Swoboda won by fall in the wrestlebacks before dropping a 5-0 decision to Thomas Freking of Jackson County Central to finish fourth.

The Cobras added a fifth-place finisher in sophomore Alex Altman at 195 pounds, pinning Jayden Hoss of Pipestone in 3:31 in the fifth-place match. Junior Trenton Renquist (145), sophomore Thavien Xayachak (113) and sophomore Micah Holmberg (160) each placed sixth.

Wabasso-Red Rock Central had two wrestlers who captured section runner-up honors.

At 195 pounds, returning state medalist Derek Werner received a bye into the semifinals, where he won by fall over Alex Altman of WML in 1:36. In the championship, Werner dropped a 3-1 decision to Josh Steffen of Canby. Werner then had to wrestle for true second, where he pinned Eathan Martinez of Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove in 0:57.

At 182 pounds, senior Lance Wagner opened the tournament with a fall. He then pinned Parker Verhelst of Canby in 1:54, advancing to the finals. In the finals, Wagner lost a 7-4 decision to undefeated Trevor Eisfeld of TMB/WWG. Because Wagner had defeated third-place finisher Verhelst earlier in the tournament, there was no match for true second.

WRRC had three other section medalists. Senior Josh Hesse placed fifth, finishing with an 18-2 technical fall win over Angel Campos of Pipestone in the fifth-place match. Freshman Chase Irlbeck added a fifth-place finish at 132, winning a fall in 5:40 over Rilee Heidebrink of Adrian in the fifth-place bout. Freshman Carter Beranek added a sixth-place finish at 120.

Next matches: Check for updates after each match.
WML: at Class A State Tournament (Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul), Feb. 28-29
WRRC: at Class A State Tournament (Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul), Feb. 28-29


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