by Jason Olson
While Apple Valley (Section 3AAA champion) is the poster-child for Minnesota Wrestling, Section 7AAA should take that title soon enough as four of the state’s top-12 ranked teams come from what is the state’s toughest section.
St. Michael-Albertville, the top-ranked team in the state, captured the section team title after a 47-17 win against fourth-ranked, Cambridge-Isanti in the finals at Forest Lake, Feb. 15.
No. 11-ranked Anoka handed Blaine a 45-22 loss in the quarterfinals before losing to Cambridge-Isanti 52-9 in the semifinals.
Anoka’s nine points came from two victories including Liam Strong’s fall against Carlo Holmberg in 1:05 at 126 pounds. Anoka’s Conner Larson scored a 7-5 decision win against CJ Schlichtman at 160 pounds.
The other semifinal pitted No. 12-ranked Coon Rapids against STMA. The Cardinals downed St. Francis 47-16 in the quarterfinals before STMA ended the Cardinals hopes of a section-team title with a 65-3 loss.
The lone Coon Rapids win came at 160 pounds by Tyler Berdahl who scored a 6-5 decision over Ryan Rostamo. Coon Rapids’ forfeit at heavyweight after the Knights won four straight matches by pin from 170-to 220-pounds.
The quarterfinal win against St. Francis began with seven straight wins by the Cardinals including a fall at 113 pounds by Josh Bryant in 2:36 followed by Jarod Julkowski’s 14-2 major decision against Andrew Wasche. Kiyanu Baker added a fall at 145 pounds in 2:23 against St. Francis’ David Jorganson. Fighting Saints 152-pounder Alex Eastman erased the zero on the team scoreboard with a 9-1 major decision against Coon Rapids’ Dakota Johnston.
Berdahl gave the Cardinals another win by way of a 9-6 win at 160-pounds against Taylor Charles. Ryan Jones found a fall at 3:45 of his 170-pound match and Alex Calderilla followed at 170-pounds with an 11-0 major decision.
Saints 220-pounder Conan Sandberg pinned Cardinal Shad Olson at 1:37 before St. Francis’ Adam Blue scored a forfeit win for the final total.
No. 9 seed Elk River handed No. 8 Andover a 42-24 loss in the preliminary round as the Elks were blanked by STMA in the quarterfinals 69-0.
The opening match included Andover pins by Corey Parsons at 182 pounds in 45 seconds; Allen Jenson at 145 pounds in 3:20 and John Reynolds at 152 pounds in 3:11. The Elks won nine of the 14 matches with three by fall, one tech fall and one major decision.
Andover added decision wins at 113 pounds – Gibson Boards defeated Ben Gibas 7-3 and 120 pounds – Connor Schlotfeldt defeated Cole Moening 6-5.