All three team champions return to defend titles;
18 individual champions return seeking more gold
All three 2007 team champions return to defend their titles: the
Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City Falcons in Class A; the St.
Michael-Albertville Knights in Class AA; and the Apple Valley Eagles in
Class AAA. St. Michael-Albertville is looking for its fifth consecutive
title, while Apple Valley is hoping for its third. If
Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City wins, it would be the second.
In the individual competition, 18 champions return for more gold medals
-- seven in Class AAA, four in Class AA, and seven in Class A.
Three teams are their making their first appearances at the tournament:
Madelia/Truman/Martin Luther and Kenyon-Wanamingo in Class A, and
Tartan of Oakdale in Class AAA. At the opposite end of the spectrum,
Canby and Apple Valley are making their 27th overall appearances at the
tournament, and Apple Valley is making its 26th consecutive trip.
The 2008 State Wrestling Tournament opens Wednesday, February 27, and
runs through Saturday, March 1, at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Class A Team Highlights
Five teams that competed in the 2007 tournament, including the
defending champions from Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City (Section 5), return
to this year's field. The other returning qualifiers are: Aitkin
(Section 7); Canby (Section 3); Jackson County Central (Section 2); and
Frazee (Section 8).
The Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City Falcons return to make their fifth
consecutive and sixth overall appearance. The Falcons will face the
Frazee Hornets, who they defeated in last year’s championship 33-21, in
this year’s quarterfinals.
Frazee is making its third consecutive and 16th overall appearance. The
Hornets, who were the runners-up for the past two years, are in the
hunt for their fourth title. They won previously in 1992, 1999, and
The Jackson County Central Huskies, which earned the Class AA
consolation title as a co-op with Southwest Star Concept of Okabena
last year, returns, this year without a co-op partner for the first
time ever. They made four appearances as Jackson County
Central/Southwest Star Concept and won titles in 1999 and 2000. Between
1993 and 1997, Jackson made three additional appearances in a co-op
with Heron Lake-Okabena-Lakefield.
The Canby Lancers have the most tournament experience in the Class A
field. They’re making their fourth consecutive and 27th overall
appearance. They earned consolation honors last year and are in the
hunt for their ninth title. They won previously in 1976, 1977, 1979,
1986, 1988, 1994, 1995, and 2006.
Aitkin is the final team returning from the 2007 field. The Gobblers,
who placed fourth last year, are making their second consecutive and
fourth overall appearance.
The Eagles of New York Mills (Section 6) are returning after a one-year
hiatus to make their fourth appearance. Both Madelia/Truman/Martin
Luther (Section 4) and Kenyon-Wanamingo (Section 1) are making their
debut appearances at this year’s tournament.
The 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. Thursday Class A quarterfinal pairings and final
rankings by The Guillotine: No. 10 New York Mills (17-5) vs. No. 11
Aitkin (20-3); No. 8 Madelia/Truman/Martin Luther (24-2) vs. No. 2
Canby (27-2); No. 1 Jackson County Central (23-6) vs. No. 5
Kenyon-Wanamingo (25-2); No. 3 Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City (24-4) vs. No.
7 Frazee (13-5).
Class AA Team Highlights
The Knights of St. Michael-Albertville (Section 5) return as the
four-time defending champions. This is the 10th consecutive and 18th
overall appearance for the Knights. In addition to titles in 2004
through 2007, St. Michael-Albertville also won championships in 1996
and 1997. Perham (Section 8) is the only other team returning from the
2007 field. The Yellowjackets, who lost to St. Michael-Albertville
28-25 in last year’s championship, will have their chance for revenge
when they tangle with the Knights in this year’s quarterfinals. Perham
is making its second consecutive and fourth overall appearance.
The Wolves of Milaca/Faith Christian (Section 7) and the Panthers of
Scott West (Section 2) both return after a one-year absence.
Milaca/Faith Christian is making its eighth appearance overall and
Scott West is making its ninth. Scott West is comprised of students
from Belle Plaine, Jordan, and Holy Family Academy of Belle Plaine.
