Gutsy performances guide Huskies to fifth place finish at State
St. Paul – Needing the strength of the lineup to generate some momentum, the Owatonna wrestling team managed to take a six-point lead with just two matches to go.
After Griffin Thorn a 6-4 decision to Andrew Reigstad of Willmar, the weight of the dual rested on the shoulders of senior heavyweight Goy Tut- a tough task when facing the No. 2 ranked Brady Reigstad.
Despite the odds, he delivered.
Managing to hold on for a 6-0 loss, Tut surrendered just a decision, cementing a 30-29 win for the Huskies and a fifth place finish in the dual tournament Thursday at the Excel Energy Center in St. Paul.
“It was unbelievable. It was very gutsy,” commented head coach Scott Seykora. “Our biggest thing was saving bonus points where we could.”
After Kade Nelson (106) and Laden Johnson (113) each recorded a pair of decisions to give the Huskies a 6-0 lead, the Cardinals managed to string together four-straight wins. Two of which came by pins from No. 2 ranked Israel Navarro (120) and Clay Carlson (138).
Facing a 20-6 deficit, Owatonna received a pair of pins from nationally-ranked Peyton Robb (145) and Cade King (160). Parker Westphal’s 8-2 decision at 152 helped the Huskies erase a 14-point lead to hold a one-point lead.
After Nick Staska fell in a 6-0 decision, defending state champion Brandon Moen (182) recorded a pin in the first period to regain the lead for Owatonna. Moen, who recently signed his letter of intent to Eastern Michigan, was a man on a mission today, winning all three of his matches by fall.
“Mentality is key to wrestling,” commented Moen. “You can be prepared. You can do all the training, but if the day comes and you’re not mentally there, you have to show up.”
Parker Holton managed to record a 5-0 decision at 195 pounds to give Owatonna a 30-23 lead heading into the final two matches.
Owatonna 52, Minnetonka 12
After dropping three of the first four matches, the Huskies appeared to wake up, reeling off 10-straight wins to down the Skippers in the consolation portion of the state dual tournament bracket Thursday.
“I’m proud of how the guys came back,” commented Seykora. “Wrestling is a lot of skill and mental attitude, but it’s a lot of heart.”
Johnson was the lone bright spot for Owatonna, winning by major decision (16-2) over Zach Wallace at 113. The Huskies had a chance to steal at win at 126 as Jesse Autridge was leading Henry Bixler 3-2 late in the third period. After a reversal tied the match late, Bixler managed to record a takedown and two points near fall to escape with a 9-5 decision.
In the final ten matches, Trevor Schroeder (132), Bryce Goodwin (138) and Westphal all dominated to major decisions. The Huskies would record five pins, starting with Robb at 145 pounds. King (160), Moen (182), Isaiah Noeldner (195) and Griffin Thorn (220) all won by pin as Owatonna raced to a 48-12 lead.
Owatonna 29, Hastings 36
Despite Nelson (106) starting the dual off with an 8-2 decision, the Raiders managed to reel off six straight wins to build a commanding 18-3 lead. Of those six, only two were pins and both were Huskies that wrestled a great chunk of the season on the junior varsity.
Robb would get the Huskies back on the winning track, although it wasn’t the way he may have hoped.
In a bizarre act of strength, Hastings’ Kyle Erickson managed to keep his shoulders just high enough off the mat, to stymie any chance for a pin after the two-time defending state champion in Robb had a head lock. Robb recorded the technical fall 22-6.
Owatonna would win five of the final seven matches with King, Moen and Thorn all recording pins. Unfortunately, the Huskies ran out of a comeback chance. After the Raiders bumped Trey Rogers, who is ranked No.2 at 182, to 195 pounds, he dominated Parker Holton, winning by technical fall 24-9.