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Tribune photo by Rand Middleton Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City senior Larry Bomstad, nearing a pin of Pierz sophomore Kolton Eischens (36-10) in the Class A championship match at 145 pounds Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, ended his prep career on a 94-match winning streak that includes back-to-back state championships.

Prep wrestling: Bomstad, Peterson, Damm state champs

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ST. PAUL — Together in the wrestling room since fifth grade, the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City seniors finished with a flurry at the 2014 Minnesota State Tournament on Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

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The Falcons took the runner-up trophy on Thursday to go with the consolation trophy in 2013. On Saturday, the glorious run was topped off with three first-place finishes in the individual tournament plus a bronze.

Larry Bomstad, Logan Peterson, Maverick Whitcomb and Lucas Damn — four of the team’s seven seniors — combined for a 17-1 record in the individual part of the Class A tournament. Not bad for the only school in the eight-team state fold with an enrollment below 200.

Bomstad took home his fifth state medal and second gold. The 145-pounder, undefeated the past two seasons, recorded two falls and a 12-1 decision over the two-day individual show, while surviving a serious challenge by Alec Engler of Minneota-Lincoln HI 3-0 in the quarterfinals.

Peterson, third a year ago at 152 pounds, needed a 6-4 overtime win over second-ranked Paden Moore (46-4) in the Saturday morning semifinal to reach the championship match. The Jackson County Central junior, who would win bronze, had handed Peterson (47-2) one of his two defeats in the team semifinal match by a 3-1 count. No. 1-ranked Peterson edged No. 3 Harvey Friederichs (44-2) of team champion Chatfield 4-2 for the championship.

That made two golds already for ACGC with defending 220-pound champ Lucas Damm on deck. He delivered with an 8-2 victory over his Section 5A final adversary, No. 6 Austin Schiefelbein (38-6). Damm estimates he’s lost twice to the Kimball Cub in “at least” six meetings. No. 1 Damm shaded No. 2 Dillon Card (45-2) of Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale in the semifinals 3-2, evidence that the Guillotine rankings had this class, as well as many others, nailed.

Maverick Whitcomb came within a late takedown of the podium’s top step in the 182-pound weight class. In the quarterfinals on Friday, No. 1 Niko Anderson of Fillmore County Central/Lanesboro/Mabel-Canton took down Whitcomb, rated third at 182, with eight seconds left for a 3-1 victory. Anderson (37-1) defeated No. 2 Colten Carlson (38-4) of United South Central 4-3 for the title.

Whitcomb (46-4) snapped back to dominate four opponents in the under-bracket for third place.

For second-year Falcons’ head coach Mike Amsden, a native of Springfield who wrestled for River Valley, the immense medal haul was hardly shocking.

“These kids have been in big matches before,” he said. “They’re big-time performers.”

All three of the first-place winners took their spotlight victory modestly, none more so than Peterson, who had almost no reaction beyond a smile.

“You know, when you get down you expect to win,” said Peterson, making his fifth appearance at state. “The other guy has probably worked just as hard as you. There’s no need to show him up.”

Peterson, Bomstad and Damm will each wrestle at the Division I or Division II level next year. Whitcomb wants to play football.

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Rand Middleton

Covers Willmar and area high schools and Ridgewater College, plus amateur baseball, stock car racing and fitness events in summer. Writes weekly column since 1980. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 

(320) 214-4334
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