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2022 Wrestling Individual Tournament Recap

Posted: Saturday, March 5, 2022 - 2:24 PM

Wrestling State Tournament brings blend of tradition, something new

In a milestone congruent with a celebratory journey to recognize the 50th birthday of Title IX, the Minnesota State High School League made history on Saturday, March 5, 2022, with the first-time state championship crowning of 12 female participants during the Wrestling State Tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Title IX, landmark federal legislation that created equal opportunities for females, was signed into law on June 23, 1972.

A girls wrestling postseason division within the existing three-class state tournament format for boys was approved by the League’s Representative Assembly on May 11, 2021. Minnesota is one of 32 states that sponsors high school girls wrestling. Girls were able to train and compete with the boys team throughout the regular season and in postseason dual competition. Girls wrestling is the newest activity to be added since Clay Target was approved in 2012 and first implemented in 2014.

The debut event was a one-day girls tournament with semifinals in the early afternoon followed by championship matches later in the evening. From anxious moments in the staging area when the girls participants were alerted by the public address announcer that they were on deck, every step they took, be it on the mat or to the medal podium, were leaving historical imprints.

Regardless of the results on this day, all will be remembered as wrestling trailblazers.

Simley seventh-grader Charli Raymond became the answer to a trivia question when she recorded the first victory and pin in the tournament’s history during her win over Robbinsdale Armstrong sophomore Amelia Hermanson in the 100-pound semifinals. Moments later, Owatonna senior Rian Grunwald recorded the first overtime victory with a win over Sauk Centre/Melrose sophomore Lanna Walter in the 114-pound semifinals.

Amid historic fanfare later during championship matches, here are the first title-winners in girls wresting:

  • 100 pounds --- Charli Raymond, Simley
  • 107 --- Aspen Blasko, Forest Lake
  • 114 --- Rian Grunwald, Owatonna
  • 120 –- Audrey Rogotzke, Stillwater Area
  • 126 --- Joel Makem, Shakopee
  • 132 --- Skylar Little Soldier, Hastings
  • 138 --- Riley Myers, Eastview
  • 145 --- Grace Alagbo, Apple Valley
  • 152 --- Sehan Areial Miller, Minneapolis Edison
  • 165 --- Ella Pagel, Northfield
  • 185 --- Myia Teeselink, Chisago Lakes
  • 235 --- Isabelle Huss, Centennial

Raymond was all smiles afterward as she met with reporters.

“It feels awesome; I am honored and excited,” she said.

“She worked really hard for this,” longtime Simley assistant coach Mark Madigan said. “She is a great champion and continues the incredible tradition of Simley wrestling.”

In other championship results:

Class A

  • Jackson County Central senior Kie Anderson had a memorable 100th career victory. It came in a 3-2 decision over Tracy-Milroy-Balaton-Westbrook-Walnut Grove in the 120-pound championship match.
  • Jackson County Central sophomore Nolan Ambrose won his second consecutive state championship with a 6-3 decision over Goodhue senior Ryan Bortz in the 113-pound title match. Ambrose was the 106-pound champion in 2021.
  • Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa senior Walker Bents won his second championship with a 5-3 decision over Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove senior Ayden Homer in the 132-pound championship.
  • United North Central senior Ethan Hendrickson defeated Sibley East junior Drayden Morton 5-3 in a rousing 145-pound championship match. Morton was a three-time state champion and was on an 81-match winning streak.
  • Benson junior Thomas Dineen finished 47-0 and won his second championship with a pin over NRHEG senior Ralph Roesler in the 195-pound title match.
  • In the final match of the three-day tournament, Royalton-Upsala senior Jeremy Mugg outlasted NRHEG junior Makota Misgens for criteria victory in four overtimes.

Class AA

  • Princeton junior Tyler Wells won this third championship with a 6-4 victory over Simley senior Chase DeBlaere in the 132-pound championship match.
  • New Prague junior Koy Buesgens, ranked No. 5 in the nation, recorded a 20-5 technical fall victory over Albert Lea senior Cameron Davis in the 138-pound title match. Buesgens was the 126-pound champion in 2021.  
  • Byron senior Maxwell Peterson won his second championship with a 3-0 victory over New Prague junior Colton Bomholdt in the 145-pound title match.
  • Kasson-Mantorville senior Bennett Berge joined elite company with his fifth championship following a technical fall victory over Simley junior Soren Herzog in the 195-pound championship. He will wrestle collegiately at South Dakota State. He becomes just the eighth wrestler in Minnesota high school history to win at least five championships. The others with five are Cameron Sykora, Border West (2015); Destin McCauley, Apple Valley (2011); Zach Sanders, Wabasha-Kellogg (2007); Eric Sanders (2003) and Matt Nagel, Frazee (2001). Apple Valley’s Mark Hall is Minnesota’s only six-time champion, a feat recorded in 2016.
  • Simley junior Gavin Nelson defended his 220-pound title with a pin of Pine City-Hinckley-Finlayson senior Justin Matson.
  • Foley senior heavyweight Elijah Novak finished 48-0 with a 5-4 victory over Lake City senior Max Balow in the final.

Class AAA

  • Prior Lake junior Alan Koehler, a big-school champion at 106 in 2021, recorded a 3-1 decision over Park (Cottage Grove) senior Zach Silvis in the 120-pound championship match.
  • Top-seeded Landon Robidea of St. Michael-Albertville, a freshman, recorded a 7-0 victory over Willmar freshman Conlan Carlson in the 126-pound championship match.
  • Lakeville North senior Jore Volk won this third state championship with a 5-3 victory over Anoka junior Elijah Paulson in the 132-pound championship match.
  • Lakeville North won another championship on the night when junior Zach Hanson won his second title following a 3-1 victory in overtime over St. Michael-Albertville senior Cole Becker in the 145-pound title match.
  • Owatonna senior Landon Johnson successfully defended his big-school crown in the 160-pound division with a 10-3 victory over St. Michael-Albertville sophomore Jed Wester.
  • Stillwater junior Hunter Lyden finished his season 53-0 with a victory over Farmington sophomore Cole Han-Lindemyer in the 170-pound championship match for his third title. Lyden hasn’t lost in the past two seasons, a string of 68 matches.
  • Stillwater junior Ryder Rogotzke joined his sister as a state champion with a pin of Prior Lake senior Cole Edwards in the 182-pound championship. He tied a state record with 44 pins during the season.  
  • Waconia junior Max McEnelly captured his third state title with a technical fall victory over Shakopee junior Jadon Hellerud in the 195-pound championship match.
  • Osseo senior Jacob Meissner defended his 220-pound title with a 5-3 decision over Stillwater senior Anthony Tuttle in the final.
  • Eden Prairie sophomore Will Sather captured the heavyweight crown with a 3-2 decision of Shakopee senior Jade Trelstad in the heavyweight match.
Girls Wrestling OT

Owatonna’s Rian Grunwald records the first OT victory in the Girls Wrestling division with a win over Lanna Walter of Sauk Centre/Melrose in the 114-pound division.

Charli Raymond

Simley’s Charli Raymond records the first pin and first victory in the girls wrestling state tournament. She pinned Robbinsdale Armstrong’s Amelia Hermanson in the 100-pound semifinals.

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