Back to the X: Owatonna wins Section 1-AAA crown; qualify for state dual tournament
Rochester – Since 2013, both the Big Nine Conference and the Section 1-AAA title has eluded the Owatonna high school wrestling program. On Feb.9, the Huskies won the conference, leaving just a section title waiting.
After a 62-12 thumping of Rochester John Marshall on Feb.16, the Huskies were a mere two wins away from solidifying a place at the table for the Class AAA state dual tournament.
By defeating Northfield 48-18 in the round prior, a Big Nine Conference championship rematch with Faribault in the finals had all the implications of a heavyweight title fight.
Only Owatonna was able to deliver the knockout.
Surrendering just one pin, the top-seeded Huskies downed the second-seeded Falcons 37-22 for the Section 1-AAA crown Saturday at the Rochester Civic Center- their first since the 2013 season – to qualify for the dual portion of the Class AAA Minnesota State wrestling tournament in March.
“We came lights out. We came into that meet ready to wrestle,” commented co-head coach Scott Seykora. “And, it all started with that 106-pound match. To win the first three matches against Faribault is huge. That really set the pace.”
Owatonna started the dual off with a bang – nine-point lead bang – after Landen Johnson (106), Kaden Nelson (113) and Haden Fox (120) all recorded decisions. While Johnson and Fox had fairly comfortable wins (7-0 and 11-8 respectively), Nelson’s appeared to really set the tone of the match.
After tweaking his shoulder late, the sophomore allowed a late standup to cut the lead to 4-3 only to have a stalling call send the match to sudden victory. Despite a few scoring chances, no takedowns forced a 30 second ride-out period where Nelson escaped after holding Sam LaCanne down the period prior for a 5-4 win.
Faribault would win matches by decision at 126 and 132 pounds to cut the lead to 9-7. Owatonna then reeled off three-straight wins, two of which by pins. Bryce Goodwin got the Huskies started with a 9-1 decsion at 138 pounds while pins from No.1 Peyton Robb (145) and No.3 Cade King (152) extended the lead to 25-7.
Despite Faribault winning four of the final six matches, pins from Nick Staska (170) and No. 1 Brandon Moen (182) sealed the win for the Huskies. Parker Westphal, who normally wrestles at 152 pounds, bumped up to wrestle Faribault’s Josh Heyda at 160. Despite fighting back to make it a takedown match, Westphal was unable to finish a takedown at the buzzer that would have sent the match to overtime.
“He (Westphal) was wrestling a kid who was cutting down from 170 pounds and he’s a 152-pounder. He kind of controlled most the match, but unfortunately had a little bad luck at the end there. I think size may have had a bit to do with it in Parker's match, but all those guys came out and gave us great effort,” noted Seykora.
Huskies bite Raiders in Section Semifinals
Things didn’t start off great for the Huskies as Landen Johnson (106) was the lone Husky to record a decision in the first four matches as the Raiders quickly jumped out to a quick lead just four matches in.
After Joe Fox lost by major decision 11-3 at 126 pounds, Owatonna managed to record four-straight pins to turn a 13-9 deficit into a 27-13 lead. Trevor Schroeder put Owatonna back on track with a quick first period pin. In fact, Schroeder, Goodwin, and King all recorded first period falls with Schroeder netting the fastest pin just 37 seconds into the match.
From 160 pounds to heavyweight, the Huskies dropped just two matches, Nick Staska (170) and Isaiah Noeldner at 220 pounds. Parker Westphal (160), Brandon Moen (182), No. 10 Griffin Thorn (195) and No.9 Goy Tut all recorded wins with the trio of state-ranked grapplers winning by pin-fall in the first period.
Owatonna will be back in Rochester for the individual Section 1-3A tournament starting Friday at 9:30 a.m.
Owatonna 37, Faribault 22
106-Landen Johnson (O) dec. Gael Ramirez (F) 7-0; 113- Kaden Nelson (O) dec. Sam LaCanne (F) 5-4 2OT; 120- Haden Fox (O) Riley Stoltz (F) 11-8; 126- Josh Oathoudt (F) Maj. Joe Fox (O) 10-2; 132- Cain Van Ryan dec. Trevor Schroeder (O) 6-1; 138- Bryce Goodwin (O) Maj. Ren Ross (F) 9-1; 145-Peyton Robb (O) pin (1:35) Brandon Knott (F); 152- Cade King (O) pin (4:56) Austin Underdahl (F); 160- Josh Heydt (F) dec. Parker Westphal 6-4; 170- Nick Staska (O) pin (5:26) Will Erickson (F); 182- Brandon Moen (O) pin (2:32) Ethan Erickson (F); 195- Austin Rendler pin (3:40) Parker Holton (O); 220- Felipe Ramirez (F) dec. Griffin Thorn (O) 3-0; 285- Dillon McEachran (F) dec. Goy Tut (O) 3-1.