GMLOK wrestlers do well at section,
Richardson advances to state tourney
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 2:50 AM
Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Kingsland's Wyatt Richardson took the championship at the Section 2A individual wrestling tournament Saturday and will be headed to the state tournament in the 195-lb. weight class.
Richardson "went about his day very businesslike," said coach Bill Simpkins. "This was the most consistent he has wrestled in a tournament this year - and that is saying a lot with the success he has had this year. Entering the tournament as the No. 2 seed and knocking off the fifth ranked wrestler in the state was exciting for me, and especially his dad and family. Wyatt didn't crack a smile, or show much emotion, his reaction was more of a guy punching the clock at the end of the day, satisfied that he put in a good day's work."
Although Richardson is the only wrestler advancing to state, Simpkins was very pleased with the overall effort given.
"Team-wise, we went hard all day; whatever they had to give on Saturday they left it out on the mat," he said.
Results from the tournament in each weight class follow. Simpkins noted that all of them are underclassmen and will be back next year.
Brenn Olson, at 106 lbs., took third place. Unseeded, Olson, beat the No. 4 seed in the first match, lost to the eventual champ and came through a very tough couple of rounds in the wrestle backs, beating the No. 3 seed, and fourth seed again in back to back matches. Taking third gave him a shot in the true second match against the No. 32 seed. Olson hung close until the third period, things got out of control a bit late in the match and he got pinned. "He showed a lot of heart storming through the wrestle backs," said Simpkins.
At 113 lbs., John Barber went 0-2, but "showed he has improved a ton from his first varsity match about a month ago." He lost to the eventual champ in the first round, and lost his second match that went back and forth until the final buzzer, losing 9-8.
Josh Graves was unseeded at 120 lbs., but placed fourth. It was a "great day for Josh. This is the best he has wrestled this season. Josh has been gaining more and more confidence as the year progressed. His placing this high was a very pleasant surprise for the coaches. We felt he could do well here, more importantly Josh also felt that way."
Jace Bunne, seeded fourth at 138 lbs., "had a great tournament," said Simpkins. "Jace lost in the semis to the No. 3 ranked guy in the state. The feeling was that guy would win and Jace could come back and take third and get a true second match with the runner-up. Jace did his job by coming through the wrestle backs and taking third. Unfortunately the wrong guy won in the finals."
At 145 lbs., Parker Hale seeded third and took third. Hale lost a "heartbreaker" in the semis by a 4-3 score, said Simpkins. "It was the only close match of the day for him. He pretty much crushed everyone else."
At 152 lbs., unseeded Blake Olson went 0-2. "Tough draw for Blake," said Simpkins. "Lost to the eventual champ in the first round, and met another real tough kid in the first round of the wrestle backs."
Christopher Bain was unseeded at 160 lbs. and placed fifth. "A pleasant surprise," said Simpkins. "Out most of the year due to a football injury, Christopher's mat time has been very limited."
Brandon Turner, unseeded at 171 lbs., went 0-2. "Tough draw," said Simpkins, as he lost in the first round to a returning state qualifier and lost his first wrestle back to a "very tough kid."
At 220 lbs., Blake Benson was seeded third and he took fifth. He had an "unfortunate semi final match," said Simpkins as he was ahead 10-3 late in the match, working for a pin when he got out of position and quickly reversed and was pinned. His opponent went on to be the runner-up
The state tournament takes place Friday and Saturday at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.