ROCHESTER — Competing against the toughest field this side of the state tournament, the Stillwater wrestling team placed 22nd out of 36 teams in the Minnesota Christmas Tournament on Friday and Saturday at University Center.
Senior Austin Jordan and eighth-grader Christian Bahl were the only placewinners for the Ponies, who finished with 73 points. The Ponies finished behind 14th-place Hastings (107.5), but in front of the other three Suburban East Conference teams in the field White Bear Lake (23rd), Forest Lake (28th) and Mounds View (35th).
St. Michael-Albertville took top honors in the prestigious field with 256.5 points while Apple Valley was the runner-up at 247.5.
“I thought we wrestled really well,” Ponies coach Rich Keller said. “The two placewinners obviously wrestled very well to place at that tournament. We won some matches against some ranked kids and lost to ranked kids. I thought those two really stood out as accomplishing a pretty good feat to place at a tournament that has all the top-ranked teams from Class AAA, AA and A. That’s as tough a tournament, if not tougher, than the state tournament.”
Competing at 132 pounds, Jordan bounced back from a 7-4 loss to eventual runner-up Kyle Gliva of Simley in his second match to win four in a row en route to a 5-3 record to place sixth. Jordan was pinned by third-place finisher Luke Rowh of Hastings to end his brief winning streak and lost a 13-5 major decision against Eliot Jurries of Jackson County Central in the fifth-place match.
Bahl competed at 106 pounds for the first time this season and he posted a 4-2 record to finish seventh. Bahl, who pinned Andrew Smith of Amery in 5:06 in the match for seventh place, suffered his only losses against eventual champion Gabe Shea of Kasson-Mantorville and fourth-place finisher Tanner Cole of Owatonna.
Five of Stillwater’s entries survived to wrestle on Day 2, a list that also included Dillan Nelson at 126 pounds, Andy Jordan at 138 pounds and Derrick Thingvold at heavyweight.
Nelson opened with a 5-2 win over Adam Blees of Bismarck, N.D., before getting knocked into the loser’s bracket with an 8-3 loss to Kyle Mezera of Lancaster. Nelson pinned Totino-Grace’s Carter Walch to advance, but was later eliminated by a 4-0 loss to Matt Eisenpeter of Watertown-Mayer.
It was all or nothing for Andy Jordan, who recorded two major decisions but was also pinned by placewinners Kollin Kragnes of West Fargo and Zach Skopec of Spring Lake Park to finish with a 2-2 record.
Thingvold collected three victories, but failed to place after getting stopped by Chandler Wright of Wayzata in the losers bracket.
“The kids really competed hard and as a whole, the ones who won some matches and even the ones who didn’t, really stepped up and saw the intensity level that it takes,” Keller said. “It was a good experience to see that kind of competition.”
1. St. Michael-Albertville 256.5; 2. Apple Valley 247.5; 3. Kasson-Mantorville 245; 4. Simley 177.5; 5. Cambridge-Isanti 161; 6. West Fargo 160.5; 7. Albert Lea 144.5; 8. Prior Lake 137; 9. Scott West 129.5; 10. Owatonna 127; 11. Jackson County Central 114.5; 12. Lancaster 114; 13. Bismarck 108.5; 14. Hastings 107.5; 15. Wayzata 105; 16. New Prague 103.5; 17. Watertown-Mayer 102.5; 18. Totino-Grace 95; 19. Huron 90.5; 20. Wabasha-Kellogg 80; 21. Centennial 76; 22. Stillwater 73; 23. White Bear Lake 71.5; 24. Amery 68.5; 25. Rochester Mayo 68; 26. Coon Rapids 66; 27. Stewartville 64.5; 28. Forest Lake 55; 29. Henry Sibley 54.5; 30. Bloomington Kennedy 52.5; 31. Lake City 50; 32. St. Francis 48; 33. Spirit Lake Park 47; 34. Irondale 40; 35. Mounds View 25.5; 36. Rochester John Marshall 24.
106 — Christian Bahl (4-2, 7th place): bye; major dec. Bryce Hill (BK) 10-0; dec. Jack Bergeland (Cen) 7-6; lost by technical fall to Gabe Shea (K-M) 17-2; dec. Cortez Arrendondo (Sim) 4-3; pinned by Tanner Cole (Owa) 2:04; pinned Andrew Smith (Am) 5:06.
113 — Forfeit.
120 — Forfeit.
126 — Dillan Nelson (2-2, DNP): dec. Adam Blees (Bis) 5-2; lost to Kyle Mezera (Lan) 8-3; pinned Carter Walch (T-G) 2:45; lost to Matt Eisenpeter (W-M) 4-0.
132 — Austin Jordan (5-3, 6th place): bye; dec. Andrew Walock (AV) 3-0; lost to Kyle Gliva (Sim) 7-4; major dec. Tyler Skogstad (Hur) 15-1; pinned Spencer Carstens (AL) 1:22; dec. Ben Rock (PL) 6-0; dec. Aaron Sweeney (W-M) 5-0; pinned by Luke Rowh (Has) 5:25; lost by major dec. to Eliot Jurries (JCC) 13-5.
138 — Andy Jordan (2-2, DNP): bye; major dec. Noah Bailey (LC) 13-2; pinned by Kollin Kragnes (WF) 2:55; major dec. Kiyanu Baker (CR) 10-2; pinned by Zach Skopec (SLP) :48.
145 — Gavin Keogh (0-2, DNP): pinned by Ryan Norton (PL) 1:40; lost by technical fall to Nathan Evan (RJM) 17-1.
152 — Colin Olson (1-2, DNP): bye; pinned Jimmy Warren (W-K) 1:15; lost by major dec. to Kyle Kragnes (WF) 13-3; lost by technical fall to Alex Eastman (SF) 17-0.
160 — Reid Vollmar (0-2, DNP): bye; lost to Drake Imholte (Way) 10-9; lost by major dec. Hector Rabelo (Sim) 9-0.
170 — David Olson (1-2, DNP): bye; pinned by Taylor Beaman (HS) 2:34; pinned Dahlton Felix (PL) 1:42: lost by major dec. Derek Dahlke (SW) 13-4.
182 — Sebastian Dingle (0-2, DNP): pinned by Nate Guggisberg (JCC) 2:58; lost to Drew Kary (Bis) 5-2.
195 — Mitchell Schertz (0-2, DNP): lost to Joel Gay (LC) 3-0; pinned by Rob Schulke (Way) :42.
220 — Haden Hausken (0-2, DNP): lost to Zack Shepherd (W-K) 8-5; pinned by Jon Ernst (W-M) 2:29.
285 — Derrick Thingvold (3-2, DNP): dec. Andrew Denzer (LC) 1-0; pinned by Spencer Sorenson (Owa) 1:22; dec. Tristan Hall (Bis) 6-2; pinned Zach LaFavor (NP) 2:07; lost by major dec. to Chandler Wright (Way) 9-1.