Wrestlers compete at State

Posted 3/31/21

By Derek Simon [email protected] Thursday afternoon at St. Michael Albertville High School, the Minnesota State Wrestling Individual Tournament took place. The tournament consisted of an eight …

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Wrestlers compete at State


By Derek Simon

[email protected]

Thursday afternoon at St. Michael Albertville High School, the Minnesota State Wrestling Individual Tournament took place. The tournament consisted of an eight wrestler bracket at each weight class. Hastings had an impressive five wrestlers compete in the tournament as Blake Beissel, Josh Route, Aiden Erickson, and Austin Leflay advanced to the state tournament by winning their weight class in the Super Sectional bracket. Nolan Myers advanced to state with his second place finish.

Beissel was the first Raider to wrestle on Thursday. He came to the state meet with just two losses on the season earning the 4th seed in the eight wrestler bracket.

In the first period of quarterfinal matchup, Beissel fell behind 4-0 on two takedowns due to ankle picks. After an escape in the second round, a takedown in the closing seconds of the period closed the gap to 4-3. Beissel needed an escape to tie the score in the third period. He got to his feet several times, but could not complete an escape attempt. The match ended as he was breaking free and if the match had gone a couple more seconds, the match likely would have been tied. Instead Beissel lost a heart breaker 4-3.

In his second match, Beissel dominated in an 8-0 victory. He led 2-0 after the first period, 6-0 after the second period, before winning 8-0. The win meant he would place at State and wrestle for 5th place in the next round.

In the 5th place match, Beissel again dominated early building a 7-1 lead after the first period. He gave up an escape to lead 7-2 after the second period. The third period Beissel held on to win 9-6 and place 5th in the State Tournament at 106.

Route was the next raider to compete for the Raiders. Route was seeded 6th in his bracket at 145.

The first match was a tough one as an early take down and near fall points put him in a quick 5-0 hole. Route would trail 9-2 after the first period. Unfortunately the second period was similar to the first as a takedown and near fall points early in the period made the score 15-2. One more takedown at 3:35 ended the match as Route lost 17-2 by technical fall.

In the second round, Route wrestled a familiar opponent from Woodbury. And early takedown put him behind 2-0. An escape closed the gap to 2-1 after the first period. A reversal in the second period gave Route the 3-2 lead after two periods. One more takedown in the third would end the scoring and give Route the 5-2 win. With the win Route also placed at State and wrestle for 5th place.

In the 5th place match, the only point scored in the first period was for a penalty. Trailing 1-0 after one period, Route would score an escape and a takedown to take a 3-2 lead midway in the second period. But a late takedown and near fall points gave his opponent a 7-3 lead going into the third period. Route made a late rally, but fell short losing 10-6. Route finishes in 6th place at 145.

Erickson was next up for the Raiders at 152. He earned the 5th seed in the tournament.

The Sophomore drew a Senior wrestler in his first match. A takedown at :22 of the first period put Erickson down early 2-0. It was the only points of the first period as Erickson battled tough against his more experienced opponent. The second period was very similar to the first, this time the takedown was at :11 of the period. With the score 4-0, Erickson would need a big third period for a comeback victory. Unfortunately, Erickson was taken down one more time in the third period and lost 7-0.

Erickson’s second match started with a quick takedown and a 2-0 lead. He added two near fall points to lead 4-0 after the first period. In the second period Erickson landed a reversal and led 6-0 entering the third period. Two more takedowns by Erickson in the third period made sure he would win the match easily by an 11-1 score. Like Beissel and Route before him, Erickson also advanced to a 5th place match.

The 5th place match started out slowly until the 1:20 mark when Erickson fell behind 2-0 on a takedown. The score remained the same until early in the second period when a reversal made the score 4-0. After a stalling call, Erickson trailed 5-0 after two periods. In the third period a takedown and a stall call completed the scoring as Erickson lost the match 8-0. Erickson finishes in 6th place at 152.

Myers was seeded 7th at the 160 weight class. He had won an exciting 7-6 match last week to advance to the State tournament.

Myers would have a difficult afternoon. In his first match he would lose by fall at 1:12. In his second match trailing 2-0 in the first period, the match was stopped for a possible injury to Myers. At that time it was decided that he could no longer continue and a medical default was called allowing his opponent to claim the win. A tough day for a guy who had wrestled so well leading up to the tournament.

The final Raider to wrestle was Leflay at 220. Leflay was seeded 5th in the bracket.

Leflay was the more active wrestler in the first period of his first match, but he was unable to complete several one leg takedown attempts. The match remained scoreless after one period. In the second period, Leflay continued to be the aggressor, but got caught twice when his opponent countered him. Leflay would trail 5-3 after two periods. In the final seconds of the third period Leflay made one last attempt for a takedown to tie the score, however, he again was countered and would lose a tough match 7-3.

A takedown at :44 into his second match gave Leflay an early 2-0 lead. A reversal tied the score at 2-2 after the first period. Early in the second period a reversal put Leflay down 4-2. In the third period an takedown increased the deficit to 6-2. The match would then end by fall at 4:44 as Leflay was unable to get free. A difficult day for a wrestler who had anchored the team most of the season.

All five wrestlers competed well at State wrestling hard and with class. Very few ever make it to a State Tournament, these wrestlers should be very proud of their accomplishment and their great individual and team seasons.