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Prep wrestling: Willmar to send 8 to state individuals

MOUND  — Following their repeat team victory in Section 6AAA wrestling, the Willmar Cardinals added frosting to the cake by qualifying eight for the individual state tournament which begins Friday in St. Paul.

Willmar had two champions: Austin Miley (29-3) at 132 pounds and Cass Herzog (33-0) at 285-pounds.

Sending eight Cardinals to the tournament is a school record, breaking the mark of seven set last year, Willmar head coach Ed Oehlers said.

“It’s come together well,” Oehlers said. “We’re looking forward to (this) week.”

Placing runner-up were Nate Mittag (23-6) at 126, Estevan Navarro (17-12) at 138, Travis Deegan (33-8) at 145, Colten Carlson (25-5) at 152, Vaughn Johnson (26-13) at 160, and Augustine Hahn (7-1) at 182.

Willmar placed 13 of 14 wrestlers in the top 5 and 12 in the top 3.

Willmar wrestlers were 4-for-4 in overtime; Jalen Cabrera won two of those on the way to a third-place finish at 195.

Hahn qualified the hard way, winning a true-second match, his fourth win of the day against a single loss. The sophomore missed the entire regular season recovering from a non-sports injury.

Carlson, just a freshman, scored three pins around a 5-3 setback.

Herzog, who qualified individually two years ago but missed his junior year, recorded two first-period sticks to run his record to 33-0.

Navarro punched his state ticket by winning his semifinal match in OT to advance against No. 3-ranked Wes Drougemueller, losing by fall.

Miley posted three convincing wins with two falls around  a 9-0 major.

Mittag advances to his third state individuals. Of Willmar’s 7 state qualifiers last year, he was the only one to reach the second day bowing out in the consolation quarterfinals.

Zach Lueders at 120 and Juan Resendez each went 3-1 but each had to settle for third.

Co-head coaches Justin Brown and Ed Oehlers now get the team ready to wrestle No. 1 seed St. Michael-Albertville at 9 a.m. Thursday in the AAA quarterfinals at the Xcel Energy Center.

Note: The Cardinals will practice Wednesday morning before a pep rally and send-off ceremony at 1:15 p.m. at the high school. State meet tickets are available at the high school, with the best time to purchase during the lunch hours between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Section 6AAA Individuals

Willmar results

106: Jake Bollig (1-3, 6th) dec Ben Smith, Robb. Cooper, 4-1; lost dec. Jesse Sattler, Hopkins, 15-8; lost dec Jake McGann, Minnetonka, 8-6; lost pin Ben Smith, RC, 5:37

113: Juan Resendez (3-1, third) pin Josh Skarin, Bubbalo, :58; lost dec Noah Sattler, Hop, 4-2; dec Evan Kluck, Wayzata, 4-0, OT; dec Adam Kunz, Rocori, 5-2

120: Zach Lueders (3-1, third) pin Wyatt Jacobson, Buffalo, :49; lost dec Ryan Reid, Mound, 4-3; pin Willie Rpohweder, Hop, 4:54; dec Weston Elia, Minnetonka, 8-2

126:Nate Mittag (2-1, 2nd) pin Wes Sanderson, Buff, :44; dec Eric Madsen, Robbinsdale Armstrong, 6-1; lost major to Nick O’Brien, Wayh, 14-5

132: Austin Miley (3-0, 1st) techfal Miquel Gonzalez, Armstrong, 17-2; maj dec Cody Buermann, Rocori, 9-09; pin Drake Heath, Mound, 3:40

138: Estevan Navarro (2-1, 2nd) dec Drew Resig, Hopkins, 7-2; dec Ben Rogers, Mound, 5-3 OT; lost techfal to Weston Drougenmueller, Wayzata, 17-2

145: Travis Deegen (2-1, 2nd) dec Nick Warne, Roc, 5-3; lost dec Tyler Hebig, Mound, 7-2; dec Tyshan Blach, RC, 5-2

152: Colton Carlson (3-1, 2nd) pin Tyler Clements, RC, 2:25; pin John Byers, Mound, 1:18; lost dec Collin Sohn, Way, 5-3; pin Avery Garski, Minnetonka, 4:25

160: Vaughn Johnson (3-1, 2nd) dec Hunter Durand, Buff, 11-4; dec Eri Gonzlaez, RA< 8-2; lost dec Ryder Schmidt, Wound, 2-1; pin Drake Imholte, Way, 1:54

170: Kory Welgraven (2-2, 5th) lost pin Bryan Tierney, Mound, 1:35; pin Quinn Rohweder, Hopkins, 5:54; lost dec Tim Andress, Minnetonka, 7-3; dec Dalton Calfas, Roc, 4-3

182: Augustine Hahn (4-1, 2nd) pin Travis Klein, Roc; lost dec Will VanSant, 5-4; pin Ricardo Martos, RA, 5:01; pin Jon Wirkkala, Buff, 5:30; dec Trevor Garski, Minnetonka, 3-1  

195: Jalen Gabrera (3-2, 3rd) lost dec Chiv Xiang, Cooper, 3-2; forfeit from Trevon Pettigrew, Hop; dec Erik Hannigan, Mound, 3-2, OT; dec Chiu Xiong, RC, 4-2; lost pin Nick Gabler, Minnetonka, 3:18

220: Matt Hennes (2-2, 3rd) lost by pin Adam Treptau, Buffalo, 3:40; pin Catarino, Hop, Hopkins, 1:14; pin Conan Ashley, Minnetonka, 5:44; lost pin Hutton Adams, RA, :53

285: Cass Herzog (2-0, 1st) pin Robert Sahli, Buffalo, 1:54; pin Tyler Hoffman, Rocori, 1:20

Rand Middleton
Tribune photographer/videographer. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime news/sports beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 
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