Wrestling: Hastings denies Ponies a share of SEC title
HASTINGS — Sharing was not a virtue espoused by the Hastings wrestling team on Thursday night.
Stillwater could have joined the eighth-ranked Raiders as Sububan East Conference champions with a victory, but Hastings did not cooperate while posting a 45-17 victory in the regular season finale.
The Raiders polished off another unblemished season in the SEC while Stillwater (7-2 SEC, 15-18) remains in second place in the final standings.
“I think we competed OK,” Ponies coach Rich Keller said. “We didn’t have our best match, but they did not have the same lineup they’ve had earlier in the season. They’ve got some kids healthy and down to weight and they’re a good team.”
The Ponies actually jumped out to an 11-6 lead with victories in three of the first four matches, but Hastings answered with nine straight wins to take control before Peter Palacek recorded a pin for Stillwater at heavyweight.
“It was a big conference match and we were ready to wrestle, it was just that they were better than us,” Keller said. “The match was closer than the score says and I thought we wrestled hard, it’s just that they’re better.”
Christian Bahl picked up the first of three consecutive victories for the Ponies while earning a 9-1 major decision against Kyle Erickson at 113 pounds. Wayde Hall chipped a tooth in his match, but persevered to defeat Luis Sanchez 5-4 at 120 pounds.
Austin Jordan followed with a 15-2 major decision over Jake Spitzack at 126 pounds to give the Ponies a five-point lead after four weights.
That’s when Hastings took over, however, starting with top-ranked Luke Rowh’s hard-fought 9-6 victory over Dillan Nelson at 132 pounds.
“I thought Dillan wrestled really well against the No. 1-ranked kid,” Keller said. “It came down right to the end and he had a chance to win against a really good kid.”
Stillwater’s Andy Jordan was leading in the final seconds of his match at 138 pounds, but Austin Eichmann scored a reversal and pinned him with just one second remaining to give the Raiders a 15-11 lead.
Hastings did not look back, collecting two pins and three major decisions among the victories in the next seven victories.
Wrestling for the first time on varsity this season, Palacek stuck Josh Kickbush in 4:28 to finish out the dual with win for the Ponies.
Stillwater will send 21 wrestlers to compete in the JV conference tournament at Forest Lake on Saturday and then hosts the Section 4AAA team tournament on Feb. 16.
Hastings 45, Stillwater 17
106 — Spencer Kopp (Has) pinned Patrick Stokes, 1:06; 113 — Christian Bahl (St) major dec. Kyle Erickson, 9-1; 120 — Wayde Hall (St) dec. Luis Sanchez, 5-4; 126 — Austin Jordan (St) major dec. Jake Spitzack, 15-2; 132 — Luke Rowh (Has) dec. Dillan Nelson, 9-6; 138 — Austin Eichmann (Has) pinned Andy Jordan, 5:59; 145 — Jake Anderson (Has) pinned Matt Riehle, 1:54; 152 — Stuart Mattison (Has) major dec. Collin Olson, 18-6; 160 — Mark Vaith (Has) dec. Grant Wohlwend, 7-1; 170 — Dan Marquette (Has) pinned David Olson, 5:19; 182 — Andy Rachuy (Has) major dec. Sebastian Dingle, 11-3; 195 — Daryale Harris (Has) major dec. Mitchell Schertz, 17-6; 220 — Tony Lodermeier (Has) dec. Haden Hausken, 5-0; 285 — Peter Palacek (St) pinned Josh Kickbush, 4:28.