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Prep Wrestling: Cards place fourth in Class AAA state tournament

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Cael Carlson, middle, congratulates his brother Caden, left, on his win at 106 pounds in Class AAA quarterfinal against Albert Lea at the Xcel Energy Center on Thursday. Curt Hogg / Tribune3 / 7
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Willmar's Clay Carlson wrestles at Curt Hogg / Tribune5 / 7
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Willmar's Bryce Erickson wrestles at 152 pounds during a Class AAA quarterfinal against Albert Lea at the Xcel Energy Center on Thursday. Curt Hogg / Tribune7 / 7

ST. PAUL—The Willmar wrestling team entered Thursday's Class AAA state tournament looking to bring home the first state title in program history.

The Cardinals got to the doorstep of competing in one last match for the championship before ultimately walking away with a fourth-place finish.

"We were hoping to win a state title," Willmar head coach Ed Oehlers said. "I'm really proud of the guys and how they did all the way through. We have nothing to be upset about."

The Cardinals opened up with a convincing 50-18 quarterfinal win over Albert Lea to set up a semifinal bout with No. 1 seed Shakopee, where Willmar fell just short by a score of 32-30.

A point here or there would have vaulted the Cardinals into the state championship match against St. Michael-Albertville.

"We were hoping to get a few more there points out of it," Oehlers said "We wrestled really well but didn't quite get what we wanted. It takes an entire team and every single match to come away with a win."

The Cardinals then came up short, 30-22, in the third-place match against Anoka after holding a 19-18 lead entering the final four weight classes.

Caden Carlson opened up the Cardinals quarterfinal match against fifth-seeded Albert Lea by setting a tone of dominance. The freshman pinned the Tigers' Cole Glazier in just over one minute at 106 pounds.

Willmar entered the gauntlet of the other Carlsons, Clay and Cael, with a 10-8 advantage thanks to a 16-7 major decision by Israel Navarro. Both Carlson cousins pinned their opponents, with Clay's coming at the first-period buzzer, to take a 22-8 lead.

Bryce Erickson entered the tournament with a 14-19 record but recorded a 6-1 decision at 152 pounds to set up a 25-12 lead as a pair individual state qualifiers were soon to take the mat for Willmar.

Ethan Roux defeated Brody Nielsen, who entered at 42-5, with a 4-0 decision before a Lincoln Shinn 13-0 major decision while wrestling up a weight class to put the Cardinals up 32-18 with just three weight classes to go.

That set the table for Josiah Swanson to clinch the victory with any type of win. He did just that, scoring six points quickly in the second period to take a commanding lead at 195 pounds before sealing the deal with a pin.

"It was awesome. It's his senior year and last day wrestling for us," Oehlers said. "I know he was nervous coming out for that one. It was going to be a big match for us and he came out and wrestled a good first period and then got into a situation to take advantage of and he did it. I'm really proud of him and how he stuck everything out."

Andrew Reigstad and Charlie Farhat finished with wins by fall that put the cherry on top of a the 32-point win.

"We thought that maybe it could happen to win like that, but we never overlook or underestimate anyone, especially at this level," Oehlers said. "It could have been close if a couple matches go the other way."

Clay Carlson, Shinn and Farhat won by fall in the semifinal against the Sabers to tally 18 of Willmar's 30 points. Navarro, Cael Carlson and Reigstad each won by major decision to account for the team's 12 remaining points.

"It was a two-point spread and, obviously, we wanted to be on the other end of that," Oehlers said. "We had some areas where we could have wrested a little better, but we also had a lot of guys step up. We left everything out there."

Willmar 50, Albert Lea 18

106: Caden Carlson, W, pin Cole Glazier 1:01

113: Nic Cantu, A, maj dec. Jack Roehl 12-1

120: Israel Navarro, W, maj dec. Caleb Talamantes 16-7

126: Jake Johnsrud, A, maj dec. Josh Miley 14-6

132: Clay Carlson, W, pin Logan Donavan 2:00

138: Cael Carlson, W, pin Tyler Harms 1:49

145: Gavin Ignaszewski, A, maj dec. Grant Deegan 11-3

152: Bryce Erickson, W, dec. Griffin Studier 6-1

160: Ethan Roux, W, dec. Brody Nielsen 4-0

170: Zach Glazier, A, pin Kaden Streed 3:23

182: Lincoln Shinn, W, maj dec. Levi Kermes 13-0

195: Josiah Swanson, W, pin Spencer Indrelie 3:02

220: Andrew Reigstad, W, pin Jamie Valdez 1:06

285: Charlie Farhat, W, pin Christian Garcia 2:19

Shakopee 32, Willmar 30

106: Paxton Creese, S, maj dec Caden Carlson 22-9

113: Ben Lunn, S, maj dec Jack Roehl 13-2

120: Israel Navarro, W, maj dec Seth bakken 13-4

126: Tyler Jones, S, dec Josh Miley 7-2

132: Clay Carlson, W, pin Jadon Hellerud 1:25

138: Cael Carlson, W, maj dec Sam Treml 16-3

145: Sam Webster, S, tech fall Grant Deegan 25-10

152: Alex Lloyd, S, maj dec Bryce Erickson 16-7

160: Connor Raines, S, dec Ethan Roux 3-2

170: CLincoln Shinn, W, pin Joey Johnson 3:03

182: Jack Casey, S, dec Kaden Streed 10-5

195: DJ Smith, S, pin Josiah Swanson 2:19

220: Andrew Reigstad, W, maj dec Tommy Johnson 9-0

285: Charlie Farhat, W, pin Tyler Kropiwka 6:40

3rd Place Match

Anoka 30, Willmar 22

106: Brendan Howes, A, dec Caden Carlson 7-3

113: Parker Dobrocky, A, dec Jack Roehl 10-6

120: Israel Navarro, W, tech fall Jacob Miller 26-11

126: Josh Miley, W, dec Riley Emery 7-1

132: Clay carlson, W, dec Dylan Droegemueller 8-7

138: Cael Carlson, W, maj dec Tyler Young 13-4

145: Colby Njos, A, tech fall Grant Deegan 21-6

152: Scott Springer, A, dec Bryce Erickson 3-1

160: Tyler Eischens, A, maj dec Ethan Roux 12-0

170: Lincoln Shinn, W, maj dec Bodie Fitzsimmons 8-0

182: Jackson Street, A, dec Kaden Streed 5-1

195: Richie Hammonds, A, pin Josiah Swanson 1:08

220: Andrew Reigstad, W, dec Evan DeChene 8-2

285: Brandon Frankfurth, A, dec Charlie Farhat 5-1