Laker wrestling team qualifies two to state
Sports | Published on February 27, 2023 at 2:31pm CST
• Miles Wildman earns first and Chase Smith is second at section meet
The Minnewaska Area wrestling team will be sending two wrestlers to the state tourney after Miles Wildman placed first and Chase Smith was second at the Section 5A Individual Wrestling Tournament, Saturday at Minnewaska Area High School.
Wildman was seeded first at 106 pounds and he went 3-0 to claim the title and earn his first state berth, while Smith, the second seed at 120 pounds, went 2-1 to place second and earn his second-straight state berth.
The Lakers had 11 wrestlers competing at the section tourney and 10 of the wrestlers placed fifth or better among the 10 competing teams.
“We wrestled well and I’m happy for the guys,” head coach Chip Rankin said. “We several other guys who were very close, but overall, we were pleased with the results.”
Minnewaska Area closed out the team portion of its season with a 16-9 record after losing to top-seeded KMS in the section quarterfinals, 49-18.
BBE, which was seeded third, won the Section 5A team title and will represent the section at the State Wrestling Tourney, set for March 2-4 a the ExCel Energy Centre in St. Paul.
Last year, Chase Smith and Jacob Blair earned state berths for the Lakers with Blair going 1-2 at state and Smith 2-2.
Wildman goes into the state meet with a 37-2 record, while Smith is 34-3. Other wrestlers with at least 20 wins this season are Nick Ankeny (36-4), Chase Boelke (28-12), Myles Reichmann (26-13), Noah Jensen (25-15), Jayce Kovarik (24-10) and Xander Johnson (22-11).
Ankeny, Reichmann and Boelke all placed third for the Lakers at the section tourney, while Kovarik and Jensen were both fourth, and Isaiah Rosario, Mason Schiffler and Nathan Dell each placed fifth.
Seniors lost to graduation from this year’s team are Ankeny, Xander Johnson and Boelke.
Section 5A Team Tourney
Miles Wildman earned first place in the 106-pound weight division to highlight the Lakers’ efforts at the Section 5A Individual Wrestling Tourney, Saturday at MAHS.
Wildman, seeded first, won by a fall in 2:50, 14-2 major decision and 8-6 win over the third seed to earn a state berth. Ranked fifth in state, he goes into state with a team-best 37-2 record.
Chase Smith also earned a state berth for the Lakers. Seeded second, he won by a fall in 1:05 and a pin in 5:56 to earn a berth in the finals where he fell by a pin in 1:44 to Trey Gunderson, an undefeated wrestler from state who is 51-0. Smith, set to compete in his second-straight state tourney, improved to 34-3 for the season.
Just missing out on state berths were Nick Ankeny at 138 pounds, Myles Reichmann at 160 and Chase Boelke at 182.
Ankeny, seeded third, earned a pin in 3:00 during his first match, but then fell 3-2 to the second seeded wrestler from Canby. Ankeny, who finished the season 36-4, earned two-straight wins on a 3-2 decision and pin in 2:43, but was unable to wrestle for true-second when the person he lost to earlier in the tourney lost in the finals, 4-3.
Reichmann, seeded third, lost his first match, 5-3, but came back to win three-straight to place third. He was unable to wrestle for true-second.
Boelke also placed third with a 3-1 record at 182 pounds. He was also seeded third and won his first match on a 37-second pin before losing by pin in the semifinals. He won two straight matches by pins to earn third, but the person he lost to earlier fell in the finals, 5-1, depriving Boelke of a chance to wrestle for true-second.
Placing fourth for the Lakers were Jayce Kovarik (2-2 at 145 pounds) and Noah Jensen (2-2 at 220). Jensen lost in the third-place match, 5-4. Had he won that match, he would have had a chance to wrestle for true-second.
Earning fifth for Minnewaska Area were Isaiah Rosario (3-2 at 126 pounds), Mason Schiffler (2-2 at 132) and Nathan Dell (1-2 at 152), while also competing for the Lakers was Xander Johnson, who was 0-2 at 170 pounds.
Overall, the Lakers had 10 of their 11 wrestlers place fifth or better in one of the strongest Class A sections in the state.
Section 5A Individual Wrestling Tourney at Minnewaska Area HS
106: Miles Wildman 3-0 (first place, state berth)
113: No wrestler
120: Chase Smith 2-1 (second place, state berth)
126: Isaiah Rosario 3-2 (fifth)
132: Mason Schiffler 2-2 (fifth)
138: Nick Ankeny 3-1 (third)
145: Jayce Kovarik 2-2 (fourth)
152: Nathan Dell 1-2 (fifth)
160: Myles Reichmann 3-1 (third)
170: Xander Johnson 0-2
182: Chase Boelke 3-1 (third)
195: No Wrestler
220: Noah Jensen 2-2 (fourth)
285: No wrestler
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