MSHSL Individual Wrestling State Tournament Preview

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. — The individual competition of the Wrestling State Tournament is scheduled for February 28-29 at the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Here is a look at the tournament:

The schedule:
Friday, February 28, Session 3
9 a.m. – All first rounds
Friday, February 28, Session 4
4 p.m. – All championship quarterfinals and wrestlebacks
Saturday, February 29, Session 5
9 a.m. – All consolation quarterfinals; all championship semifinals; and all consolation semifinals
Saturday, February 29, Session 6
4 p.m. – All individual third- and fifth-place matches; all individual championships; awards will follow

Webcast: School Space Media will live-stream every match and there is no charge for viewing. Find the stream at
Tickets: $16 adults, $10 students per single session. $30 adults, $18 students per daily pass. $90 adults, $54 students per season book (includes the individual tournament).
Ticket Box Offices open: 8 a.m. each day.
Results: Posted on
Social media: Follow the tournament on the League’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @MSHSL and @MSHSLJohn.

Individual Preview

Forty-two individual champions, 14 in each of the three enrollment classes, will be crowned during the two-day tournament. There are 18 returning champions this year: six in Class A, seven in Class AA, and five in Class AAA. Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City and GMLOS lead Class A with 11 and eight individual qualifiers, respectively. In Class AA, Simley qualified 11 individuals and Dassel-Cokato/Litchfield, Fairmont/Martin County West, and Foley qualified nine apiece. Stillwater Area leads the Class AAA field with 13 individual qualifiers. Shakopee, Wayzata, and St. Michael-Albertville qualified 10 individuals each.

Did you know? Entering the 2020 state tournament, Anoka has the most state entrants dating to 1938 with 344. Simley is second with 329 and Apple Valley third with 327. Apple Valley, however, has crowned the most individual champions with 96. Anoka is next with 53 and Simley has 51.

106 pounds

Class A — Walker Bents (42-4) of Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, who placed third at this weight last year, is the only returning medal-winner.

Class AA — There are no returning medalists in this weight class.

Class AAA —Lakeville North’s Jore Volk (41-1) is the only returning medal-winner. He was runner-up in 2019.

113 pounds

Class A — Five 2019 medalists return: Sibley East’s Derek Steele (44-2), runner-up; Coy Gunderson (46-4) of Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, fourth at 106; Chatfield’s Cael Bartel (34-3), fifth in this weight class; Cole Holien (33-6) of Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, fifth at 106; and Ethan Hendrickson (25-2) of United North Central, sixth at 106.

Class AA — Waseca’s Mason Gehloff (36-1), who was the champion at 106 in 2019, moves up one weight class. He is joined by four additional medalists who placed at 106 in 2019: Marshall’s Dylan Louwagie (34-5), runner-up; Big Lake’s Christian Noble (36-0), third; Ty Bisek (43-4) of New London-Spicer, sixth; and Reid Nelson (40-5) of Simley, third in Class AAA while competing for Forest Lake.

Class AAA — There are no returning medal-winners in this class.

120 pounds

Class A — Sibley East’s Drayden Morton (23-3)t, who won at 106 pounds last year, is the highest returning competitor. He is joined by two other 2019 medalists: Ayden Horner (43-2) of Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove, third at 113; and Crookston’s Zach Brown (32-9), fourth at 113.

Class AA — Totino-Grace’s Joey Thompson (43-1), won the title at 113 in 2019. Other medalists are Byron’s Maxwell Petersen (35-2), runner-up at 113; and Lake City’s Jonathan Harvey (20-4), fourth at 106.

Class AAA — Shakopee’s Paxton Creese (42-1) moves up one weight class after winning at 113 in 2019. Three other medalists return: Ryan Henningson (43-2) of Winona/Cotter, runner-up at 113; Stillwater Area’s Matt Houge (43-2), fifth at 106; and Andover’s John Babineau (35-5), sixth at 113.

126 pounds

Class A — Three medal-winners return in this class: Trevor Janssen (34-0) of Blackduck/Cass Lake-Bena, runner-up at 120; Dane Niemi (34-2) of New York Mills, fifth at 120; and Brady Holien (33-7) of Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, sixth at 113.

Class AA — Simley’s Chase DeBlaere (41-2) won the crown at 120 in 2019. Other returning medal-winners are Jaxson Rohman (45-0) of Fairmont/Martin County West, runner-up at 120; Princeton’s Landen Parent (40-1), third at 120; Ross Herber (27-5) of Lewiston-Altura/Rushford-Peterson, fourth at 120 in Class A; Austin Gabbert (33-1) of Watertown-Mayer/Mayer Lutheran, fifth at 113; and St. Paul Johnson’s Yim-Leej Yang (39-6), sixth at 113.

