Prep Wrestling: Willmar walks away with second place

Cardinal wrestlers go 2-1 at Kiffmeyer Duals in St. Cloud

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Willmar senior Mason Swanson, top, goes for the pin on New Prague's Peyton Elgren during their 220-pound match at the Kiffmeyer Duals Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022 in St. Cloud.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

ST. CLOUD — After the last two weeks, Willmar head wrestling coach Ed Oehlers is curious to see how the Cardinals will respond to adversity.

Competing in the six-team Kiffmeyer Duals Saturday at St. Cloud Tech High School, Willmar finished in second place after going 2-1. They opened with wins over the St. Cloud Crush (50-18) and Foley (47-21) before ending the day with a loss against New Prague (41-23).

St. Cloud, a co-op of mainly Tech and Apollo, is in the Class AAA lean and mean rankings while Foley is 12th in Class AA. New Prague is 10th in AA and Willmar seventh in AAA.

“It’s good coming home with some hardware and getting things rolling with the first two (matches),” said senior 220-pounder Mason Swanson. “The third one (against New Prague) should have been what it was, but it’s something to build off of here.”

Since Jan. 8, Willmar is 5-5 in dual meets. Three of those losses were against top 12 teams while the other two are in the lean and mean just outside the top 12.


“These guys wrestled really tough and showed a lot of promise in a couple of their duals,” Oehlers said. “It was tough to lose that last one by that much of a spread, I’m not going to lie.”

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Willmar eighth grader Cavin Carlson, top, works on New Prague's Kyle McCarthy during their 106-pound match at the Kiffmeyer Duals Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022 in St. Cloud.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

Against the Trojans in the championship, Willmar opened at 106 pounds with a 17-2 tech fall from Cavan Carlson. Getting wins by forfeit at 126 and 160, Swanson tacked on a first-period fall at 220 over Peyton Elgren.

It capped off a 3-0 day for Swanson. He opened the day with a familiar foe in St. Cloud’s Tucker Hugg.

“I’ve been wrestling him since I was real little, like first grade,” Swanson said. “He’s been a rival for me, probably my biggest. He got me by a couple points last year. This time, I got him by a couple.”

Swanson won an 11-7 decision over Hugg. Both are ranked in the top 10 at 220, with Swanson sixth and Hugg ninth. Swanson also had a tech fall against Foley’s Colton Rothfork, 17-0.

“I have to stay on my feet,” Swanson said about taking on Hugg. “He’s pretty good on his feet; real lengthy. So I had to stay in position, get my ties and get my takedowns, which I did today.”

The Cardinals will compete in a triangular Thursday at Eden Prairie against the host Eagles and Lakeville South. Then on Saturday, Jan. 22, they’ll compete at an individual tournament at Hutchinson.

After this stretch, Oehlers admits he’s ready for a mental recharge. That was his point of emphasis after Saturday’s tournament: come back this week with a clean slate.


“In the last week, we’ve taken five losses and obviously, they don’t like that,” Oehlers said. “It bothers them and it kind of hurts. In all reality, if we respond the right way, it doesn’t matter; it’s what we learn from it and how we respond. If the guys fully understand that and believe it, I have faith we’ll be able to turn that around.”

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The Willmar wrestling team shows off its hardware after taking second place at the Kiffmeyer Duals on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2022 at St. Cloud Tech High School.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

Kiffmeyer Duals


New Prague 41, Willmar 23

106: Cavin Carlson, W, tech fall Kyle McCarthy, 17-2 (6:00)
113: Lawson Eller, NP, maj dec Eli Heinen, 12-1
120: Brandon Michel, NP, dec Ivan Mares-Ciriaco, 5-2
126: Conlan Carlson, W, won by forfeit
132: Brady Westall, NP, dec Sully Anez, 4-3
138: Luke Dorweiler, NP, dec Cameren Champagne, 11-6
145: Koy Buesgens, NP, tech fall Steven Cruze, 26-11 (5:42)
152: Colton Bornholdt, NP, dec Breden Erickson, 11-6
160: Jonas Anez, W, won by forfeit
170: Evan Farley, NP, dec Joe Kallevig, 7-3
182: Frank Giesen, NP, won by forfeit
195: Joey Novak, NP, tech fall Zander MIska, 15-0 (2:00)
220: Mason Swanson, W, pinned Peyton Elgren, 1:58
285: Evan Anderson, NP, pinned Daunte Castellano, 2:41