Foley (Section 6) and Simley of Inver Grove Heights (Section 4) have
the most tournament appearances in the Class AA field. The Foley
Falcons are making their 15th appearance, but their first since 1998.
They won previous titles in 1989, 1993, and 1994. The Spartans of
Simley return after a two-year absence to make their 14th appearance.
They are in the hunt for their fifth championship, having won
previously in 1987, 1988, 1989, and 1992.
Plainview-Elgin-Millville (Section 1) also returns after a one-year
absence to make its fifth appearance under this name. Plainview also
made one additional appearance in 1985.
The Cobras of Windom/Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin (Section 3) are the
final team in the Class AA field. They are making their third
appearance as a co-op, but first since 2003.
The 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. Thursday Class A quarterfinal pairings and final
rankings by The Guillotine: No. 3 Foley (33-2) vs. No. 8 Milaca/Faith
Christian (33-5); No. 2 Simley (28-2) vs. No. 9 Windom/Mt.
Lake/Butterfield-Odin (22-5); No. 5 Scott West (27-4) vs. No. 10
Plainview-Elgin-Millville (29-7); No. 4 St. Michael-Albertville (18-6)
vs. No. 1 Perham (28-0).
Class AAA Team Highlights
Apple Valley (Section 3) returns as the two-time defending champion.
The Eagles are making their 26th consecutive and 27th overall
tournament appearance. In addition to the past two years, they won
previous team championships in 1983, 1985, 1986, 1991, 1994, 1995,
1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004.
Two other teams return from the 2007 qualifying field. The Tigers of
Albert Lea Area (Section 1) are looking to improve on last year’s
sixth-place finish. This is their third consecutive and ninth overall
appearance. The Tigers won previous championships in 1977 and 1981. The
Trojans of Wayzata (Section 6), who earned the consolation title last
year, also return. They are making their second consecutive and fourth
Prior Lake (Section 2) and Centennial of Circle Pines (Section 5) are
both returning after a one-year hiatus. The Lakers of Prior Lake are
making their second appearance, while the Cougars of Centennial are
making their seventh.
Buffalo (Section 8) and Coon Rapids (Section 7) are the final Class AAA
teams with previous tournament experience. The Buffalo Bison are making
their eighth appearance, but their first since 1995. The Coon Rapids
Cardinals are also returning after an extended absence. This is only
their second appearance and first since 1986.
Tartan of Oakdale (Section 4) is the final qualifying school. The Titans are making their debut tournament appearance.
The 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. Thursday Class A quarterfinal pairings and final
rankings by The Guillotine: unranked Wayzata (18-12) vs. No. 3 Coon
Rapids (23-2); unranked Tartan (17-11) vs. No. 1 Apple Valley (34-1);
No. 5 Prior Lake (24-3) vs. No. 4 Albert Lea Area (25-7); No. 9
Centennial (29-8) vs. No. 12 Buffalo (19-12).
Class A Individual Highlights
103 pounds -- Chase Levos (35-4) of St. Clair, fifth at 103 pounds last
year, is the only returning qualifier. No competitors enter with a
112 pounds -- Four returning medalists seek the title in this weight
class. Leading the field are defending champion Matt Benson (32-1) of
Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley/Chokio-Alberta, and Clint Poster (36-4) of
Pierz, last year’s winner at 103 pounds. Grant Hegge (31-3) of
Southland of Adams was third at 103 pounds and Ben Meyer (37-1) of
Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City placed fifth at 112 pounds. No one had a
perfect record in this class.
119 pounds -- Tony Vaske (40-0) of the River Valley Wildcats,
Springfield, enters with the only perfect record in this class. Vaske
finished fourth at 103 pounds last year. Ethan Kern (38-3) of
Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale placed third at 112 pounds.