Class AAA — Shakopee’s Pierson Manville (48-3) was the champion at 106 in 2019 and Forest Lake’s Derrick Cardinal (43-0) won at 120. Northfield’s Chase Murphy (41-4) was fourth at 106 in 2019; Wayzata’s Kyler Wong was fifth at 113 and Anoka’s Brendan Howes was sixth at 106.

132 pounds

Class A — Medford’s Charley Elwood (19-1), a champion at 113 in 2019, is the highest returning medalist in this weight class. Blaine Fischer (37-10) of Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, was third in 2019 at 120 pounds; and Landon Gode (44-3) of Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Browerville, was fourth at 126.

Class AA — Mankato West’s Charlie Pickell (39-2) was the runner-up at this weight last season. Byron’s Michael Petersen (12-1) was the runner-up at 126; Logan Vaughan (28-7) of Kasson-Mantorville, was fourth at 113; Princeton’s Kyle Boeke (40-2) was fourth at 126; and Becker’s Jake Nelson (24-3), was fifth at 126.

Class AAA — Stillwater Area’s Reid Ballantyne (28-2) was the champion at 126 in 2019. Shakopee’s Ben Lunn (41-1) was runner-up at 120; Buffalo’s Ryan Scherber (27-4) was runner-up at 126; and Rochester Mayo’s Marshall Peters was fourth at 126.

138 pounds

Class A — Brett Willaby (39-5) of Windom/Mountain Lake, was champion last season at 126. Mason Gode (47-1) of Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Browerville, was the runner-up at 132; and Dover-Eyota’s Taylor DeFrang (25-2) was fourth at 132 pounds.

Class AA — Simley’s Cael Berg (41-4) was runner-up at this weight last season, and Hibbing’s David Platt (40-6) was sixth.

Class AAA — Northfield’s Drew Woodley (48-1) leads a crowded group of returning medalists. He was runner-up in this weight class in 2019. Stillwater Area’s Kieler Carlson (24-3) was third at 132; New Prague’s Nick Novak (44-5) was fourth at 120; St. Michael-Albertville’s Cole Becker (40-7) was fourth at 132; Wayzata’s Cael Swensen (48-1), fifth at 120; and Pedro Velazquez (42-4) of Chaska/Chanhassen, fifth at 132.

145 pounds

Class A — Canon Swanson (48-0) of Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa was runner-up at 126 pounds last season. Jackson County Central’s Payton Handevidt (44-4) was sixth at 120; and Deer River’s Trey Fairbanks (34-0), sixth at 138.

Class AA — Ryan Sokol (42-2) of Simley, who won at 132 pounds last year, returns in search of more gold. He will be joined by two additional medalists: Carson Tschudi (29-5) of Delano, fifth at 132 pounds; and Trevon Johnson (30-4) of Dawson-Boyd/Lac qui Parle/Montevideo, fifth at 138 pounds.

Class AAA — Three medal-winners return from 2019: Luke Peterson (37-2) of Farmington, fourth in this weight class; Trey Kruse (44-1) of Stillwater Area, fourth at 138 pounds; and Bryce Dagel (32-6) of Eden Prairie, sixth at 126 pounds.

152 pounds

Class A — Medford’s Willie VonRuden (19-1) was the runner-up at 145 pounds in 2019. Kimball Area’s Zack Holtz (32-0) was fourth in this weight class; Carter Sorenson (46-1) of Fosston/Bagley, sixth at 13; and Goodhue’s Baxter O’Reilly (29-3), was sixth at 145.

Class AA — Payton Anderson (38-1) of Fairmont/Martin County West is the only returning medal-winner. He finished fourth at 145 pounds in 2019.

Class AAA — Lakeville South’s Willie Bastyr (34-5) returns to defend his title. Stillwater Area’s Hunter Lyden (42-1) was third at 138 in 2019; Owatonna’s Landen Johnson (42-1), was sixth at 138; and Eagan’s Ty Gage (26-13) was sixth at 145.

160 pounds

Class A — Owen Bjerga (41-1) of Staples-Motley was runner-up at this weight in 2019.

