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Steinhaus starts quest for third state title today

Kevin Steinhaus of Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg will begin his post-season hunt for a third straight state wrestling title today when he and his teammates compete in the two-day Section 3A tournament at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall.

Steinhaus, who has not lost a match in three years, is 235-12 in his career and needs one more win to break the Tribune area's all-time record he currently shares with former Litchfield wrestler Beau Penk, a state champion his senior year in 2006.

Steinhaus won the 145-pound state title as a sophomore, the 152-pound crown as a junior and will compete at 160 this time.

No area wrestler has won more than two state titles other than four-time champion John Miller (1982-85).

Steinhaus defeated Chad Curry of Chatfield 5-2 in the state champiuonship last year.

Area wrestlers will compete in five sections in all today and Saturday. Besides 3A, Redwood Falls is hosting Section 4A, Long Prairie is the 5A site, Luverne is hosting 3AA and Becker will be the 6AA host.

Only three wrestlers in the area are currently unbeaten beginning post-season action -- Steinhaus, senior Mitch Hagen (38-0) of KMS at 171 pounds and senior Collin Jergenson (33-0) of Minnewaska Area at 152.

Those with a chance to return to state this season after medaling (top six) at state a year ago are: Steinhaus (first), Yellow Medicine East senior Casey Field (second) is currently 35-1 at 140 pounds, senior Austen Cole (third) of Yellow Medicine East is 36-2 at 119, sophomore Shawn Hatlestad (third) of New London-Spicer is 26-3 at 130, junior Ryan Thompson (third) of Benson is 21-2 at 145, Hagen (third), senior Joel Bauman (third) of KMS who 34-2 at 189, Sam Haas (fourth), is 32-4 at 130 for Dawson-Boyd/Lac qui Parle Valley, Ryan Swenson (fourth) is 33-4 at 135 for Dawson-Boyd/Lac qui Parle Valley, Jergenson (fourth), Brad Kneisl (fourth) of KMS is 34-3 at 215, John Nething (sixth) of New London-Spicer is 25-5 at 171 and Evan Stock (sixth) of Yellow Medicine East is 30-3 at 215.

The list of all the schools represented in each of the five sections that includes area individuals appears in the Scorsheet section on Page B-2.

The results of each of the section tournaments will appear in Monday's paper. We will not publish results from the first day of competition.

The state wrestling tournament will be held March 4-7 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.