ST. PAUL -- Six of the 42 area wrestlers that qualified for the state wrestling tournament at Xcel Energy Center are one win from capturing the gold medal in their respective weight class.
Three of the finalists are from Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, which will also be bidding for a Class A state team title today. They are seniors Kevin Steinhaus at 160 pounds, Mitchell Hagen at 171 and junior Joel Bauman at 189.
Also in Class A, Jon Kerzman of Paynesville at 135 pounds and Ryan Thompson of Benson at 145 are in the final.
Ryan Swenson of Dawson-Boyd/Lac qui Parle Valley is in the 135-pound Class AA final.
In all, 20 area wrestlers have earned a medal (sixth place or better).
Kerzman (38-5), a senior, has had three relatively easy matches en route to the final, including a 19-9 win in the semifinals. He faces Jordan Novak (37-4) of New York Mills in the final.
Thompson (31-2), a junior, will square off against Jordan Bendson (40-1) of Staples-Motley in his championship match.
Steinhaus (46-0), a two-time state champ who hasn't lost a match in three years, will meet up with Tucker Freeman (41-0) of Madelia-Truman in his final.
Hagen (45-0) and Ben McPhail (41-1) of Pine Island will battle for the 171-pound gold medal.
Bauman (41-2), who broke the area's all-time single-season rushing mark this year in football, will meet Alex Bach (33-1) of Maple River in the championship.
And Swenson (39-5), who edged Andrew Youngblom of Mora 4-3 in his semifinal match, advances to the final against Tossaporn Suparat of North Branch.
HAYDEN ROUSER, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City: dec Keith Wasserzieher, Aitkin, 4-0 ... today vs. Travis Borchert, Browerville/Eagle Valley
CODY GOLDSCHMIDT, BOLD: dec Luke Olson, Trinity School, 14-4 ... today vs. Dylan Yarger, Lake Crystal/Wellcome Memorial
COLE TENSEN, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa: was pinned in 4:47 by Cooper Moore, Jackson County Central ... eliminated
AARON ZIMMER, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg: dec Preston Staloch, United South Central, 10-6 ... today vs. Shawn Johnson, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton
COLLIN JERGENSON, Minnewaska: dec Justin Buss, Chatfield, 5-4 ... today vs. Mark Evjen, Hayfield
MICAH LARSON, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City: pinned Eli Oatman, Maple River, 2:18 ... today vs. Cody Nunn, Frazee
BRANDON MANDERSCHIED, Minnewaska: dec Logan Brand, Lewiston-Altura/Rushford-Peterson, 2-0 ... today vs. Brian Anderson, Redwood Valley
AUSTEN COLE, Yellow Medicine East: lost 1-9 dec to Bronson Steuber, Jackson County Central ... today in wrestlebacks vs. Brett Pfarr, LeSueur-Henderson
JON KERZMAN, Paynesville: dec Dylan Yarger, Lake Crystal/Wellcome Memorial, 19-9 ... today in final vs. Jordan Novak, New York Mills
CASEY FIELD, Yellow Medicine East: lost 5-8 dec to Jake Long, West Central Area ... today in wrestlebacks vs. Joey Posivio, Sibley East
RYAN THOMPSON, Benson: dec Shawn Johnson, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, 14-9 ... today in final vs. Jordan Bendson, Staples-Motley
KEVIN STEINHAUS, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg: dec John Gusewelle, Sauk Centre, 18-4 ... today in final vs. Tucker Freeman, Madelia-Truman
MITCHELL HAGEN, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg: dec Tyler Wilson, Pelican Rapids, 12-6 ... today in final vs. Ben McPhail, Pine Island
BRIAN ANDERSON, Redwood Valley: lost 4-6 dec to Joel Bauman, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg ... today in wrestlebacks vs. Brandon Manderschied, Minnewaska
JOEL BAUMAN, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg: dec Brian Anderson, Redwood Valley, 6-4 ... today in final vs. Alex Bach, Maple River
THOMAS UTTERMARK, MACCRAY: was pinned in 2:49 by Alex Bach, Maple River ... today in wrestlebacks vs. Taylor Yliniemi, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton
BRAD KNEISL, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg: lost 2-6 dec to McKale Evenson, Pelican Rapids ... today in wrestlebacks vs. Mat Willner, Blue Earth
EVAN STOCK, Yellow Medicine East: lost 4-5 dec to Hoss Roemer, Wabasha-Kellogg ... today in wrestlebacks vs. A.J. Dryer, United South Central
JOHN NETHING, New London-Spicer: dec Alex Feldt, Detroit Lakes, 14-5 ... today vs. Andy Henning, Fulda/Murray County Central
RYAN SWENSON, Dawson-Boyd/Lac qui Parle Valley: dec. Andrew Youngblom, Mora, 4-3 ... today in final vs. Tossaporn Suparat, North Branch
JAKE BOTHUN, Dawson-Boyd/Lac qui Parle Valley: lost 3-15 dec to Brady Schrupp, Jason Cirksena, Kasson-Mantorville ... today in wrestlebacks vs. Brandon Seppelt, Foley
BILLY DEAN, New London-Spicer: lost 1-8 dec. to Blaine Miller, Plainview/Elgin-Millville ... today in wrestlebacks vs. Jake Horn, St. Michael-Albertville