Wrestling: WCA-A-B-E, B-H-V-PP take second at conference tournaments; Alexandria splits Friday duals

Multiple area wrestling programs had good finishes at their conference meets, while Alexandria went 1-1 at home on Friday.

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West Central Area-Ashby-Brandon-Evansville's Solomon Wales works to turn a MAHACA wrestler at the Grant County Tournament on Dec. 10, 2022. Wales went 3-1 on the day and placed third at 160 pounds. Wales was one of three Knights to win a West Central/Central Minnesota Conference title on Feb. 4, 2023.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

Led by 11 top-six finishes, the West Central Area-Ashby-Brandon-Evansville Knights wrestling team earned second place at the West Central Conference/Central Minnesota Conference meet on Saturday.

Dawson-Boyd-Lac Qui Parle -Montevideo United won the conference title with 208 points, while WCA-A-B-E had 179 points. Minnewaska placed sixth out of 11 with 91 points.

Three Knights had first place finishes, Hunter Gruchow (145), Solomon Wales (152), and Anthony Sykora (182).

Sykora opened his tournament with a bye and earned two major decisions (10-0 and 17-4) to win the conference title and improve to 36-1 on the season.

Wales earned two pins (0:43 and 1:17) to get to his finals match. In his finals match against Ethan Moravetz (DB-LQP-MU), Wales (25-11) scored a takedown in overtime to win the match 7-5.


Gruchow (34-6) earned two pins to begin the day and ended the tournament with an 8-2 decision against Blake Brutger in the finals.

The Knights had three runner-ups in the tournament, Owen Gruchow (106), Beau Robinson (195), and Justin Blascyk (285).

Gruchow (27-6) earned an 11-7 decision and a 12-6 decision to get to the finals before falling to DB-LQP-MU’s Ben Gunlogson in the finals (1:27).

Robinson (23-9) earned two pins (3:15 and 1:02) before falling to two-time state champion Thomas Dineen of Benson in the finals (TF-1.5 4:14 (16-1)).

Blascyk (25-9) got to the finals with a pin in the semifinals and met DB-LQP-MU’s Brady Rhode in the finals. Rhode won the match 4-0.

Evan Dingwall (113), Adam Lohse (138), and Will Rustan (220) all earned fourth in their brackets, while brackets while Ezekiel Sieckert (160) earned fifth and Jeremy Blascyk earned sixth.

Dingwall (17-16) earned two pins (1:24 and 1:28), while Lohse (26-11) had one pin (3:37) and one decision (4-3), and Rustan (21-13) earned two pins (1:04 and 1:59).

Sieckert is now 6-9 on the season, while Jeremy Blascyk is 14-21.


Minnewaska had seven top-six finishes, led by a second-place finish by Chase Smith (120). Smith earned two pins (2:51 and 1:11) and came close to winning the conference title but fell 13-10 to Morris Area-Hancock-Chokio-Alberta’s Grayson Gibson in the finals.

Miles Wildman (106) and Nick Ankeny (138) placed third in their brackets.

Wildman (29-2) had a 7-4 decision in the third-place match and earned a pin in the consolation semifinals (1:53).

Ankeny (3-1) earned 7-0, 6-3, and 3-2 decisions in the tournament.

Myles Reichmann (21-10) placed fourth at 160 with a pin (3:48) and a 5-0 decision. Chase Boelke (23-10) placed fourth at 182 with two quick pins (0:53 and 0:57).

Nathan Dell (16-11) earned fifth at 152 after earning two pins (3:27 and 1:17), while Noah Jensen (195) earned sixth after earning a pin (0:54) in a consolation round.

Minnewaska wrestles in a triangular at Ottertail Central on Thursday beginning at 6 p.m., while WCA-A-B-E wrestles in a tournament in Morris on Saturday at 11 a.m.

B-H-V-PP, Osakis place highly in conference tournament

Three members of the Bertha-Hewitt-Verndale-Parkers Prairie Raiders took home Park Region Conference titles on Saturday, Orran Hart (113), Bennet Arceneau (132), and Justin Koehn (170) and helped the team place second at the tournament.


United North Central edged out B-H-V-PP for the conference title. UNC had 187.5 points, and B-H-V-PP had 182.5. Osakis placed fourth in the tournament with 132 points.

