Pipestone Area on the rise

ST. PAUL — A heart-wrenching, 1-0 loss in the previous year’s state title bout would be enough to motivate any wrestler.

Pipestone Area’s Michael Suda had that and more entering this season’s Class A State Wrestling Tournament.

“It hurt a lot ending my final match like I did last year,” the 120-pound sophomore said. “That motivated me a lot. But to do it this year with my best friend, it’s amazing. We accomplished a goal we’ve had since third grade — being back-to-back state champions. Hopefully there will be a couple more.” Continue reading at www.dglobe.com

Hieronimus, Moore back on top

ST. PAUL —Keegan Moore and Skylar Hieronimus don’t appear to have a lot in common.

Moore is Jackson County Central’s 182-pound wrecking ball on the wrestling mat. Broad-shouldered and muscular, he rarely walks off the mat without a pin, often playing to the crowd in his own energetic way before departing.

Hieronimus — a 126-pounder from Adrian — is more calculated in his approach. Long and lean, he takes his time and racks up points with an occasional victory by fall. Win or rare loss, he is even-mannered and stoic before, during and after each match. Continue reading at www.dglobe.com

East’s Swanson, West’s Pickell win wrestling state titles

ST. PAUL — Mankato East heavyweight Logan Swanson went into his Class AA championship match as the underdog on Saturday, using that to his advantage.

When it was over, Swanson had defeated top-ranked James Huwe of Detroit Lakes, who had lost just once, 4-3 in triple overtime. It was the first state championship for the senior Swanson.

“I think I was underestimated going in,” Swanson said. “He had the better record, and I had two losses to 220-pounders. But those two 220-pounders were both in the state finals so it’s not like they weren’t any good.” Continue reading at www.mankatofreepress.com

Seeded brackets deliver marquee finals matches

The state wrestling individual finals had a higher intrigue than usual on Saturday night at the Xcel Energy Center.

This was the first year the brackets were seeded, with each weight’s top four seeds separated until the semifinals.

“You watch that semifinal round and it was awesome wrestling,” Farmington co-coach Chad Olson said. “You’d expect the finals to be the same thing.”Continue reading at www.twincities.com

Lange wins state championship for Frazee, heartbreak for Huwe and Grove

Frazee’s Jonah Lange watched his teammates Tanner Reetz and Grant Jepson fall in their Minnesota Class 1A state championship matches Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center. The Hornets lost by two points in the team state championship on Thursday.

He wasn’t about to let Frazee go home without a state championship.

“Made me realize I got a job to do,” Lange said. “Had to send Frazee home with a state champ.” Continue reading at www.dl-online.com

Apple Valley’s Mark Hall becomes state’s first six-time wrestling champion

Apple Valley senior Mark Hall stood center mat, his arm raised in victory by the referee as the Xcel Energy Center crowd gave him a standing ovation Saturday night.

He had just become the first wrestler to win six individual championships, beating Hastings’ Austin Eichmann with a second-period technical fall for the Class 3A 170-pound title. His 12 championships overall (including six team titles with Apple Valley) are also a state record, as is his career winning percentage of 98.57 (277-4). In six years, he never lost a match at the Xcel Center. Continue reading at www.startribune.com

Brothers from St. Michael-Albertville finish as 3A champions

There was a lot more to the hug that Mitchell McKee gave younger brother Patrick than just congratulations following Patrick’s 9-4 victory over Mound Westonka’s Aaron Cashman in the Class 3A 106-pound final of the state wrestling championships Saturday at Xcel Energy Center.

“I don’t know when the last time he’s hugged me like that,” said Patrick, a St. Michael-Albertville sophomore. “Probably two years ago, when we were going through everything with my dad. I think he was more happy for me than I was when he won his first championship.”

It was Steve McKee who left the hospital, where he was being treated for cancer, to watch son Mitchell, then a sophomore, win his first state championship in 2014. Steve passed away later that year, but the parallels, with Patrick getting his first title at the same age, are too big to deny. Continue reading at www.mnwrestlinghub.com

Broken leg ends 2A wrestler’s title dreams

Kasson-Mantorville’s Brady Berge was supposed to be on the mat wrestling for his fourth state title Saturday.

Instead, he was in the Xcel Energy Center stands, his lower left leg in a cast, watching stoically as his cousin Aaron fought for his own championship.

In the Class 2A 160-pound semifinal against Luverne’s Solomon Nielsen, Brady got his lower leg trapped under Nielsen’s weight. As Nielsen moved backward, the leg snapped.

Despite Brady controlling the match through two periods, officials were forced to call the match due to injury. Continue reading at www.mnwrestlinghub.com