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Wrestling State Tournament: 2024 Advance Release

Posted: Wednesday, February 28, 2024 - 9:18 AM

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Legions of wrestlers and their supportive fans take over the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul for the Minnesota State High School League’s annual Wrestling State Tournament. Team and individual championships in three enrollment classes and a girls individual tournament will be held over three days beginning on Thursday, Feb. 29.

The team tournament is Thursday and a two-day individual tournament comes to a crescendo with Championship Saturday on March 2.

Here is a look at the tournament:

Class A quarterfinals, 11 a.m.

  • LeSueur-Henderson (16-10) vs. No. 2 Staples-Motley (31-1)
  • United North Central (24-4) vs. No. 3 Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (21-2)
  • Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale/Parkers Prairie (18-13) vs. No. 1 Chatfield (18-1)
  • No. 5 Jackson County Central vs. No. 4 Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial Area (26-3)

Quick takes:

  • A familiar sight is on the sideline for Staples-Motley. The Cardinals are led by head coach Jim Jackson, Minnesota’s most successful high school wrestling coach. He led Apple Valley to two national championships, 16 state crowns and dozens of individual championships. Later, he led Shakopee to back-to-back state titles in 2019 and 2020, respectively.
  • Staples-Motley’s only loss this season was to Holdingford, but the Cardinals reversed that with a victory in the Section 7A final.
  • Chatfield is the top seed in the Class A field. The Gophers’ only loss this season is to St. Michael-Albertville, a traditional Class AAA power and entrant in this week’s tournament.
  • Jackson County Central is the defending Class A champion and seeded fifth.
  • Chatfield and Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial Area have qualified a Class A-best 10 wrestlers for the individual tournament.

Class AA quarterfinals, 9 a.m.

  • Dawson-Boyd/Lac qui Parle/Montevideo (26-2) vs. No. 2 Kasson-Mantorville (19-3)
  • Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (27-1) vs. No. 3 Totino-Grace (25-0)
  • Little Falls (19-4) vs. No. 1 Simley (20-1)
  • No. 5 Watertown-Mayer (18-8) vs. No. 4 Becker (25-3)

Quick takes:

  • Simley is the five-time defending Class AA champion. The Spartans’ only setback this season was a 33-17 loss to Mounds View, the top seed in the Class AAA field.
  • Totino-Grace is the only undefeated team in all three enrollment classes. The Eagles have power throughout their lineup, punctuated by senior Cy Kruse, who is 46-1 at 215 pounds.
  • Simley and South St. Paul have the most individual qualifiers in the Class AA field with 12 each.
  • Watertown-Mayer sophomore Titan Friederichs, who won the Class AA 113-pound title in 2023 and finished with a 49-0 record, is 46-0 this season at 121 pounds.

Class AAAA, 9 a.m.

  • Willmar (18-11) vs. No. 2 St. Michael-Albertville (27-1)
  • Apple Valley (20-8) vs.  No. 3 Shakopee (28-2)
  • Forest Lake (18-5) vs. No. 1 Mounds View (28-0)
  • No. 5 Albert Lea Area (17-6) vs. No. 4 Hastings (25-8)

Quick takes:

  • Hastings, which won the Class AAA title a year ago in dramatic fashion, is the No. 4 seed in its title defense.
  • Mounds View, making its first state tournament appearance since 2007 and third overall, is the top seed and team to beat in the big-school class. The Mustangs recorded a signature win with a 33-16 victory over Simley on Jan. 25.
  • The quarterfinal between Apple Valley and Shakopee is a rematch of the season opener for both teams. In that South Suburban Conference dual, Shakopee recorded a 48-16 victory.
  • St. Michael-Albertville, a traditional Class AAA power, is on a 12-dual winning streak since a 27-26 loss to Stillwater on Jan. 19. The string started with a victory over Kasson-Mantorville, the No. 2 seed in Class AA.
  • St. Michael-Albertville leads the Class AAA field with 16 individual entrants. Bemidji and Hastings are next with 13 each.


Returning champions highlight the third edition of the Girls Wrestling State Tournament. Among them:

  • Simley ninth-grader Charli Raymond, 23-0 at 118 pounds. She made history by becoming Minnesota’s first girls individual wrestling champion.
  • Hastings senior Skylar Little Soldier, 16-0 at 148.
  • St. Cloud Tech senior Camryn Kenning, 5-0 at 235. A year ago, she pinned her way to the state championship.
  • Stillwater sophomore Audrey Rogotzke, 31-0 at 142.

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