Three teams, 20 individuals return to defend titles; New weight classes to debut
Courtesy of MSHSL
All three of the 2011 team champions return to defend their respective titles: the Jackson County Central Huskies in Class A; the Simley Spartans in Class AA; and the Apple Valley Eagles in Class AAA. Jackson County Central, which tied Frazee for top honors in 2011, is looking for its third consecutive title. Simley of Inver Grove Heights is looking for its fifth consecutive title and Apple Valley is seeking its seventh consecutive title.
Two teams are making their first tournament appearances this year: Barnesville in Class A and Champlin Park in Class AAA. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Eagles of Apple Valley return for their 30th consecutive and 31st overall appearance.
In the individual competition, 21 champions return for more gold medals – six in Class AAA, 10 in Class AA, and five in Class A.
This will also be the first year that new weight classes are in effect. The National Federation of State High School Associations which writes rules for wrestling adopted the current 14 weight structure following an exhaustive study by the National Wrestling Coaches Association. Actual weigh-in information of 195,000 wrestlers was analyzed and the current structure was developed to include approximately 7.14 percent of all wrestlers per weight with the intent of providing an equal distribution of all wrestlers across all weights. The new structure also includes a new weight in the low 180-pound range.
Here are the current and former weight classes for comparison:
The 2012 State Wrestling Tournament opens Thursday, March 1, and runs through Saturday, March 3, at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The three-day format features all of the team dual competition on Thursday, followed by exclusive individual competition Friday and Saturday.
This is the fourth year that the teams have been seeded. The 24 coaches of the section champions logged onto a special page of the League Web site and each coach ranked the other teams one through seven. The highest and lowest rankings for each team were discarded, leaving five rankings for each team. From those rankings, the top four seeds were selected. In conference calls with all eight head coaches of each class, League Associate Director and Tournament Director Craig Perry announced the top four seeds and then conducted a blind draw of the four remaining teams to establish the opponent for the seeded teams.
Class A Team Highlights
Six teams that competed in the 2011 tournament, including the two-time defending champions from Jackson County Central (Section 2), return to this year’s field. The Huskies are also the top-seeded team this year. Jackson County Central, which shared top honors with Frazee in 2011, is making its third consecutive and fourth overall appearance under this name. In addition to the past two years, the Huskies also claimed top honors in 2008. Jackson County Central, as a co-op with Southwest Star Concept of Okabena, made four additional appearances between 1998 and 2007 and won titles in 1999 and 2000. Jackson also made three appearances as a co-op with Heron Lake-Okabena-Lakefield between 1993 and 1997.
The other returning teams are: Kimball Area (Section 5); Minneota (Section 3); Zumbrota-Mazeppa (Section 1); Pierz (Section 7) and Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial (Section 4).
The Kimball Area Cubs, who are the No. 2 seed this year, are making their second consecutive and fifth overall appearance. They earned the consolation title in 2011.
The Minneota Vikings enter this year’s tournament as the No. 3 seed and they’re hoping to improve on last year’s third-place showing. This year marks their third consecutive and fifth overall appearance. The Cougars of Zumbrota-Mazeppa, who placed sixth last year, are making their third consecutive and seventh overall appearance.
Pierz returns for its second consecutive and ninth overall appearance. In 2011 the Pioneers were eliminated in the consolation semifinals. If the Pioneers win it would be their third title. They won previous back-to-back championships in 2004 and 2005.
Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial, this year’s No. 4 seed, is the final returning team. The Knights, who earned fourth-place honors in 2011, are making their fourth consecutive appearance and their sixth under this name. Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial also made one additional appearance as a co-op with Mankato Loyola in 2004.
Barnesville (Section 6) and Badger/Greenbush-Middle River (Section 8) round out the Class A field. It is the fifth appearance as a co-op for the Badger/Greenbush-Middle River Gators, but their first since 2005. Greenbush made one additional appearance in 1986. The Barnesville Trojans are making their debut appearance at this year’s tournament.
