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State wrestling berths on the line this weekend
All three Bulletin-area high school wrestling teams are set to chase state-tournament berths this weekend. The Section 4AAA individual tournament is Feb. 25 at Stillwater Area High School.
Irondale, Mounds View and Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony Village are among the eight teams in Section 4AAA.
Among those chasing individual state berths are three Mounds View wrestlers who qualified for state last season. Sophomore Nick Dunagan made state last season at 106 pounds, sophomore Rowan Morgan qualified at 170 and junior Daniel Van Oort was a state entrant at 195.
All three Bulletin-area teams were in action on Feb. 17 at the section team tournament. None was able to come away with the team championship.
Mounds View, the No. 3 seed, went 1-1 in the team competition by defeating sixth-seeded North St. Paul in the quarterfinals before losing to No. 2 seed Stillwater in the semifinals.
The Mustangs topped North St. Paul 60-23 and got 24 of those points via forfeits. Mounds View won six other bouts by fall. Recording pins for the Mustangs were Garrett Wilson (106 pounds), Mitch Engebretson (113), Brendan Dunagan (126), Jack Graham (152), Charles Dressel (160) and Morgan (182).
In falling to Stillwater 38-31, Mounds View trailed 10-0 early and by as many as 14 points before rallying. The Mustangs got to within one point at 20-19 before the Ponies won three of the next four bouts.
Stillwater won the first two bouts by fall and major decision before Mounds View got a first-period fall victory from Nick Dunagan at 120 pounds. The Ponies added another fall/major decision pair to go up 20-6.
Mounds View answered with three straight victories, including an 11-0 major decision from Sam Bobick at 138 pounds. Chase Dressel followed with a pin at 145 and Graham added a 6-2 decision at 152.
That would be as close as Mounds View would get, however. Stillwater won the next two matches with first-period pins.
Morgan temporarily stopped the bleeding with another fall in the first period at 182 pounds but Stillwater secured the victory with a pin at 195 pounds.
Van Oort and Johnny Terrault won the final two matches for Mounds View with a 5-2 decision at 220 and a 4-1 win at heavyweight, respectively.
Stillwater went on to upset top-seeded Centennial in the championship match to secure a spot in the state team tournament.
Neither Irondale nor Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony Village could get out of the quarterfinals.
The eighth-seeded Knights fell 73-6 to Centennial in the first round. Irondale forfeited five bouts and picked up its only victory at 120 pounds as Roland Casey recorded a second-period fall.
Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony also won just one bout in its 75-5 loss to Stillwater in the quarterfinals. Anthony Arens earned a technical-fall win with a 15-0 victory at 120 pounds.
Brian Meyers can be reached at email@example.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.