125 pounds -- Six medalists compete for the title at 125 pounds. Luke
Amsden (34-2) of the River Valley Wildcats looks to improve on his
third-place finish at this weight last year. The remaining five all
move up from lower weight classes: Jason Sunderman (28-5) of
LeSueur-Henderson was runner-up at 112 pounds in the Class AA
tournament; Mike Lucero (25-6) of Frazee finished fourth at 112 pounds;
Jordan Christian (34-3) of Paynesville Area was fifth at 119 pounds;
Ryan Swenson (37-2) of Dawson-Boyd placed sixth at 119 pounds; and
Caleb Diercks (35-5) of Goodhue finished sixth at 112 pounds. No
competitors enter the tournament with perfect records in this class.
130 pounds -- Cole Von Ohlen (40-1) of Jackson County Central, last
year’s champion at 119 pounds in the Class AA tournament, leads the
field in this class. One other qualifier returns: Micah Olson (33-4) of
Trinity School at River Ridge of Bloomington, who placed sixth at 125
pounds. Jon Hegge (23-0) of Southland of Adams is the lone competitor
with an undefeated record.
135 pounds -- Two past runners-up from lower weight classes return to
wrestle at 135 pounds. Casey Field (34-2) of Yellow Medicine East of
Granite Falls competed at 125 pounds, and Jesse Westphal (38-1) of
Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton competed at 130 pounds. Nathan Lexvold
(38-0) of Kenyon-Wanamingo enters the competition with the only perfect
140 pounds -- Two returning medalists from the 140-pound class compete
for the title. Jake Bonsack (33-3) of United South Central of Wells
placed third last year, while Alex Kontz (40-2) of Canby finished
fourth. Trevor Krueger (37-4) of Barnesville is the other returning
medal-winner, having finished fourth at 130 pounds last year. There are
no perfect records in this class.
145 pounds -- Cameron Jurgenson (40-0) of Dawson-Boyd, who finished
third at 130 pounds last year, leads the field. Three other
medal-winners also return: Torey Stewart (38-3) of Jackson County
Central, runner-up at 135 pounds in Class AA; Tanner Pierce (13-1) of
Badger/Greenbush-Middle River, third at 152 pounds; and Tucker Freeman
(35-3) of Madelia/Truman/Martin Luther, sixth at 130 pounds. Jurgenson
is the only undefeated competitor.
152 pounds -- Kevin Steinhaus (43-0) of Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, who
won the title at 145 pounds last year, is the highest returning
qualifier. Andrew Lockrem (37-4) of Frazee, runner-up at 145 pounds,
also moves up. Gaven Schlaak (31-9) of New Richland-H-E-G looks to
improve on last year’s runner-up finish at 152 pounds. Chad Curry
(35-2) of Chatfield, sixth-place medalist at 140 pounds, returns as
well. Steinhaus boasts the only flawless record.
160 pounds -- Two competitors return from other weight classes. Matthew
Pfarr (36-2) of LeSueur-Henderson placed fifth at 145 pounds in the
Class AA tournament, and Mitchell Hagen claimed a sixth-place finish at
152 pounds. No competitors enter with a perfect record.
171 pounds —Travis Rutt (41-1) of Jackson County Central, champion at
160 pounds in the Class AA tournament, seeks a title in a new weight
class. Matt Christensen (39-0) of Aitkin placed sixth at this weight
class last year. Christensen and Eric Croatt (38-0) of Ortonville enter
the competition undefeated.
189 pounds -- Five qualifiers return in search of a title. Aaron
Norgren (36-0) of Maple River of Mapleton was the runner-up at 160
pounds last year. Eric Ryan (39-1) of Goodhue placed third at 171
pounds in this class, while Caleb Lines (40-3) of Jackson County
Central finished third at 171 pounds in Class AA. Two competitors
return at 189 pounds: Nic Leither (38-1) of Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City
and Tayler Yliniemi (25-3) of Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, who finished
third and sixth, respectively. Norgren is the only wrestler with a
215 pounds -- Parker Brand (40-0) of Lewiston-Altura/Rushford-Peterson,
who placed third at 189 pounds in the Class AA tournament, leads the
field. Three other medalists at 215 pounds return to improve on last
year. Nate Haynes (33-6) of Madelia/Truman/Martin Luther placed third,
Josh Seley (27-8) of Lake-Park-Audubon finished fourth, and Matt
Meuleners (37-0) of Norwood-Young America was fifth. Brand and
Meuleners are the only competitors with unblemished records.