The 9 a.m. Thursday Class A seeded quarterfinal pairings and the team records followed by the final rankings of The Guillotine wrestling publication are: No. 2 Kimball Area (32-0 No. 2) vs. Barnesville (22-4 No. 12); No. 3 Minneota (23-2 No. 3) vs. Zumbrota-Mazeppa (20-10 No. 11); No. 1 Jackson County Central (22-3 No. 1) vs. Pierz (26-4 No. 10); No. 4 Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial (18-4 No. 5) vs. Badger/Greenbush-Middle River (16-1 No. 4).
Class AA Team Highlights
The Spartans of Simley (Section 4) return as the four-time defending champions. This is the fifth consecutive and 18th overall appearance for the Spartans, who are the No. 1 seed this year. In addition to the past four years, Simley also won championships in 1987, 1988, 1989, and 1992.
Four other teams also return from the 2011 field: Monticello (Section 5); Scott West, a co-op between Belle Plaine, Jordan, and Holy Family Academy of Belle Plaine (Section 2); Foley (Section 6); and Kasson-Mantorville (Section 1).
Foley and Scott West are both making fifth consecutive appearances. The Foley Falcons are the No. 3 seed this year and are looking to improve on last year’s fourth-place showing. This is their 19th overall appearance and they won previous titles in 1989, 1993, and 1994. The Scott West Panthers, who placed second last year, enter the tournament as the No. 2 seed. This is their 13th appearance.
The KoMets of Kasson-Mantorville, who are making their third consecutive and sixth overall appearance, finished third last year. They enter this year’s tournament as the No. 4 seed. The Monticello Magic return for their second consecutive and third overall appearance. They lost in the consolation semifinals in 2011.
Perham (Section 8), Milaca/Faith Christian (Section 7), and Windom/Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin (Section 3) are the final teams competing in the Class AA field. The Perham Yellowjackets are making their sixth appearance, but first since 2009, and the Milaca/Faith Christian Wolves are making their 10th appearance, but first since 2010. The Cobras of Windom/Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin return after a three-year absence to make their fourth appearance.
The 11 a.m. Thursday Class AA seeded quarterfinal pairings and the team records followed by the final rankings of The Guillotine wrestling publication are : No. 2 Scott West (23-0 No. 2) vs. Monticello (13-12 No. 11); No. 3 Foley (25-1 No. 3) vs. Windom/Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin (19-5 No. 10); No. 1 Simley (25-3 No. 1) vs. Milaca/Faith Christian (28-9 No. 7); No. 4 Kasson-Mantorville (24-5 No. 4) vs. Perham (21-5 No. 8).
Class AAA Team Highlights
Apple Valley (Section 3) returns as the six-time defending champion. The Eagles, who are the No. 1 seed, are making their 30th consecutive and 31st overall tournament appearance. In addition to the past six years, they also won team championships in 1983, 1985, 1986, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004.
Three other teams also return from the 2011 qualifying field. St. Michael-Albertville (Section 7) returns for its 14th consecutive and 22nd overall appearance. The Knights placed second last year and are the No. 3 seed this year. If they win it would be their seventh title. They won previously in 1996, 1997, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007. White Bear Lake Area (Section 4) is making its third consecutive and overall appearance. The Bears took the consolation crown in the 2011 tournament. Prior Lake (Section 2) is the final returning team. The Lakers, who are the No. 4 seed this year, are making their second consecutive and fourth overall appearance. They’re hoping to improve on last year’s third-place showing.
The other teams competing in Class AAA are: Hastings (Section 1); Little Falls (Section 8); Willmar (Section 6); and Champlin Park (Section 5). The Hastings Raiders return to tournament action for the first time since 2007. They are the No. 2 seed this year and are making their 11th appearance. If they win it would be their second title; they claimed their first in 1996. The Flyers of Little Falls are making their fifth appearance, but first since 2006, and the Willmar Cardinals are making their third appearance, but first since 2005. The Rebels of Champlin Park are making their debut tournament appearance.
