Laker wrestlers come home with state hardware
Sports | Published on March 6, 2023 at 3:05pm CST
Wildman fifth, Smith sixth at State Tourney
The Minnewaska Area wrestling team had two state participants this year and both came home with state hardware after placing among the top six.
Eighth-grader Miles Wildman went 3-2 at the state tourney to place fifth at 106 pounds, while sophomore Chase Smith, seeing action in his second-straight state tourney, went 2-3 at 120 pounds to earn sixth.
Wildman, who finished the season 40-4, earned his state berth by winning the Section 5A title, while Smith, who finished 36-6 this year, placed second at the section tourney. He went 2-2 at the state tourney last winter.
“Miles and Chase wrestled very well at the state tourney,” head coach Chip Rankin said. “They had some tough losses, but they both came back to earn state medals, which is a great accomplishment.”
The Lakers went 16-9 this year during the team portion of the season. Minnewaska Area was seeded eighth of 10 teams in the section and beat BOLD in the opening round before losing to top-seeded KMS in the quarterfinals, 49-18.
KMS went on to beat Minneota in the semifinals before losing to BBE in the Section 5A team finals. BBE went on to place fourth at state, losing in the third-place match to HLWW, 33-30.
During this year’s Section 5A Tourney, 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 had several other guys who were very close, but overall, we were pleased with the results.”
Seniors lost to graduation from this year’s Minnewaska Area wrestling team are Nick Ankeny, Chase Boelke and Xander Johnson.
Miles Wildman was seeded third at 106 pounds and he opened up the state tourney with a 5-3 win over Ryder Antony (29-19 record), an eighth-grader from Lake Crystal-Welcome Memorial.
Wildman then earned a 9-2 decision over junior Beau Hudoba of Ogilvie (46-8) before losing to the second-seeded Javier Berg (44-2), a sophomore from Chatfield, in the semifinals on a fall in 5:39.
Berg went on to beat Miklo Hernandez (29-5) in the finals, 7-3. Hernandez is a seventh-grader from Pipestone who beat the top-seeded Reggie George of Osakis (40-3) in the quarterfinals.
In the wrestlebacks, Wildman lost to fourth-seeded Brady Murphy (41-8), a ninth-grader from WEM-JWP, before earning an 8-6 win over Owen Gruchow (37-1), an eighth-grader from WCA, in the fifth-place match.
Wildman finished the season with a team-best 40-4 record.
Chase Smith was unseeded for the tourney and he lost to unseeded Simone Kruse, a senior from St. Clair-Mankato Loyola (37-2), in the opening round, 4-2.
Kruse earned an 11-5 decision over the fourth-seed in his next match to keep Smith’s state tourney alive and he took full advantage of it, winning his next two matches with an 8-0 major decision over Braxton Lange (40-8) of Caledonia and a pin in 2:13 over David Schuh (36-13), a ninth-grader from Tracy Area.
Smith lost his next match to the third-seeded Wyatt Novitzki (47-9) of Holdingford, 6-0, and also fell to Benito Diaz of Sibley East (41-5) in the fifth-place match by a pin in 1:34.
Smith finished the season with a 36-6 overall record after going 30-6 last season.
Trey Gunderson, the top-seeded wrestler from KMS at 120 pounds, lost a tough 4-3 decision to Kruse in the semifinals, but came back to earn third and finish the season with a 55-1 record. Gunderson is a freshman with over 150- victories already.
Donovan Schmid, the second-seed at 120 pounds, beat Kruse in the finals, 6-4 to finish 46-0 overall.
at State Class A Tourney
106: Miles Wildman 3-2 (fifth place)
120: Chase Smith 2-3 (sixth place)
records for 2022-23
Weight: Name Grade W-L
106: Alex Adams 7 7-3
106: Miles Wildman 8 40-4
113: Austyn Schuler 8 1-5
113: Jude Bailey 7 6-9
120: Chase Smith 10 36-6
126: Isaiah Rosario 7 9-8
126: Landon Schiffler 8 4-2
132: Garrett Jungclaus 11 2-16
132: Mason Schiffler 11 18-9
138: Nick Ankeny 12 36-4
145: Jayce Kovarik 11 24-10
152: Braylen Scharmer 9 7-6
152: Nathan Dell 11 18-16
160: Myles Reichmann 11 26-13
160: Cole Kittelson 11 0-7
170: Xander Johnson 12 22-11
182: Zayden Johnson 7 3-2
182: Chase Boelke 12 28-12
195: Noah Jensen 10 25-15
285: Eric Bowen 9 3-1
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