Hart (29-2) earned a pin in the semifinals (2:29) and an 8-2 decision in the finals of LPGE-Browerville’s Logan Thom.

Arceneau earned a pin in the finals (1:44) and a 7-3 decision in the finals over (Zach Hendrickson (United North Central).

After earning a pin (1:29) to start the day, Koehn (20-15) pulled out one-point wins, 6-5 in the semifinals and 8-7 in the finals over Paul Stacey (LPGE-Browerville).

B-H-V-PP had four second-place finishers, Hudson Traux (106), Justin Olson (120), Cayden Kimber (160), and Braden Shamp (220).

Traux (31-6) earned a 5-0 decision to get to the finals, while Olson (25-11) earned a 9-0 major decision before falling to Conrad Koll (UNC) 16-12.

Kimber (22-17) earned a 1-0 decision to start the day and a 3-1 win in tiebreaker period one in the semifinals. Tucker Zigan (LPGE-Browerville) in the finals 3-1.

Shamp (22-14) earned a pair of pins (4:22 and 1:38) to get to the finals, where Bode Roberts of New York Mills topped him, 3-1.


Deagan Captain (22-6) placed third at 138 with two pins (0:58 and 1:36) on the day, while David Revering (31-6) had one pin (1:46), and Hunter Strom (13-16) earned third with two pins (1:19 and 1:32).

Evan Jares (19-12) earned fourth at 126 and had a 13-2 major decision to begin the day.

Osakis’ Reggie George (35-1) won the conference title at 106 with a 7-0 decision in the semifinals and a 5-2 win in the finals over Traux.

Jacob Taplin (21-8) earned second place at 126, and Kale Drevlow (26-6) placed second at 145.

Taplin earned a 5-3 decision in the semifinals and fell to Paul Stacey (LPGE-Browerville) by a 9-1 major decision in the finals, while Drevlow earned a pin in the semifinals (1:05) and lost to Hank Tellers (United North Central) 4-3.

Simon Jacobson (22-16) placed third at 113 after earning a 3-2 decision and a pin (1:13), while Gaven Cimbura placed (28-8) third at 160 and won the third-place match with a pin (1:52).

Christian Nathe (16-15) earned fourth place at 132 and had a 13-4 major decision, while Conner Koep (13-19) got a pin (0:56) on Saturday and placed fourth at 195. Zachary Winkle (285) earned a pin (3:48) and a win by medical forfeit, which helped him earn fourth.

Tucker Hagen (11-14) placed fifth at 138 with two wins, a 13-0 major decision, and a 9-4 decision. Brennen Gustafson (5-12) placed sixth at 170 after earning a pin in the consolation bracket (2:11), and Zackery Bruder placed sixth at 120 and is 11-21 on the year.


Osakis wrestles in a triangular in Benson starting at 5 p.m. on Thursday, while B-H-V-PP is on the road at Bemidji on Tuesday.

Alexandria tops Moorhead, fall to Little Falls

The Alexandria Cardinals went 1-1 on Friday, earning a 55-24 win over Moorhead and losing a close one, 40-30, to Little Falls.

Alexandria had seven pins in the dual against Moorhead. One from Ty Larson (1-3) at 113 (3:30), Mason McGrane (25-1) at 126 (0:10), Blaze Nelson (27-7) at 145 (0:28), Gavin Engelbrecht (11-15) at 152 (2:50), Landon Raths (11-14) at 160 (1:04), Kelly Johnson (27-4) at 170 (0:33) and Landon Seward (26-11) at 182.

Nolan Fettig (34-1) opened the dual with a 4-0 decision at 106, and Pablo Garcia (10-10) earned a 13-5 major decision at 195.

Against Little Falls, Alexandria had pins from Johnson (1:36), Fettig (0:52), and Luke Maanum (1:12) at 285 (14-12).

Logan Timm (5-5) earned a 6-5 decision at 120, while Fettig earned a pin (0:52) at 113, and McGrane picked up an 8-6 decision.

Alexandria hosts a quad on Tuesday at 5 p.m. for Senior Night.

Sam Stuve covers a variety of sports in the Douglas County area. He also is assigned to do some news stories as well.
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