The 9 a.m. Thursday Class AAA seeded quarterfinal pairings and the team records followed by the final rankings of The Guillotine wrestling publication: No. 2 Hastings (28-6 No. 2) vs. Little Falls (22-8 No. 10); No. 3 St. Michael-Albertville (27-6 No. 3) vs. Champlin Park (17-10 unranked); No. 1 Apple Valley (26-1 No. 1) vs. Willmar (20-5 unranked); No. 4 Prior Lake (23-11 No. 9) vs. White Bear Lake Area (20-7 No. 11).
Class A Individual Highlights
106 pounds – Cameron Sykora (41-1) of Border West, who won the title at 103 pounds last year, returns in search of more gold. Joey Majerus (38-5) of Zumbrota-Mazeppa and Cody Hanson (34-6) of St. James, also return. They placed third and fourth at 103 pounds, respectively. There are no perfect records in this weight class.
113 pounds – There are four returning medalists: Shane Novak (38-1) of New York Mills, runner-up at 112 pounds; Tyler Keller (33-7) of Medford, fifth at 103 pounds; Tyler Berghuis (34-6) of Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, sixth at 103 pounds; and Quinten Berres (37-1) of Kimball Area, sixth at 112 pounds. No one has a perfect record.
120 pounds – Mitchel Lexvold (42-1) of Kenyon-Wanamingo, last year’s champion at 119 pounds, leads the field. Two additional medal-winners also return: Isaac Novacek (39-0) of Badger/Greenbush-Middle River, third at 112 pounds; and Dustin Esplan (36-4) of New Richland-H-E-G, third at 119 pounds. Novacek boasts the only perfect record.
126 pounds – Oakley McLain (38-4) of Kenyon-Wanamingo, who won at 125 pounds in 2011, leads the returning qualifiers. Hayden Rouser (40-2) of Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City and Gus McCarthy (36-6) of Border West also return. Rouser placed fourth at 119 pounds last year and McCarthy was fifth at 125 pounds. Andy Poster (34-0) of Royalton/Upsala has the only perfect record.
132 pounds – Ben Rynda (34-4) of Trinity School at River Ridge of Bloomington, fourth at 125 pounds last year, is the highest returning qualifier. The only other returning medalist is Taner Trembley (36-2) of Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial; he placed fifth at 119 pounds last year. No one has a perfect record.
138 pounds – Three medal-winners return: Michael Jarnot (40-0) of Holdingford, runner-up at 153 pounds; Bruce Lemon (38-5) of Frazee, sixth at 130 pounds; and Jacob Anderson (33-2) of River Valley, sixth at 135 pounds. Jarnot has the only unblemished record.
145 pounds – Three medalists from last year’s 140-pound weight class return: Larry Bomstad (39-0) of Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, third; Adam Cooling (37-2) of Madelia/Truman/Martin Luther, fourth; and Garret Hoffner (38-0) of Mahnomen/Waubun, fifth. Bomstad and Hoffner boast the only perfect records.
152 pounds – The 2011 champion at 145 pounds, Curt Maas (39-1) of Medford, leads this year’s qualifiers. Two other medalists also return: Jordan Chouanard (35-1) of Aitkin, third at 145 pounds; and Chris Pfarr (32-8) of LeSueur-Henderson, sixth at 125 pounds. There are no perfect records.
160 pounds – Two returning medal-winners return: Darick Vancura (40-1) of Jackson County Central, runner-up at 145 pounds; and Stephen Erlandson (29-2) of Breckenridge/Campbell-Tintah, runner-up at 160 pounds. There are no perfect records.
170 pounds – There are no returning medal-winners. Cooper Moore (42-0) of Jackson County Central has the only perfect record.
182 pounds – Brett Pfarr (38-1) of LeSueur-Henderson and Nate Meixell (33-3) of Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial are the only returning medal-winners. Pfarr was the runner-up at 152 pounds in 2011, and Meixell was the runner-up at 189 pounds. There are no perfect records.
195 pounds – Adam Josephson (39-1) of Minneota, who placed third at 189 pounds last year, is the only returning medalist. Nathan Rose (41-0) of Sibley East of Arlington and Christopher Zimmer (35-0) of Walker-Hackensack-Akeley/Nevis both have unblemished records.
