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Area 6 wrestlers earn BSC gold

GRAPPLING — Martin County Red Bulls wrestler Lucas Jagodzinske picks up the leg of Marshall opponent Hsa Khee Lar during the Big South Conference 120-pound championship match in Worthington. Jagodzinske claimed a 9-3 decision for the championship. (Photo by Greg Abel)

WORTHINGTON — Five Martin County Red Bulls and a Blue Earth Area Buc stood atop the Big South Conference individual tournament podium Saturday in Worthington.

Martin County head coach Adam Williamson said he was pleased with the Red Bulls’ performance all around.

“I thought all around our guys wrestled really strong,” Williamson said. “We had a fun day of really exciting wrestling in some really tough weight classes. Getting eight in the finals is great and five champions and three runner up, I thought the guy gave great effort.”

Class AA No. 3-ranked 120-pounder Lucas Jagodzinske was the first member of the No. 2-ranked Red Bulls to claim gold when he took a 9-3 decision over No. 6-ranked Marshall’s Hsa Khee Lar in the 120-pound championship.

Jagodzinske forced a reversal as the first period ended, giving him a 4-3 lead over Lar, then forced two take downs and an escape in the second and third periods to build his 9-3 decision.

Jagodzinske pinned Worthington’s Oliver Ortiz Perez in 3:15 during first-round action, pinned Luverne’s Noah Mehlhaff in 1:24 to reach the semifinals, then pinned Blue Earth Area’s Ty Peterson in 3:19 to make it to the 120-pound championship.

The Red Bulls’ Class AA No. 2-ranked 126-pounder Jaxson Rohman was next on the championship mat when he faced Class A No. 5-ranked BEA’s No. 7-ranked 126-pounder Davis Sunken.

Rohman took down Sunken twice, forced a reversal from the down starting position in the second period, and forced a three-point near fall to build a 9-1 major decision.

Rohman shoved New Ulm Area’s Marqavion Haefner’s shoulders to the mat in 29 seconds during second-round action after both received a first-round bye, then pinned Waseca’s Oliver O’Brien in 2:12 to reach the 126-pound championship.

Sunken earned a slap of the mat in 2:00 against St. James Area’s Wyatt Wescott in second-round action after a bye, then earned a 10-4 decision over Marshall’s Class AA No. 8-ranked Hsa Law Eh during semifinal action.

Martin County’s No. 2-ranked 138-pounder Connor Simmonds was the next Red Bull to claim gold when he beat Windom/Mountain Lake’s Class A No. 3-ranked Brett Willaby.

Simmonds built an 8-4 lead late in the third period before forcing a reversal and flipping Willaby to his back. Simmonds pinned Willaby in 5:26 to take the top spot on the 138-pound podium.

Simmonds pinned Blue Earth Area’s Caleb Beeler in 3:18 during second-round action after both had a bye, then earned a 15-0 technical fall against Worthington’s Damon Schutz to reach the finals.

Payton Anderson continued the run of Red Bulls on top of the podium when the Class AA No. 2-rated 152-pounder earned a 5-2 decision over St. Peter’s Wareke Gillette for the 152-pound gold medal.

Anderson forced two takedowns in the first period, then escaped from the down position in the third period to build his advantage.

The Red Bull pinned Marshall’s Tucker Fien in 1:41 during second-round action after a bye, then pinned BEA’s Class A No. 3-ranked Koby Nagel in 3:01 to reach championship action.

BEA’s No. 7-ranked 160-pounder Max Ehrich was the next area wrestler to claim gold when he beat Marshall’s Class AA No. 8-ranked Grant Louwagie by an 8-6 decision.

Louwagie tied the dual with a reversal, then forced a near fall with under 20 seconds remaining in the third period.

Ehrich escaped then took down Louwagie with six seconds remaining to take an 8-6 lead and earn the 160-pound championship.

