ST. PAUL - Sibley East's Nathan Rose had his arm raised one last time in a Sibley East singlet on Saturday night.
Rose, a University of Minnesota commit, of cemented his name as a three-time 195-pound champion - and for a year will remain the only Class A champion at 195 since the weight class's inception in 2012.
"Guys like him, you can't compare them to anything," said coach Chad Johnson. "Coaches always hope to get one of those sometime in their career and we've been pretty fortunate to have him."
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Sibley East's Nathan Rose is the Class A State Champion at 195 pounds after defeating Vince Johnson of Windom/Mountain Lake Saturday at the Xcel Center in St. Paul.
For his third state title, Rose defeated fourth-ranked Vince Johnson of Windom/Mountain Lake in an 11-3 major decision, during which he nearly had a cradle locked up late in the second period but instead settled for three back points.
"I don't think I wrestled my best, but who knows if he was either," Rose said as he ripped the tape off his hands.
Rose was not the only area wrestler who defended his title on Saturday night at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial Area's Louis Sanders beat Triton's Patrick Ramirez in an 11-6 decision to win the 126-pound title in Class A. Sanders ultimately credited his offseason training to his ability to win back-to-back state titles.
"It's quite the moment - a state title is the ultimate thing you can do as a high-schooler," Sanders said. "It's quite worth it trying to push yourself all year so you can show off at state."
Having won the 120-pound title last year as a sophomore, Sanders said both championships were just as tough to win. However, he noted one key difference.
"I think I've matured and gotten a little better since last year," Sanders said. "I like to try and push myself as hard as I can throughout the whole match."
Sanders was the only placewinner of LC-WM Area's nine state qualifiers, which tied a school record and was the most of any team in Class A.
Rose was the Wolverines' only finalist, but was not their only placewinner. Tanner Pasvogel (106 pounds) and Hunter Retzlaff (145) both placed third, while Jason Meyer (132) placed fifth on Saturday evening.
"I really wanted to get third because my main goal is always to beat whatever my brother [Tyler] does and his ninth-grade year he got fourth," said Pasvogel, a first-time state qualifier. "So I wanted to beat that."
Pasvogel held off last-minute reversal attempts from No. 5 Caleb Kreitter (Crosby-Ironton) to win 2-0 in the third-place match. Pasvogel's reversal at the 0:39 mark in the second period was the deciding factor in the match.
Despite not making a return trip to the finals this year, Retzlaff finished his wrestling career with a third-place finish. He could not help but feel a little short-changed for having to wrestle Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City's Larry Bomstad, the returning state champion and overwhelming favorite, in the semifinals.
"The kid that's going for second - there's no way he's going to beat Bomstad - I beat 12-6 earlier [this year]," Retzlaff said. "His bracket was just a walkthrough."
Retzlaff, who was ranked No. 2 coming into the tournament, said he doesn't think the tournament needs to fully consider The Guillotine's rankings, but rather put more weight on past success when sewing the brackets together.
"It was me, [No. 3 Dylan] Herman, Bomstad and [No. 4 Alec Engler of Minneota] all on one side," Retzlaff said.
Overall, Johnson was pretty happy with having four of his five ranked wrestlers place in this year's state tournament after finishing sixth overall in the state duals on Thursday.
"The tournament part was a little frustrating, but the individual part was a good success," Johnson said. "The positive thing is we got a lot of young, inexperienced guys some opportunities to get on the mat here and hopefully that benefits them down the road."
BUZZER-BEATING BACK POINTS PROPEL KRUEGER
With the clock winding down in a scoreless 182-pound consolation semifinal match, River Valley's Tim Krueger refused to let go of Frazee's Kody VanDenEykel.
Staring down an impending sudden-victory period to decide the match, Krueger managed to get VanDenEykel on his back for a 3-count, 2-point nearfall as the match expired.
That put the Springfield senior into the third-place match against third-ranked Maverick Whitcomb of Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City. There, Krueger could not get his offense going as he fell in a 14-0 major decision to finish fourth.
Even though he did not become the program's fourth state champion in the past five years, Krueger is the 11th placewinner in the past 11 years. Krueger will possibly be the last placewinner for River Valley, since coach Todd Bertram said the program is currently exploring options for new co-op arrangements.
As of now, however, Bertram said nothing is set in stone.
Three area wrestlers took the mat on Saturday morning one match away from placing in the state tournament, but came up short.
St. James Area's Mario Garcia, who upset LC-WM Area's Wallace Michels to earn a state bid, made it to Saturday morning's competition before getting pinned by No. 3 Anthony Kern (Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale) in 2:36. Despite the loss, Garcia said this state trip has taught him something important.
"Hard work pays off eventually one way or another," Garcia said.
Garcia reached Saturday morning's consolation quarterfinals by holding off Jackson County Central's Dalton Wagner in the previous round in a 6-5 overtime victory.
"The Jackson kid was pretty tough, I saw his match against A-C-GC," Garcia said. "He's pretty relentless, but I knew I had to keep going forward just to win the match. I at least made it up here."
LC-WM Area's two wrestlers in the consolation quarterfinals - juniors Levi Marsh (132 pounds) and Nick Meixell (heavyweight) - were much closer to placing but lost in sudden-victory decisions.
Marsh held a 3-1 lead against No. 6 Cody Weiland (Crookston) in the final seconds of his match, but gave up a takedown at the buzzer after two long blood timeouts to send it to overtime.
Midway through the sudden-victory period, Weiland garnered the match-winning takedown to eliminate Marsh.
Meixell, who wrestled as the team's 220-pounder for a good portion of the season, nearly upset No. 2 Garrett Malstrom of Frazee, but fell in a 3-1 sudden-victory decision during which he gave up the deciding takedown in the first 10 seconds of the extra period.
Class A state championship matches
106 No. 2 Skylar Hieronimus (Adrian Area) dec. No. 1 Brock Buysse (Minneota/Lincoln HI), 2-1
113 No. 1 Austin Anderly (LS-Henderson) dec. No. 4 Jared Goldsmith (Chatfield), 7-5
120 No. 1 Cameron Sykora (Border West) tech fall No. 2 Spencer Jenniges (Wabasso/RRC), 15-0 (5:20)
126 No. 1 Louis Sanders (LC-WM Area) dec. No. 8 Patrick Ramirez (Triton), 11-6
132 No. 1 Quinten Berres (Kimball Area) dec. No. 9 Mason Moreno (Hayfield), 6-4
138 No. 1 Hank Friederichs (Chatfield) dec. No. 6 Bryce Bruner (Minneota/Lincoln HI), 4-0
145 No. 1 Larry Bomstad (A-C-GC) pinned No. 6 Kolton Eischens (Pierz), 2:28
152 No. 1 Logan Peterson (A-C-GC) dec. No. 3 Harvey Friederichs (Chatfield), 4-2
160 No. 2 Mitch Lange (Royalton/Upsala) dec. No. 7 Andrew Dayland (St. Charles), 10-8
170 No. 1 Keegan Moore (JCC) tech fall No. 6 Ryan Stottler (Minnewaska Area), 22-7 (5:16)
182 No. 1 Niko Anderson (Fillmore/Lanesboro/M-C) dec. No. 2 Colten Carlson (United SC), 4-3
195 No. 1 Nathan Rose (Sibley East) mdec. No. 4 Vince Johnson (Windom/Mountain Lake), 11-3
220 No. 1 Lucas Damm (A-C-GC) dec. No. 4 Austin Schielbein (Kimball Area), 8-3
Hwt No. 1 Alex Schroepfer (Wabasso/RRC) dec. Taylor Carlson (United NC), 9-5