Prep Wrestling: 4 Cardinals reach Class AAA semifinals
ST. PAUL -- Willmar will once again be well-represented on the final day of the Class AAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament at the Xcel Energy Center, as three familiar faces and one newcomer reached the semifinals.
ST. PAUL - Willmar will once again be well-represented on the final day of the Class AAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament at the Xcel Energy Center, as three familiar faces and one newcomer reached the semifinals.
Israel Navarro (106 pounds), Colten Carlson (160) and Brady Reigstad (285) all earned repeat trips to Saturday’s event, while 113-pounder Cael Carlson was also 2-0 in his first-ever state trip.
After receiving a first-round forfeit, Navarro withstood a stiff challenge from Farmington’s Trayton Anderson to earn a 5-3 win.
Colten Carlson and Reigstad’s days wouldn’t be as challenging.
Colten scored 22 points in each of his two matches, winning by 11 and 15 respectively. Reigstad also advanced with relative ease. He pinned Wayzata’s Bryson Wilkins in 1:11 and beat Minnetonka’s Aaron Moore 8-2 in round two.
Colten Carlson, Navarro and Reigstad all reached the final day in their respective weight classes a year ago. Reigstad placed third, Carlson fourth and Navarro fifth.
Colten Carlson, in his fifth and final state trip, also placed second in the 152-pound class as a freshman in 2013.
Colten’s cousin Cael will look to make his mark as well, as he too escaped the opening day unscathed.
Cael began his competition by pinning Croix Mader of Hastings in 4:19. Then, in a quarterfinal defensive-battle, he escaped the grasp of Apple Valley’s Nate Larson with 1:20 remaining in the third period, scoring what would be the match’s only two points.
It was the second time in as many days Cael defeated Larson. He also earned a pinfall when the two met in the team competition Thursday, an occurrence he believes gave him a psychological edge Friday.
“I am a lot tougher mentally and when (I beat him), I think I broke him and he realized this is going to be tough,” Cael said. “And it set in my mind that ‘this is your tournament.’ ”
This sense of confidence seems to have sprung out of necessity for Cael, who made varsity as a seventh-grader but struggled to crack the lineup behind strong competition.
But when the opportunity to shine was presented to him, he was ready to run with it, and is now looking to cement his standing as the next great Carlson to come through the Willmar program.
“I’ve worked my butt off to get to this spot,” he said. “This is where I want to be and I finally got here and all I’ve got to do is finish.”
Logan Walkow also reached the quarterfinals in 152 but dropped a 7-2 decision to Brock Morgan of Apple Valley to fall into the consolation bracket.
In the opening round, Walkow needed just 1:09 to pin Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony Village’s Danny Chlebeck.
Walkow returns to action today at 9:30 a.m. and the semifinals are at 10:45 a.m. The championship round is at 7 p.m.