Ehrich started his tournament with a pin of Worthington’s Kent Lais, then fought to a 13-10 decision against St. James Area’s Class A No. 6-ranked Tallin Johnson to reach the championship round.

BEA head coach Randy Wirtjes said Ehrich had a hard test, but fought hard to earn gold.

“He probably knew he wasn’t going to be seeded too high and his road would be tough,” Wirtjes said. “He stuck with it and had a great day.”

Finally, the Red Bulls’ Class AA No. 5-ranked 195-pounder Jacob Rahn earned his 75th career win with a pin of Jackson County Central’s Sam Dunker in five minutes to take the 195-pound championship.

Rahn built a 5-1 lead on two takedowns and an escape through the first two periods, then flipped Dunker out of the down starting position in the third period to shove Dunker’s shoulders to the mat.

Rahn started his championship run with a pin of Waseca’s Liam Aberle in 53 seconds, then he shoved New Ulm Area’s Caleb Arndt’s shoulders to the mat in 1:29 during semifinal action.

Along with the five first-place finishers, three more Red Bulls and one Buc made it to their championship bouts and placed second.

The Red Bulls Blake Jogodzinske finished second at 132 pounds.

Jagodzinske pinned St. Peter’s Brogan Hanson in 1:24, then shoved NUA’s Jackson Bode in 4:00 to reach the championship bout.

Jagodzinske battle Windom/Mountain Lake’s Class A No. 5-ranked Kade Sammons to a 5-5 tie at the end of the third period, then Sammons forced a takedown in sudden-victory overtime to take a 7-5 win.

Martin County’s Cale Steuber then finished second at 145 pounds. Steuber started with a 13-1 major decision over Pipestone’s Grant Budden, then a pin of Redwood Valley’s Jaxon Lang.

Steuber faced Jackson County Central’s Payton Handevidt in the championship, where Handevidt forced a takedown with 54 seconds left in the third period to take a 2-0 win.

The Red Bulls’ Class AA No. 4-ranked 170-pounder Nathan Simmonds claimed silver with an 18-3 technical fall of Worthington’s Juan Guizar in 4:18, then a pin of New Ulm Area’s Cole Ranweiler in 5:15 to reach the 170-pound championship.

Simmonds faced St. Peter’s No. 3-ranked Eli Hunt and battled to a 1-1 tie at the end of the third period, with each escaping the down starting position to start the second and third periods.

Neither scored a point during sudden-victory overtime, then Simmonds escaped the down starting position during the first 30-second overtime period before Hunt forced a takedown to take a 3-2 lead. Hunt escaped in the second 30-second overtime period to create a 4-2 advantage and take the 170-pound championship.

BEA’s Nick Frank finished second at 182 pounds.

Frank pinned JCC’s Trace Michelson in 1:39 before shoving Redwood Valley’s Andy Fischer’s shoulders to the mat in 42 seconds. Frank faced Marshall’s Spencer Wambeke in the 182-pound championship. Wambeke forced four takedowns to take an 8-2 decision.

Two Bucs placed third in their respective weights, with Ty Peterson placing third at 120 pounds and Luke Mertens finishing third at 195, rounding out the area competitors to earn all-conference honors with a top-three finish.

Peterson forced a 10-0 major decision over NUA’s Carter Brandes before falling to the Red Bulls’ Lucas Jagodzinske in the semifinal round.

Peterson matchup up with JCC’s Thomas Freking in the third-place bout, earning a 9-2 decision with two takedowns, a three-point near fall and a reversal.

Mertens earned a 9-4 decision against Worthington’s Tanner Hennings, then fell to JCC’s Sam Dunker via a 16-7 major decision. Mertens faced off with NUA’s Caleb Arndt in the third-place match and fought to a 7-2 decision to earn all-conference honors.

Two area competitors placed fourth, in the Red Bulls’ Class AA No. 10-ranked 113-pounder Kain Sanders and BEA’s Class A No. 3-ranked Koby Nagel.