220 pounds – Josh VanOverbeke (37-1) of Minneota is the only returning medal-winner. He placed third in the heavyweight class in 2011. There are no perfect records.
285 pounds – Alex Yeager (33-2) of Badger/Greenbush-Middle River, who earned championship honors in the heavyweight class last year, is one of two returning medalists. Colin Turchin (37-1) of Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale is the other; he placed fourth at heavyweight in 2011. No one has a perfect record.
Kimball Area leads the Class A field with 10 qualifiers. Minneota, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, and Pierz each qualified nine wrestlers.
Class AA Individual Highlights
106 pounds – Two returning medalists compete in this weight class: Skyler Petry (40-2) of Waterville-Elysian-Morristown/Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton, fifth at 103 pounds; and Anthony Luft (34-5), sixth at 103 pounds. No one has a perfect record.
113 pounds – Kyle Gliva (24-2) of Simley of Inver Grove Heights, who won the title at 103 pounds last year, leads this year’s field. Jarred Oftedahl (35-0) of Benilde-St. Margaret’s of St. Louis Park is the only undefeated competitor. He was runner-up at 103 pounds last year. Other returning medal-winners are: Tristan Manderfeld (27-1) of Foley, third at 103 pounds; and Abbot Aho (38-4) of Fergus Falls, third at 112 pounds.
120 pounds – Brett Stolarzyk (33-6) of Stewartville returns in search of another championship; he earned top honors at 112 pounds last year. Three other medalists also return: Luke Betchwars (38-4) of Scott West, fourth at 103 pounds; Eric Bourgeois (34-5) of Monticello, fourth at 112 pounds; and Ty Griffin (32-3) of Rockford, sixth at 112 pounds. No competitors enter undefeated.
126 pounds – Eric Madson (39-3) of Hutchinson looks to improve on last year’s third-place finish at 125 pounds. John Weeding (38-3) of Dawson-Boyd/Lac qui Parle, who placed fifth at 119 pounds in 2011, is the only other returning medalist. No one has a perfect record.
132 pounds – Joe Munos (41-0) of South Saint Paul, champion at 125 pounds in 2011, returns in search of a title at 132 pounds. He is the only competitor with a perfect record. Three additional medal-winners also return: Jonah Gahm (39-4) of Milaca/Faith Christian, fourth at 125 pounds; Mason Brownlee (31-6) of Montgomery-Lonsdale/Le Center, fifth at 125 pounds; and Jordan Hanan (33-5) of Annandale/Maple Lake, sixth at 119 pounds.
138 pounds – Nate Lynn (31-1) of Adrian Area is the only returning medalist. He finished fourth at 130 pounds last year. No competitors enter with a perfect record.
145 pounds – Two defending champions compete for more gold at 145 pounds. Jake Short (40-1) of Simley won the title at 140 pounds last year and Gabe Fogarty (39-3) of Scott West won the title at 135 pounds. One additional medal-winner returns: Dustin Ellsworth (27-4) of Saint Paul Harding, fifth at 140 pounds. No one is undefeated.
152 pounds – The 2011 champion at 145 pounds, Nick Wanzek (38-4) of Simley, enters competition in pursuit of another title. Charlie Pesch (29-9) of Scott West is the only other returning medalist, placing sixth at 145 pounds last year. There are no perfect records.
160 pounds – Taylor Lewandowski (38-1) of Foley, is the defending champion at 160 pounds. Sam Haas (41-1) of Dawson-Boyd/Lac qui Parle, who finished fifth in this class last year, is the only other returning qualifier. No one has a perfect record.
170 pounds – Two competitors return to the tournament undefeated: Micah Barnes (40-0) of Simley, runner-up at 160 pounds last year; and Garret Miller (37-0) of Plainview/Elgin-Millville, who placed third at 160 pounds.
182 pounds – Blake Petrich (40-1) of Staples-Motley looks to improve on his third-place finish at 171 pounds last year. He is joined by Jamison Evans (41-1) of Grand Rapids, who placed sixth at 160 pounds. There are no perfect records.