Class AA — Simley’s Nolan Wanzek (39-7) was the runner-up at 170 in 2019. Scott West’s Jace Demmers (37-2) was third in this weight class last season; Mahtomedi’s Bryce FitzPatrick (39-1) was fourth at 138; Miles Fitzgerald (38-3) of Fairmont/Martin County West, was fourth at 152 and Foley’s Connor Thorsten (45-4) was sixth at 152.

Class AAA — St. Michael-Albertville’s Carl Leuer (41-5) was third at 170 in 2019; Apple Valley’s Dylan Anderson (36-5) was fifth at 152; and Forest Lake’s Tyler Raway (38-6) was sixth in this weight class.

170 pounds

Class A — Tyson Meyer (46-1) of Minnewaska Area is the defending champion. Maple River’s Wyatt Simon (24-3) is the only other returning medalist. He was fifth at 160 in 2019.

Class AA — Kasson-Mantorville’s Bennett Berge (39-1) was the champion at 160 in 2019. Simley’s Gavin Nelson (38-5) was third at 152, and Hunt was third at this weight class.

Class AAA — Gabe Nagel (38-0) of Little Falls was the champion at 160 in 2019. Shakopee’s Connor Raines (21-3) was fifth at 160.

182 pounds

Class A — Trevor Elsfeld (44-0) of Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove was the runner-up in this weight class in 2019. Frazee’s Brett Graham (39-5) was fourth at 170 pounds; and Mason Smid (29-1) of Blackduck/Cass Lake-Bena, was fifth in this weight class.

Class AA — Kasson-Matorville’s Patrick Kennedy (32-0) is attempting to win his fourth individual championship. He is the defending champion. Simley’s Quayin Short (41-3) was fourth in 2019.

Class AAA — St. Michael-Albertville’s Wyatt Lidberg (42-5) of St. Michael-Albertville is the only returning medal-winner, He finished third at 160 pounds last year.

195 pounds

Class A — Minnewaska Area’s Tyler VanLuik (46-0) was runner-up in this weight class in 2019; Frazee’s Luke Tweeton (43-2) was runner-up at 220; Colton Krell (29-3) of Westfield, was third at 170; and Derek Werner (33-4) of Wabasso/Red Rock Central, was fourth in this weight class.

Class AA — Perham’s Dawson Kellogg (28-3) was fourth at 220 in 2019. Fridley’s Josh Franklin (32-2) was fifth at this weight.

Class AAA — Shakopee’s Joey Johnson (47-3) was fourth at this weight last year. Stillwater Area’s Josh Piechowski (15-0) was fifth at 182; Wayzata’s Macaron Kukowski (29-3) was sixth at this weight; and Willmar’s Kaden Streed (28-8) was sixth at 182.

220 pounds

Class A — Dominik Vacura (45-1) of Badger/Greenbush-Middle River returns to defend his crown at this weight. Minnewaska Area’s Dylan Jergenson (41-4) was fourth at this weight; and Breckenridge’s Daniel Erlandson (35-4) was sixth at 195.

Class AA —Orono’s Danny Striggow (13-0) is the returning champion. Delano’s Edward Hajas (38-3) was third at this weight; Simley’s Bennett Tabor (43-0) was fourth at 195; and Becker’s Brayden Weber (34-3) was sixth at this weight.

Class AAA — Shakopee’s Tommy Johnson (36-4) was sixth at this weight in 2019.


Class A — Craig Orlando (43-0) of Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale/Parkers Prairie is the returning champion. Adrian Area’s Scot Edwards (31-3) was runner-up at this weight in 2019; Ottertail Central’s Cian Buehler was fourth and Tanner Berghuis (38-2) of Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City was fifth.

Class AA — Logan Wingert (38-2) of Plainview-Elgin-Millville was the runner-up at this weight; Dustin Portales (13-2) of Fergus Falls, was fourth; and Redwood Valley’s Kaleb Haase (37-0) was fifth at 220.

Class AAA — There are no returning medal-winners in this weight class.

2019 State Tournament Recap

Class A: Jeron Mattson, a senior from Kenyon-Wanamingo, won his third championship after defeating junior Trevor Janssen of Blackduck/Cass Lake-Bena at 120 pounds.

Class AA: Senior Daniel Kerkvliet of Simley (Heavyweight) was the only wrestler to win a coveted fourth title at the 2019 tournament. Junior Patrick Kennedy of Kasson-Mantorville (182 pounds) earned his third championship.

Class AAA: Sophomore Reid Ballantyne of Stillwater Area was the final competitor to go home with a third goal medal. He defeated sophomore Ryan Scherber of Buffalo at 126 pounds.