No. 4 Red Bulls trample to Mankato East Invite championship

Jacob Rahn

MANKATO — The Class AA No. 4-ranked Fairmont/Martin County West Red Bulls crowned seven individual champions after earning 10 spots in the finals to spearhead a first-place team showing at the Mankato East wrestling invitational on Saturday.

No. 9-ranked 106-pounder Jesse Potts, No. 5-ranked 113-pounder Lucas Jagodzinske, No. 3-rated 120-pounder Jaxson Rohman, No. 7-rated 126-pounder Connor Simmonds, No. 3-rated 145-pounder Payton Anderson, No. 9-ranked 160-pounder Nathan Simmonds and unranked 220-pounder Jacob Rahn all earned gold medals to pace the Red Bulls’ convincing 237.5-129.0 margin of victory over tournament runner-up Watertown Mayer-Mayer Lutheran.

Host Mankato East edged cross-town rival Mankato West for third-place team accolades, 124.0-122.5, while Maple River (107), Worthington (90), Litchfield (71.5), Le Sueur-Henderson (56) and Austin (21) rounded out the nine-team field, respectively.

Potts opened 106-pound action with an 8-0 major decision over Worthington’s Ethan Meyer, pinned Litchfield’s Andrew Joedeman in the semifinals in 1:01 and earned the slap of the mat over Worthington’s Oscar Galvez in the final in 1:12.

Lucas Jagodzinske ran the 113-pound gamut, opening with a 17-2 technical fall over Mankato East’s Seth Hardesty before posting a 9-1 major decision over Maple River’s Boden Simon in the semifinals.

Jagodzinske then earned top individual honors by defeating No. 6-ranked 113-pounder Austin Gabbert of Watertown Mayer-Mayer Lutheran in the finals, 7-2.

Rohman collected a first-round bye before disposing of Le Sueur-Henderson’s Jordan Grinde in the semifinals via a fall in 2:50. Rohman then assembled a 25-8 technical fall over Mankato East’s Spencer Ruedy in the 120-pound championship clash.

Connor Simmonds needed a mere 1:10 to press Austin opponent Sam Oelfke’s shoulders to the mat during quarterfinal action before putting on a textbook clinic in amassing a 17-2 technical fall over Mankato West’s Dylan Novak in the semifinals.

Simmonds then edged Class A No. 3-ranked 126-pounder Jorge Hernandez of Le Sueur-Henderson for the gold medal, 3-1.

Payton Anderson collected an opening-round bye before needing 1:59 to produce a fall over Worthington’s Jaden Hennings in the semifinals.

Anderson then shut out Mankato East’s Noah Parish in the 145-pound championship match, 5-0.

Nathan Simmonds also received a first-round bye before flattening Mankato West’s Rhett Wiebers in 160-pound semifinal action in a mere 1:30. Simmonds then outscored Austin Josh Belden in a high-scoring final, 17-12.

Rahn wrapped up the Red Bulls’ seventh and final individual championship with a first-round bye and back-to-back wins during 220-pound action.

Rahn needed a mere 22 seconds to pin Maple River’s Eston Battles in the semifinals before outdueling Worthington’s Kyle Mullaney in the finals, 10-6.

The Red Bulls’ trio of No. 6-ranked 170-pounder Mario Maldonado, No. 10-rated 182-pounder Tristan Lange and unranked 195-pounder Garrett Myren each exited Mankato East High School with silver medals for their efforts.

Maldonado delivered a fall in 55 seconds over Maple River’s Brady Walters before pinning Worthington’s Tommy Lais in 1:10 during semifinal action. Class A No. 9-ranked 170-pounder Wyatt Simon of Maple River then edged Maldonado for first place via a 5-2 decision in the finals.

Lange compiled a 2-1 mark during a round-robin four-wrestler 182-pound bracket. Lange pinned Worthington’s Cole Hennings in the first round in 4:37 and edged Class A No. 10-ranked 182-pounder Nathan Trio of Maple River in the semifinals in overtime by a 5-3 decision.

Class AA No. 9-ranked Kolin Baier of Mankato East received an injury default victory from Lange during the final round of the bracket.

Myren kicked off his day by pinning Mankato East’s Kieran Hendel in 4:54 before edging Class AA No. 10-ranked Jacob Neuberger of Worthington in overtime in the semifinals, 5-4. Mankato West’s Avery Miller then defeated Myren by a 6-0 decision in the 195-pound finals.

The Red Bulls’ Blake Jagodzinske claimed fourth place at 132 pounds. Jagodzinske opened with an 8-0 major decision over Maple River’s Cooper Ochsendorf before losing a 21-6 technical fall to Class AA No. 1-ranked 132-pounder Charlie Pickell of Mankato West.

Jagodzinske posted an 8-2 win over Watertown Mayer-Mayer Lutheran’s Hunter Stein in the wrestlebacks before getting pinned by Mankato East’s Braeden Hendel in 5:25 in the third-place match.

The Red Bulls’ heavyweight Everardo Hernandez placed fifth on the day. Hernandez opened with an 8-5 win over Worthington’s Hunter Cam before getting pinned by Litchfield’s Chase Liestman in 23 seconds in the semifinals. Hernandez then lost to Mankato West’s Matthew Pipes in a wrestleback match before avenging his loss to Cam by posting a 5-2 decision over the Worthington grappler in the fifth-place match.

Fairmont/Martin County West (16-1) competes in the Valley Conference Meet starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday in Lake Crystal.

The Red Bulls then square off against Marshall at 7 p.m. Friday night in the Big South Conference dual meet championship at Cardinal Gym in Fairmont.

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