195 pounds – Broc Berge (41-0) of Kasson-Mantorville, 2011 champion at 189 pounds, returns in search of another title. He is the only undefeated wrestler in this class. Justin Ladehoff (25-1) of Milaca/Faith Christian, who placed sixth at 171 last year, is the only other returning qualifier.
220 pounds – There are no returning medal-winners and no undefeated competitors.
285 pounds – Defending heavyweight champion Austin Goergen (33-1) of Caledonia/Houston/Spring Grove and 215-pound champion Michael Kroells (41-0) of Scott West lead the qualifiers in this weight class. They are joined by Sam Stoll (41-1) of Kasson-Mantorville, last year’s runner-up at heavyweight. Kroells and Jesse Hein (41-0) of Perham have the only perfect records in this weight class.
Simley leads the field with 12 qualified wrestlers. Foley has 10 qualifiers and Scott West has nine.
Class AAA Individual Highlights
106 pounds – There are no returning medalists and no perfect records.
113 pounds – Five 2011 medal-winners, including 103-pound champion Tommy Thorn (40-1) of St. Michael-Albertville, return. The others are: Tanner Johnshoy (37-7) of Prior Lake, runner-up at 103 pounds; Erik Olson (30-8) of Sauk Rapids-Rice, fourth at 103 pounds; Luke Rowh (35-8) of Hastings, fifth at 103 pounds; and Nick O’Brien (38-4) of Wayzata, sixth at 112 pounds. There are no perfect records.
120 pounds – Four 2011 medalists return: Cole Sladek (35-3), runner-up at 112 pounds; Seth Gross (39-3) of Apple Valley, third at 103 pounds; Dustin Weinmann (37-2) of Irondale of New Brighton, fifth at 112 pounds; and Dakota Wangsness (30-9) of Albert Lea Area, sixth at 103 pounds. There are no perfect records.
126 pounds – Mitch Bengtson (40-0) of St. Cloud Apollo returns in search of more gold. He was the champion at 119 pounds last year. He is joined by three other returning medal-winners: Lucas Hansen (30-7) of Albert Lea Area, third at 112 pounds; Sam Brancale (31-1) of Eden Prairie, third at 119 pounds; and Amin Buta (32-8) of Minneapolis South, fifth at 125 pounds. Bengtson boasts the only undefeated record.
132 pounds – Dakota Trom (27-4) of Apple Valley leads a field of six returning medalists. He won at 125 pounds last year. He is joined by: Eric Bauer (30-4) of Hastings, third at 125 pounds; Ben Morgan (34-2) of Forest Lake, third at 130 pounds; Alex Johannes (32-4) of Willmar, fourth at 130 pounds; Mark Voss (35-8) of St. Michael-Albertville, fifth at 119 pounds; and Carsen Canedy (36-5) of Northfield, sixth at 119 pounds. There are no perfect records.
138 pounds – Grant Nehring (39-3) of St. Cloud Apollo, who placed third at 135 pounds last year, is the top returning qualifier. Five other 2011 medalists also move up in search of a title: Tyler Isaacson (35-6) of Forest Lake, fourth at 119 pounds; Adam Hammer (36-3) of Osseo, fourth at 135 pounds; Ben Donnelly (33-8) of Woodbury, fifth at 130 pounds; Matt Kahnke (30-12) of Prior Lake, fifth at 135 pounds; and Jake Hanson (35-4) of Rochester Mayo, sixth at 130 pounds. No one has a perfect record.
145 pounds – Mark Hall (35-0) of Apple Valley, who was the champion at 130 pounds last year, is the only returning medal-winner. He also boasts the only perfect record.
152 pounds – Adam Jackson (38-3) of Rosemount, who earned runner-up honors in this weight class last year, is the highest returning medalist. Cody Skog (34-5) of Cambridge-Isanti and Derek Weinman (33-7) of Irondale, also return. They placed third and fourth last year, respectively, at 140 pounds.
