Several top wrestlers make final push to section glory

by Jason Olson
Sports Editor

Several area wrestlers will make the trek down to the state wrestling tournament after successful weekends at their respective section individual tournaments. [smooth=id:544]

Section 7AAA was once again stacked with top-ranked wrestlers so breaking through to state was a huge task.

Anoka’s defending state champion Kyle Begin pinned his way through the 170-pound bracket including a 35-second fall against Coon Rapids senior Brandt Halseth in the semifinals.

Andover’s Sam Stewart also had a perfect 3-0 march through sections to enter state with a 37-2 record with two falls, including a pin of Cambridge’s Ty Torgerson at 5:40 of the championship final.

As one of only two sophomores in the 195-pound bracket, Blaine’s Caleb Butler continued his march with three decision wins, including a 6-2 win over St. Michael-Albertville’s Mitchell Eull in the final.

Coon Rapids junior Michael Burckhardt, ranked No. 2, picked up falls in the quarters and semifinals at 220 pounds before finishing off STMA’s Nick Edling with a 5-1 decision in the final.

Anoka’s 145-pounder Jeremy Beaman won his true second-place match against Torgerson by forfeit to earn his place in the state tournament after Stewart handed him a 6-1 loss in the semifinals.

Coon Rapids’ ranked lightweight freshman Blane Tschida came back from a 6-4 final loss at 106 pounds to win his true second-place match over Cambridge sophomore Tommy Guy 6-1 to give him 36 wins on the season.

Fellow Cardinal Joe Anderson will make his first state appearance after losing the 120-pound final to third-ranked Cole Sladek of STMA by a 14-4 decision.

Tanner Lowe, the Cardinals highly-ranked heavyweight, earned a return trip to state where he looks to improve on his third-place medal from last season. [smooth=id:545]

Lowe, who is recovering from a knee injury, earned a first-round fall, but winning a four-overtime semifinal 3-2 decision over Elk River’s Kyle Wiemann took a lot of energy from Lowe.

He fell to STMA junior Michael Kessler in the final 3-1.

St. Francis junior Taylor Charles earned a 13-0 major over Coon Rapids senior Austin Lubinski in the semifinals before Cambridge’s Cody Skog won the 152-pound championship over Charles by pinfall at 2:20.

Section 5AAA
Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony had two wrestlers qualify for state through true second-place wins.
Panthers senior Phillip Horsager won his true second-place match at 132 pounds over Centennial’s Nate Stott by fall at 1:38 to secure his place in the state tournament.

Matt Strasser won two matches to earn a spot in the state 160-pound bracket with a true second-place win by fall at 3:57.

Eighth-grader Danny Chelbeck lost his true second-place match at 106 pounds to Centennial’s Mike Mischke by fall at 59 seconds. Jeremy Nelson also lost his true second-place match by a 6-1 decision against Derek Weinmann of Irondale at 152 pounds.

Section champions
Andover: Sam Stewart (145)
Anoka: Kyle Begin (170)
Blaine: Caleb Butler (195)
Coon Rapids: Michael Burckhardt (220)

Section runner-up
Andover: Corey Parsons (160)
Anoka: Jeremy Beaman (145)
Coon Rapids: Blane Tschida (106); Joe Anderson (120); Tanner Lowe (285)
St. Francis: Taylor Charles (152)
Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony: Phillip Horsager (132); Matt Strasser (160)