Sanders pinned St. Peter’s Taylen Travaille in 3:19 in first-round action, then earned a 13-6 decision over Pipestone Area’s JJ Martens to reach the semifinals.

Waseca’s No. 1-ranked 113-pounder Mason Gehloff took a 15-4 major decision over Sanders to send him to the third-place bout, where Marshall’s Dylan Louwagie fought to a 2-0 decision over Sanders.

Nagel earned a 17-3 major decision over Waseca’s Blake Wendland, then a 6-1 decision over Redwood Valley’s Matt Zeug before Martin County’s Anderson pinned Nagel in 3:01 to send him to the third-place match.

Nagel faced JCC’s Class A No. 6-ranked 145-pounder Ethan Hendrickson, with Hendrickson pinning Nagel in 29 seconds to place third and claim his 75th career win.

Four more area competitors made it to the podium with fifth- or sixth-place finishes.

BEA’s Kean Hicks finished fifth at 170 pounds when he pinned Worthington’s Juan Guizar in 5:51 during the fifth-place match. Hicks lost to JCC’s William Freking via a 1-0 decision to start his tournament, then beat SJA’s Alfredo Carreon via a 10-3 decision to reach the fifth-place bout.

Martin County’s Max Olson placed fifth at 182 pounds when he pinned JCC’s Trace Michelson in 1:46. Olson reached the fifth-place bout after falling to Marshall’s Spencer Wambeke in 2:20 in second-round action, then beating Worthington’s Thomas Lais via a pin in 1:54 to reach the fifth-place matchup.

BEA’s Caleb Beeler finished sixth at 138 pounds after falling to Martin County’s Connor Simmonds in second-round action. Beeler beat Waseca’s Christian Rodriguez via an 8-3 decision, then fell to St. Peter’s Nathan Fogel via an 8-4 decision in the fifth-place match.

Martin County’s Everardo Hernandez was the final area competitor on the podium when he placed sixth at 285 pounds.

Hernandez was pinned by Redwood Valley’s Kaleb Haase, then earned a 6-4 decision over WML’s Eli Mutz to reach the fifth-place bout where he faced Marshall’s Jackson Vierstraete. Vierstraete pinned Hernandez in 44 seconds to place fifth.

BEA’s Caleb Langager was the only other area competitor to win a match. Langager lost to Marshall’s Brett Regnier via a 5-0 decision, then pinned NUA’s Parker Kamm in 2:54. Worthington’s Ethan Meyer knocked Langeger out of the 106-pound bracket with a 4-1 decision.

Martin County’s Cooper Steuber lost a 2-0 decision to St. Peter’s Nakiye Mercado, then a 5-4 decision to Waseca’s Kaden Johnson.

BEA’s Carson Sturtz lost a 6-5 decision to RWV’s Lincoln Ourada, then Luverne’s Riley Cowell took a 19-2 technical fall in 4:15 to eliminate Sturtz at 113 pounds.

BEA’s Jacob Beeler lost to his 132-pound opponent, St. Peter’s Hanson, via a 7-3 decision then JCC’s Matthew Haley took a 7-1 decision to knock Beeler out of the 132-pound bracket.

BEA’s Adam Schavey fell to JCC’s Handevidt in 3:47, then lost a 7-5 decision to Waseca’s Tyler Klinger.

Martin County’s Shayne Steinbrink fell to Worthington’s Cole Hennings in 2:26, then JCC’s Lee Drahota pinned him in 2:11 to knock Steinbrink out of the 220-pound bracket.

BEA’s Ian Cornelio fell to his first 285-pound oppenent, Waseca’s Jacob Hertzog, in 1:38, then to Marshall’s Vierstraete in 4:19 to fall out of the 285-pound bracket.

The Red Bulls did not have a wrestler at 160 pounds.

Martin County faces Worthington in Fulda at 5 p.m. Tuesday, while BEA faces Okoboji in Spirit Lake, Iowa.

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