160 pounds - Five 2011 medal-winners, including the defending champion at 140 pounds Brandon Kingsley of Apple Valley, return in pursuit of a championship. The others are: Travis Holt (37-5) of Cambridge-Isanti, runner-up at 135 pounds; Corey Parsons (32-3) of Andover, fourth at 152 pounds; Dalton Westerlund (24-4) of Albert Lea Area, fourth at 145 pounds; and Anton Kalista (36-4) of Lakeville North, sixth at 160 pounds. No competitors have a perfect record.
170 pounds – Kyle Begin (34-2) of Anoka, the 2011 champion at 160 pounds, is the only returning qualifier. No one in this class is undefeated.
182 pounds – Five 2011 medal-winners will vie for the title at 182 pounds. Clayton Jennissen (39-3) of Cambridge-Isanti, runner-up at 171 pounds, and Daniel Woiwor (33-5) of Apple Valley, runner-up at 145 pounds, are the top returning qualifiers. Joining them are: Beau Bibeau (31-4) of White Bear Lake Area, third at 171 pounds; Chase Morlock (37-4) of Moorhead, fourth at 160 pounds; and Richard Carlson (37-2) of Mounds View, fifth at 160 pounds. There are no perfect records.
195 pounds – Two returning qualifiers look to improve on last year’s results. Jake Swenson (35-7) of Hastings placed fourth at 171 pounds and Tommy Petersen (27-1) of Lakeville South finished sixth at 189 pounds in 2011. Clay LeVasseur (21-0) of Rogers is the only undefeated competitor.
220 pounds – Isaac Eichmann (34-7) of Hastings, runner-up at 215 pounds last year, and Michael Burkhardt (35-4) of Coon Rapids, fourth place at 215 pounds, lead the field of qualifiers. No wrestlers enter with a perfect record.
285 pounds – Tanner Lowe (27-4) of Coon Rapids and Corey Anderson (40-2) of Shakopee return to the heavyweight competition in search of a championship. Lowe placed third last year and Anderson finished fourth. There are no perfect records.
Apple Valley qualified 13 wrestlers and St. Michael-Albertville qualified nine. Albert Lea Area and White Bear Lake Area were next with eight individual qualifiers apiece.
The Schedule and Ticket Information
This year’s schedule features the team tournament running all day on Thursday, March 1. The action starts with the Class A and Class AAA quarterfinals at 9 a.m. They will be followed by the Class AA team quarterfinals at 11 a.m., which will be run simultaneously with the Class A and Class AAA consolation semifinals.
At 1 p.m. on Thursday, all three classes will wrestle in the team championship semifinals and Class AAA will also have its consolation semifinals. The consolation and third-place team matches for all three classes will begin at 5 p.m. Thursday evening, followed by the team championship matches for all three classes at 7 p.m.
On Friday, March 2, the Class AAA individual first round begins at 9 a.m. The Class A individual first round starts at 11 a.m., followed by the Class AA individual first round at 1 p.m. On Friday evening, the Class AAA individual quarterfinals begin at 5 p.m. The Class A and Class AA individual championship quarterfinals will follow at 6 and 7 p.m., respectively. The evening session will conclude with all wrestlebacks at 8 p.m.
On Saturday there will be five rounds of competition. The first starts at 10 a.m. and will consist of all individual consolation quarterfinals. The second round will start approximately at 11:15 a.m. and will entail all individual championship semifinals. Round Three begins approximately at 1:15 p.m. and will encompass all individual consolation semifinals. At approximately 5 p.m., all individual fifth- and third-place matches will begin, followed by awards. The day will end with all individual championships beginning at approximately 7:30 p.m. Awards will also follow the final round.
Other than the first matches of each session, all subsequent rounds will start immediately following the conclusion of the previous competition in that session. Thus, most of the start times are approximate. Fans should bear that schedule in mind in planning their arrival at Xcel Energy Center.
Ticket prices are $14 per adult and $9 per student for each session. Daily passes are available for $26 for adults and $17 for students. Season passes, good for the entire tournament, are available to adults for $78 and to students for $51.
Live Web Streaming
The championship semifinals and championship matches of the team and individual competition for all classes will be streamed live by Prep45.com on the Web and are available at no charge.