Heavyweight -- Defending champion Nick Mackenthun (28-1) of
Norwood-Young America and Nick Fischer (35-2) of
Waterville-Elysian-Morristown, winner at 215 pounds, both seek another
title. Two other heavyweight medalists return in Cody Kinney (42-1) of
Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, and Chris Steffenson (31-5) of Isle/Onamia;
they placed fifth and sixth, respectively. No wrestlers enter with a
Badger/Greenbush-Middle River leads the Class A field with eight
qualifiers. Three teams -- Jackson County Central, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove
City and Aitkin -- each have qualified seven wrestlers. Seven teams are
tied for third highest with six qualified wrestlers each.
Class AA Individual Highlights
103 pounds -- Garret Garness (37-5) of Kasson-Mantorville returns to
defend his title. Matt Nelson (31-2) of Big Lake, who placed third,
last year, also returns. There were no perfect records in this weight
112 pounds -- Justin Nelson (36-2) of Big Lake, who was the runner-up
in this weight class last year, is the highest returning qualifier. Two
other medalists from the 103-pound weight class also return: Alex Peck
(34-5) of Benilde-St. Margaret’s of St. Louis Park, runner-up; and Zach
Campbell (37-3) of Tracy-Milroy-Balaton, fifth. No one had a perfect
record in this class.
119 pounds -- Chad Henle (34-1) of New London-Spicer, who placed fourth
at 112 pounds last year, is one of three medalists to return. Brandon
Seppelt (35-6) of Foley was sixth at 112 pounds, and Pat LaVasseur
(20-1) of the Hutchinson Tigers was sixth at 125 pounds. Luke Schlee
(25-0) of Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Kingsland boasts the only
125 pounds -- David Thorn (39-2) of St. Michael-Albertville, who was
the champion in the 112-pound weight class last year, returns in search
of another title. Four other medal-winners also return: Ryan Timmerman
(37-1) of St. Peter, runner-up at 119 pounds; Sam Warne (34-8) of
Perham, fifth at 112 pounds; Justin Reinsma (38-4) of Fulda/Murray
County Central, fifth at 119 pounds; and Greg Naschansky (27-6) of
Plainview-Elgin-Millville, sixth at 103 pounds. Kurt Ehrhorn (17-0) of
Grand Rapids is the only undefeated competitor.
130 pounds -- Three medal-winners return: Jacob Bowland (41-1) of
Foley, fourth at 125 pounds; Sam Fischenich (36-4) of Windom/Mountain
Lake/Butterfield-Odin, fifth at 125 pounds; and Steve Keogh (37-5) of
Thief River Falls/Goodridge, sixth at 119 pounds. No one had a perfect
record in this weight class.
135 pounds -- Joe Selly (39-2) of Montgomery-Lonsdale/Le Center, who
won the title at 130 pounds last year, returns in search of another
first-place medal. Mark Erickson (41-0) of Roseau also returns. He was
the runner-up at 125 pounds last year and boasts this year’s only
140 pounds -- Tony Valek (29-0) of Scott West is the highest returning
qualifier. He was the champion at 135 pounds last year and has this
year’s only perfect record. Four additional 2007 medalists also return:
Eric Yngsdal (40-2) of Byron, third at 135 pounds; A.J. Stevens (35-6)
of Windom/Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin, fifth at 135 pounds; Jake
Anderson (32-1) of Annandale/Maple Lake, sixth in this weight class;
and Mike Land (25-2) of Cloquet, sixth at 130 pounds.
145 pounds -- Tee Baker (30-4) of Big Lake is the only returning
competitor. He placed fifth at 140 pounds in 2007. Kevin O’Brien (37-0)
of Becker has the only perfect record in this class.
152 pounds -- Blaine Coyle (17-3) of Fillmore
Central/Lanesboro/Mabel-Canton is the only returning qualifier. He was
sixth at 145 pounds last year. No one had a perfect record in this
160 pounds -- Eric Reinert (37-3) of Watertown-Mayer looks to improve
on his third-place finish in this class in 2007. Jake Wetzel (38-2) of
Montgomery-Lonsdale/Le Center, who placed fourth at 152 pounds, also
returns. There were no perfect records in this class.