Willmar 47, Foley 21

106: Cavin Carlson, W, won by forfeit
113: Eli Heinen, W, dec Wyatt Wall, 6-0
120: Ivan Mares-Ciriaco, W, won by forfeit
126: Sully Anez, W, dec Cayden Hansmeier, 9-3
132: Conlan Carlson, W, tech fall Kyler Benson, 20-4 (4:30)
138: Cameron Champagne, W, pinned Issac Milejczak, 2:30
145: Alex Jennissen, F, dec Steven Cruze, 2-1
152: Braeden Erickson, W, dec Cole Rudnitski, 7-2
160: Joe Kallevig, W, maj dec Zack Jennissen, 13-5
170: Jonas Anez, W, pinned Wyatt Harris, 1:53
182: isaiah Peterson, F, won by forfeit
195: Aiden Micholski, F, pinned Zander Miska, 1:09
220: Mason Swanson, W, tech fall Colton Rothfork, 17-0 (3:45)
285: Elijah Novak, W, pinned Daunte Castellano, 1:02

Willmar 50, St. Cloud 18

106: Cavin Carlson, W, pinned Grady Doering, 0:52
113: Eli Heinen, W, dec Jack Hamak, 3-0
120: Ivan Mares-Ciriaco, W, pinned Noah Neuman, 5:29
126: Conlan Carlson, W, pinned Tanner Hugg, 2:53
132: Sully Anez, W, dec Koda Nelson, 4-1
138: Jaxon Kenning, SC, pinned Cameren Champagne, 2:42
145: Steven Cruze, W, dec Aidian Orth, 7-2
152: Braeden Erickson, W, maj dec Sam Long, 23-10
160: Joe Kallevig, W, pinned Martin Bird, 3:07
170: Jonas Anez, W, maj dec Andy Johnson, 13-4
182: Cody Brott, SC, pinned Blake Lara, 3:39
195: Sutton Kenning, SC, pinned Zander Miska, 1:25
220: Mason Swanson, W, dec Tucker Hugg, 11-7
285: Daunte Castellano, W, pinned Patrick Njoya, 4:41

Big Ole 2022

With first-place showings from Trey Gunderson at 106 pounds and Coy Gunderson at 160, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg won the Big Ole tournament at Alexandria.

The Fighting Saints had 128 points, beating Kimball (123) and Albany (109) in the nine-team tournament.

Trey Gunderson won by fall in both of his matches, including a pin on Alexandria’s Nolan Fettig at 2:17.


Coy Gunderson clinched the 160 title after an 11-3 major decision against Albany’s Peyton Krumrei.

Team scoring
(1) Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg 128 (2) Kimball 123 (3) Albany 109 (4) New York Mills (5) Alexandria 99.5 (6) Minneota 92 (7) Barnesville 88 (8) Badger/Greenbush-Middle River 79 (9) Ottertail Central 78
How KMS fared
Key: (Weight, name, won-loss, place)
106: Trey Gunderson, 2-0, first … 120: Noah Johnson, 2-3, third … 145: Jett Olson, 4-1, second … 152: Ely Johnson, 3-2, third … 160: Coy Gunderson, 3-0, first … 182: Masyn Olson, 2-2, fourth … 195: Owen Kidrowski, 2-3, fourth … 220: Collin Johnson, 2-3, fourth … 285: Jason Jones, 2-2, fourth

HLWW Invite

BOLD’s Austin Kiecker was the champion at 145 pounds as the Warriors finished 12th with 33.5 points in the 17-team Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Invitational in Howard Lake.

Going 3-0 on the day, Kiecker beat Rocori’s Evan Moscho in the championship match with a 6-5 decision.

The host Lakers won the team championship with 163.5 points, beating Annandale/Maple Lake’s 141.

Team scoring
(1) Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted 163.5 (2) Annandale/Maple Lake 141 (3) Rocori 119.5 (4) Buffalo 118.5 (5) Mound-Westonka 118 (6) Monticello 89 (7) Zimmerman 66.5 (8) Holdingford 54.5 (9) Robbinsdale Armstrong 43 (10) St. Agnes 39.5 (11) Spectrum 36 (12) BOLD 33.5 (13) Rockford 19.5 (14) Minneapolis Washburn 15 (15) Minneapolis Edison 13.5 (16) Le Sueur-Henderson 5 (17) Minneapolis Southwest
How BOLD fared
Key: (Weight, name, won-loss, place)120: Brady Kiecker, 1-2, fourth … 145: Austin Kiecker, 3-0, first … 170: Connor Plumley, 0-2

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