by Scott DCamp
Three Thief River Falls wrestlers have punched their tickets to St. Paul following the 2016 Section 8AA individual tournament in Fergus Falls Friday and Saturday.
Representing Thief River Falls at the 2016 state tournament are Cade Lundeen, section champion at 113 pounds; Josh Bernier, runner-up at 145; and Brenan Peralta, runner-up at 170.
Lundeen proved that he was the class of his weigh t class with three falls in three matches. He pinned Leighton Rach of Perham in 5:14 to claim his second career section championship.
“A very dominant tournament and season for him,” said Thief River Falls coach Kenny Geiser. “He has 26 falls on the year which is the fourth most in Prowler history. He has been fun to watch this year with his dominant cradle series.”
Joining Lundeen in the section finals was Bernier, who advanced to the title match with dominating wins over Alex Erlandson of Ottertail Central and Travis Ostby of MAHACA. Bernier fell to Nate Adkins 7-3 in the championship match but his trip to state was secured when Ostby was victorious in the third place match.
“Josh came out of one of the toughest brackets in the tournament,” Geiser said. “He wrestled a great semifinals match against Ostby and really displayed his offense from his feet. He has 116 takedowns on the season, which leads the team.”
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the tournament was Peralta qualifying for state after entering the tournament as a six-seed. Making it more improbable was that he had to win four wrestle-back matches to do it.
After a quarterfinal loss to Evan Guck of Perham, Peralta reeled off wins over Steven Koehl of MAHACA, Justin Newman of Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus, and Guck to reach the true-second match. In the true-second match, Peralta topped second-seeded Hunter Schoenborn 14-7.
“Brenan lost on day one in a match we thought he could win,” Geiser said. “He had an opportunity to come all the way back and did. He looked better in every match and showed the talent he has.”
Three other Prowlers, Jake Davis, Hunter Roller and Connor Swanson, fell one victory short of the state tournament with third place finishes. Davis and Roller lost true second matches.
“Jake had a great season and it was sad to see it end the way it did,” Geiser said. He worked very hard all year and should be proud of the season he had.
“Connor had a great finish to his season. He ended up only a takedown away from the state tournament. He really turned a corner strength wise and could be a real force next year if he keeps lifting and working hard.
“Hunter showed a lot of determination fighting back for a true second match. He had a great first season for the Prowlers and I am really
looking forward to next year to see what he can do.”
Also earning top-six finishes for the Prowlers were Cole Johnson, sixth at 120; Cody Sele, sixth at 126; and A.J. Riddle, fourth at 285.
106 – Jake Davis (33-10, fourth) def. Blake Weber (Detroit Lakes) 10-2; lost to Ben Naddy (Ottertail Central) fall 1:10; def. Joe Hudson (Bemidji) 6-1; lost to Addi Harrington (Pequot Lakes-Pine River-Backus) fall 0:40.
113 – Cade Lundeen (38-4, first) def. Clay Olsen (Bemidji) fall 1:29; def. Nate Loxtercamp (Sauk Centre-Melrose) fall 2:53; def. Leighton Rach (Perham) fall 5:14.
120 – Cole Johnson (19-20, sixth) lost to Jon Solum (Bemidji) fall 3:22; def. Gideon Joos (MAHACA) 8-3; lost to Ben Nelson (Perham) fall 1:35; lost to Peter Koering (Pequot Lakes-Pine River-Backus) 9-3.
126 – Cody Sele (17-25, sixth) def. Colton Wohlers (MAHACA) fall 1:11; lost to Payton Jackson (Detroit Lakes) 6-0; def. Nik Gardin (Ottertail Central) fall 3:31; def. Karter Wensmann (Sauk Centre-Melrose) 6-5; lost to Seth Langbehn (Fergus Falls) 7-2; lost to Dane Schoenborn (Fosston-Bagley) fall 2:57.
138 – Teagan Kruckeberg (5-21) lost to Gage Paurus (Perham) fall 2:27; lost to Tommy Snobl (Fosston-Bagley) fall 4:22.
145 – Josh Bernier (38-4, second) def. Alex Erlandson (Ottertail Central) fall 4:43; def. Travis Ostby (MAHACA) 16-10; lost to Nate Adkins (Pequot Lakes-Pine River-Backus) 7-3.
152 – Kyle Fowler (24-19) def. Baily Johnson (United Clay Becker) fall 4:28; lost to Ty Moser (Perham) 16-1; def. Luke Sechser (Pequot Lakes-Pine River-Backus) fall 2:12; lost to Chase Metzger (MAHACA) 16-2.
170 – Brenan Peralta (27-11, second) def. Noah Lezer (Sauk Centre-Melrose) fall 2:43; lost to Evan Guck (Perham) fall 3:33; def. Steven Koehl (MAHACA) fall 2:10; def. Justin Neumann (Pequot Lakes-Pine River-Backus) 10-4; def. Evan Guck (Perham) fall 5:20; def. Hunter Schoenborn (Bemidji) 14-7.
182 – Hunter Roller (25-19, third) def. Toby Sayles (MAHACA) 15-4); lost to Gannon Strain (Bemidji) fall 5:36; def. Bryce Stalboerger (Sauk Centre-Melrose) 13-3; def. Toby Sayles (MAHACA) fall 3:21; lost to Dylan Perrine (Perham) 16-0.
195 – Connor Swanson (24-14, third) def. Jacob Hanson (Detroit Lakes)fall 4:23; lost to Jesse Klatt (Perham) 5-3; def. Joe Onstad (Ottertail Central) 4-0; def. Roberto Raya (Sauk Centre-Melrose) fall 3:55.
220 – Ethan Halvorson (16-20) lost to Issac Flores (East Grand Forks/Sacred Heart) fall 5:38; lost to Eric Tysdal (Fergus Falls) fall 0:55.
285 – AJ Riddle (11-10, fourth) def. Ben Cole (Ottertail Central) fall 1:32; lost to James Huwe (Detroit Lakes) fall 1:14; def. Sam Sjogren (Sauk Centre-Melrose) fall 3:50; lost to Brody Wilander (Bemidji) fall 0:32.