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Section 8AAA wrestling: Cards advance three to state tourney

Two section champions, one runner-up and the coach of the year honors - not a bad day for the Cardinal wrestling team, which competed in the Section 8AAA individual wrestling tournament at Brainerd Friday and Saturday.

Those three wrestlers - Blake Olhausen, Tony Hubbard and Justin Cumberbatch - earned spots in this weekend's State Class AAA meet at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul as Olhausen and Cumberbatch earned section titles and Hubbard claimed the runner-up spot.

"Blake was the section champion at the 120-pound weight class," said head coach Tom Ellison, who was named the Section 8AAA coach of the year by his peers. "Blake recorded a third period pin in his championship match to claim the title in convincing fashion.

"Tony Hubbard placed second at 145. Tony had a repeat match with Grant Nehring from Apollo in the finals. [They] met in the finals of the Big Ole a few weeks back. Nehring is a returning state champ and Tony wrestled a great match against him, but couldn't pick up enough points for the win.

"Justin Cumberbatch also picked up a pin in his championship match to claim his second trip to the state tournament," said Ellison.

Cumberbatch wrestled at 220 pounds, picking up a pair of pins and a decision along the way.

The Cardinals' Mike Schlueter, 170 pounds, finished third, just out of the state berth spot.

"Mike lost to the section champ in the semis and came back through the wrestlebacks to take third and earn a right to challenge the second place wrestler for a true second match," said Ellison. "Mike wasn't able to get the win in that match and had to settle for third place.

"Trent Piepenburg had a tough bracket and lost a semifinal match to a wrestler from Sartell. Trent also made it back to the consolation finals, but lost that match to a Sauk Rapids wrestler to finish fourth."

Ben Bogart, Tristan Johnson and Jake Nienaber all went 2-2 in the tournament to earn fifth place finishes.

"Credit should be given to this group of athletes for the improvement they made all season," said their coach. "Three of our team members have some wrestling to do yet, but this team certainly made huge strides this season and they are already thinking about the possibilities for next year."

The improvement made by the Cardinals this season was a key in Ellison's nomination for section coach of the year.

"I don't stand alone with this award as plenty of other people deserve the credit for this," he said. "My two assistants, Aldon Struchen and Dave Olson, deserve plenty of recognition for all the work they do during our wrestling seasons. They are dedicated coaches that spend many hours providing for our athletes in this program. They are two men that are coaching for all the right reasons and that is to help develop young student athletes.

"Also, the parents of our team members need to be recognized for all the work they do in support of our program.

"And most importantly, our athletes should be recognized," said Ellison. "It is their success on the mat during tournaments and duals that has brought notice to our wrestling program this year. The coaches in Section 8AAA who vote on this award wouldn't have taken notice of our team in giving out this award without the commitment and improvement of our team members throughout the off season and during the season.

"It certainly is a nice recognition, but it must be shared with all of those involved in our wrestling program."



BEN BOGART, 106 POUNDS, 5TH - fell to Bryton Mutz, Brainerd, 6-3; wrestleback bye; decisioned tony Bemboom, Sauk Rapids-Rice, 4-2 OT; fell to Logan Kappahan, Little Falls, 2-0; FIFTH PLACE - decisioned Bryton Mutz, Brainerd, 6-4.

TRENT PIEPENBURG, 113 POUNDS, 4TH - pinned Luke Dorn, St. Cloud Tech, 1:06; fell to Drew Bienusa, Sartell, 7-4; THIRD PLACE - fell to Taylor Rau, Sauk Rapids-Rice, 4-3.

BLAKE OLHAUSEN, 120 POUNDS, CHAMPION - pinned Drew Breun, Brainerd, 3:51; decisioned Dylon Sauceda, Bemidji, 7-4; CHAMPIONSHIP - pinned Kory Keske, Sauk Rapids-Rice, 4:48.

TRISTAN JOHNSON, 126 POUNDS, 5TH - fell to Logan Crosby, Bemidji, 9-3; wrestleback bye; decisioned Jake Zelinske, Brainerd, 5-2; fell to Matt Braun, St. Cloud Apollo, 10-0 major decision; FIFTH PLACE - pinned Sam Krauel, Sartell, 2:10.

JACOB SCHILTGEN, 132 POUNDS, NP - fell to Craig Maas, Bemidji, 7-1; wrestleback bye; fell to Jonathan Pelach, Sartell, 3-0.

JACOB NIENABER, 138 POUNDS, 5TH - fell to Conor Scherping, Little Falls, 1:35; wrestleback bye; pinned Adam Bratrud, Sauk Rapids-Rice, 2:23; fell to Tommy Schlosser, Brainerd 14-7; FIFTH PLACE - pinned Lucas Gast, Bemidji, 2:46.

TONY HUBBARD, 145 POUNDS, RUNNER-UP - decisioned Garret Counter, Sartell, 11-4; decisioned Derek McMahan, Little Falls, 8-4; CHAMPIONSHIP - fell to Grant Nehring, St. Cloud Apollo, 5:17.

DUSTIN NEU, 152 POUNDS, 4TH - decisioned Theodore Deuel, Sartell, 6-2; fell to Luke Boran, Brainerd, 0:40; pinned Larimee Martell, Bemidji, 2:04; FOURTH PLACE - fell to Jordan Petrone, Little Falls, 3-2.

QUINTON KLUVER-LONGFEL, 160 POUNDS, NP - fell to Zachary Pederson, Sartell, 1:47; wrestleback bye; fell to Richard Carriveau, Sauk Rapids-Rice, 14-2 major decision.

MIKE SCHLUTER, 170 POUNDS, 3RD - decisioned McKinley Lain, Sauk Rapids-Rice, 5-1; fell to Kade Johnson, Bemidji, 1:45; pinned Jace Engelman, Brainerd, 4:53. THIRD PLACE - decisioned Joseph Reed, St. Cloud Tech, 1:53. TRUE SECOND - fell to Tyler Gastecki, Little Falls, 1:30.

ANDREW MOSKE, 182 POUNDS, NP - fell to Daniel Vitale, Sartell, 1:14; wrestleback bye; fell to Dylan Vait, Sauk Rapids-Rice, 2:45.

195 POUNDS - No wrestler.

JUSTIN CUMBERBATCH, 220 POUNDS, CHAMPION - pinned Wyatt Yoemanns, Bemidji, 0;35; decisioned Tom Wychor, Moorhead, 9-5; CHAMPIONSHIP - pinned Bryce Kirchner, St. Cloud Apollo, 1:28.

DAN OBERG, 285 POUNDS, NP - fell to Connor Swanson, Little Falls, 0:52; wrestleback bye; fell to Brody Jerome, Moorhead, 1:41.