Wrestling: Willmar reclaims 8AAA title; get upended by Anoka in state quarterfinals

On Saturday, Cardinals beat Bemidji, 37-22, then fall in state opener, 37-24

031521.S.WCT.Willmar Wres Jonas Anez Bemidji.jpg
Willmar junior Jonas Anez (left) looks to drive Bemidji's Darren Roth into the mat during their 152-pound match at the Section 8AAA championship Saturday at Sauk Rapids. Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

SAUK RAPIDS — After being bested by Bemidji the last two seasons, Willmar returned to the top of Section 8AAA.

Then with a quick turnaround for the Class AAA state quarterfinals, the Cardinals’ team season came to a close after a loss to Anoka.

Competing in the Section 7AAA/8AAA state prelim Saturday at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School, top-seeded Willmar beat second-seeded Bemidji 37-22 to win its first section title since 2018. The Lumberjacks had won the previous two section championships, beating the Cardinals in the finals in 2019 and 2020.

In the final match of the day, Willmar faced Anoka after the Tornadoes won the Section 7AAA championship over Forest Lake, 31-28.

Ultimately, Anoka advanced to the state semifinals with a 37-24 victory over the Cardinals.


Joining the Tornadoes in the Class AAA semifinals are: Shakopee; Stillwater; and St. Michael-Albertville. The four teams will compete for the state championship on Thursday, March 25 at St. Michael-Albertville High School.

Willmar’s wrestlers will now prepare for the Section 8AAA individual tournament, set to take place on Wednesday, March 17 at Bemidji. The top four wrestlers at each weight will compete in a state prelim tournament against athletes from 7AAA at noon Saturday, March 20 at Coon Rapids. The top two wrestlers from the state prelim will advance to St. Michael-Albertville to compete in an eight-man bracket to determine a state champion.

Check later for more on Willmar’s section win/state loss.

Class AAA quarterfinals
Anoka 37,
Willmar 24

106: Austin West, A, dec Ivan Ciriaco-Mares, 6-4
113: Conlan Carlson, W, pinned Garrett Wittek, 0:25
120: Ashton Wollan, A, dec Sully Anez, 7-5 (OT)
126: Elijah Paulson, A, pinned Jorge Zelaya-Velasquez, 1:48
132: Carter Ban, A, dec Steven Cruze, 7-3
138: Brendan Howes, A, dec Caden Carlson, 11-9 (UTB)
145: Brad Howes, A, maj dec Braeden Erickson, 12-0
152: Jonas Anez, W, dec Noah Torgerson, 3-0
160: Joe Kallevig, W, dec Caleb Brandenburg, 11-7
170: Zaden Fitzsimmonds, A, pinned Jacob Leiva, 2:22
182: Jacob Whitaker, A, dec Tyler Ludwig, 9-3
195: Kaden Streed, W, pinned LUke DeChene, 0:53
220: Mason Swanson, W, pinned Jaden Burandt, 4:27
285: Tyler Nebelung, A, pinned Lonnie Sanchez, 1:45

Section 8AAA championship
Willmar 37,
Bemidji 22

106: Ivan Ciriaco-Mares, W, maj dec Gavin Osborn, 13-2
113: Conlan Carlson, W, pinned Bordy Castonguay, 2:41
120: Sully Anez, W, maj dec Hunter Heim, 15-5
126: Jorge Zelaya-Velasquez, W, dec Seth Sisneros, 6-2
132: Steven Cruze, W, dec Coy Olsen, 5-3
138: Caden Carlson, W, maj dec Noah Leffelman, 14-6
145: Thade Osborn, B, maj dec Braeden Erickson, 9-0
152: Jonas Anez, W, maj dec Darren Roth, 18-5
160: Seth Newby, B, pinned Cameren Champagne, 1:05
170: Joe Kallevig, W, dec Hoyt Solum, 12-7
182: Barrick Nelson, B, pinned Tyler Ludwig, 3:16
195: Kaden Streed, W, dec Nate Schwinghammer, 8-2
220: Colton Hinrichs, B, pinned Ramero Trevino, 5:23

285: Mason Swanson, W, dec Caleb Bahr, 3-2

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