171 pounds -- Mac Stoll (38-5) of Perham is the only returning
medal-winner. He was sixth at 160 pounds last year. No one had a
perfect record in this class.
189 pounds -- Drew Ross (35-0) of Fergus Falls is hoping to improve on
last year’s runner-up showing in this class. Kody Kramer (31-5) of
Fulda/Murray County Central, who was fourth at 171 pounds last year,
also returns. Ross has this year’s only unblemished record.
215 pounds -- Two medal-winners return: Kyle Schumm (36-6) of St.
Michael-Albertville, runner-up; and Matt Groff (33-0) of Mahtomedi,
fourth. Both competed in this weight class last year. Groff has the
only perfect record.
Heavyweight -- Three medalists who competed in this weight class last
year return: Carter Ash (42-0) of Milaca/Faith Christian, fourth; Cody
Socher (37-4) of Delano, fifth; and Zach Loppnow (33-1) of Lake City,
sixth. Ash has this year’s only perfect record.
Simley leads the field with 13 qualified wrestlers, followed by Perham with 10 and Totino-Grace of Fridley with eight.
Class AAA Individual Highlights
103 pounds -- Eric Devos (42-0) of Apple Valley returns to defend his title with the only perfect record.
112 pounds -- Cody Hansen (39-0) of Albert Lea Area, who took runner-up
honors at 103 pounds last year, is the highest returning qualifier. He
also boasts the only unblemished record. Two other medalists from the
103-pound weight class also return: Tanner Carlisle (37-5) of Prior
Lake, fifth, and Zach Rohr (32-10) of Hastings, sixth.
119 pounds -- Destin McCauley (41-0) of Apple Valley returns in search
of more gold. He won the title at 112 pounds last year. Three other
medal-winners also return: Dylan Ness (36-1) of Bloomington
Jefferson/Kennedy, third at 103 pounds; Charlie Kirscht (32-3) of
Alexandria, fourth at 103 pounds; and Trent Herold (36-3) of St.
Francis, fifth at 112 pounds. McCauley boasts the only unblemished
125 pounds -- Four medal-winners return, including the runner-up at 119
pounds, Tom Kelliher (39-3) of Apple Valley. The other returning
medalists are: Danny Zilverberg (41-1) of Wayzata, fourth at 112
pounds; Robby Fisher (33-5) of Bloomington Jefferson/Kennedy, fourth at
119 pounds; and Mason Young (33-8) of Henry Sibley of Mendota Heights,
sixth at 119 pounds. There were no perfect records in this weight
130 pounds -- Four medalists return: Justin LaValle (39-4) of Apple
Valley, third at 112 pounds; Luke Vaith (35-3) of Hastings, third at
119 pounds; Nick Lingwall (35-2) of Brainerd/Pillager, fourth at 135
pounds; and Hector Millan (37-4) of Owatonna, fifth in this weight
class. No one has a perfect record.
135 pounds -- Matt Mincey (41-1) of Apple Valley, who was the champion
at 125 pounds last year, leads this group of qualifiers. Three other
medal-winners also return: Trey Bertram (36-6) of Hastings, third at
125 pounds; Logan Kortan (37-4) of Albert Lea Area, fourth at 125
pounds; and Mike Minske (24-12) of Rochester Mayo, fifth at 119 pounds.
John Amundson (35-0) of Alexandria has the only perfect record.
140 pounds -- Two champions return in search of more gold: Derek
Schreiner (37-0) of Wayzata won at 119 pounds last year, and Josh
Wiseman (40-1) of Champlin Park won at 130 pounds. Schreiner has the
only perfect record. Jarret Hoeppner (36-6) of Apple Valley also
returns. He placed sixth at 130 pounds in 2007.
145 pounds -- Jake Begin (32-4) of Anoka, who was the runner-up at 130
pounds last year, is the highest returning qualifier. Carter Adams
(37-4) of Coon Rapids and Tyler Spiczka (38-3) of Sauk Rapids-Rice also
return. Adams was third at 135 pounds last year, and Spiczka was sixth
in this weight class. No one had a perfect record.
152 pounds -- Jake Deitchler (34-0) of Anoka, who was the
champion at 145 pounds last year, is the highest returning qualifier.
Brendan Eichmann (35-8) of Hastings is the other returning
medal-winner; he was fourth in this weight class. Deitchler enters with
the only perfect record.
160 pounds – Two medalists from other weight classes compete at 160
pounds this year. Shamus O’Grady (38-3) of Coon Rapids was runner-up at
152 pounds. Adam Petersen (33-1) of Hastings finished fourth at 145
pounds. There are no undefeated competitors in this class.
171 pounds -- Brandon Bahr (35-4) of Bemidji is the only returning
qualifier. He finished fourth at 160 pounds in 2007. No one has a
189 pounds -- Billy Morgan (36-0) of Rosemount looks to better his
runner-up showing in this class last year. Tyler Kennedy (25-3) of Park
of Cottage Grove, who placed sixth at 171 pounds, is the other
returning qualifier. Morgan enters with the only perfect record.
215 pounds -- Jake Kahnke (42-0) of Prior Lake, the 2007 champion at
189 pounds, leads the field. Two medalists from this weight class
return to improve on last year’s performance: Tony Nelson (38-1) of
Cambridge-Isanti and Brian Leonhardt (37-3) of Spring Lake Park, who
placed third and fifth, respectively. Kahnke and Andrew Hanske (37-0)
of Minnetonka boast the only undefeated records.
Heavyweight -- Defending champion Sam Maresh (42-0) of Champlin Park is
the only returning medalist in this weight class and the only
competitor with a perfect record.
Apple Valley and Prior Lake each have qualified 10 wrestlers. Four
teams -- Albert Lea Area, Alexandria, Hastings, and Bloomington
Jefferson -- each have qualified eight wrestlers. Coon Rapids has seven
The Schedule and Ticket Information
This year’s schedule starts with the Class A individual preliminaries
at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, February 27. They will be followed by the Class
AA individual preliminaries at 6 p.m., and the Class AAA individual
preliminaries at 8 p.m.
Thursday morning, the Class A individual championship quarterfinals
will begin at 9 a.m. The Class AA and Class AAA individual championship
quarterfinals will follow at 10 and 11 a.m. At noon, the Class A
individual wrestlebacks will begin. They will be followed by the Class
AA and Class AAA wrestlebacks at 1 and 2 p.m.
The evening session on Thursday will include the team quarterfinals for all classes. That session starts at 5 p.m.
On Friday, February 29, the Class A individual semifinals and
consolation quarterfinals will begin at 9 a.m. Class AA individual
semifinals and consolation quarterfinals are scheduled for 10 a.m., and
the Class AAA individual semifinals and consolation quarterfinals will
start at 11 a.m.
Later on Friday afternoon, the Class A individual consolation
semifinals start at noon. The Class AA and Class AAA individual
consolation semifinals will follow at 1 and 2 p.m.
At 5 p.m., the team consolation semifinals will begin for all three
classes. The team championship semifinals will conclude Friday’s
sessions. They begin at 7 p.m.
On Saturday, there will be four rounds of competition. Round One starts
at 10 a.m. and will consist of all team consolation and third-place
matches in all classes. Round Two will start approximately at noon and
will entail all individual fifth-place semifinals and third-place
matches in all classes. Round Three begins approximately at 3:30 p.m.
and will encompass all individual championship matches in all classes.
Round Four will follow the conclusion of the Round Three awards
(approximately 7 p.m.) and will consist of all team championship
matches in all classes. Award ceremonies will be held at the end of
Other than the first matches of each session, all subsequent rounds
will start immediately following the conclusion of the previous
competition in the 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 $10 per adult and $7 per student for each session.
Daily passes are available for $18 for adults and $13 for students.
Season passes, good for the entire tournament, are available to adults
for $54 and to students for $39.