Wrestling: Little Falls earns sixth place at state

Sports Editor
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Little Falls senior Dillon Kifer (top) put White Bear Lake Area senior Cam Brandvold in a predicament he could not escape from, locking up a double-arm bar and securing a fall in Thursday’s state consolation championship.

When junior David Copa took the mat at 220 pounds in the consolation semifinals, the Little Falls wrestling team just needed him to simply not get pinned to place in the Class AAA state field.

But Copa didn’t lose at all, erasing a 2-0 second-period deficit with a fall in 3:11 to clinch a 39-28 win for the Flyers over Champlin Park.

Little Falls went on to fall 36-27 to White Bear Lake Area in the consolation championship to finish sixth after a first-round 47-19 loss to Hastings.

Hastings 47, Little Falls 19

Eighth grader Justin Jenks provided a quick spark in the quarterfinals, pinning his opponent in 42 seconds to give the Flyers an early lead.

After the Raiders tied the dual, senior Frank Wilczek pulled out a 4-2 decision at 120 pounds to put Little Falls back in front 9-6.

Little Falls junior David Copa (top) gets the pin call from the referee over Champlin Park senior Daniel Lovik in the state consolation semifinals at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Thursday. The win clinched the 39-28 dual victory for Little Falls.

Senior Adam Grams won by fall at 182 and senior Dillon Kifer shut out his foe 12-0 at 138 for the Flyers’ two other wins.

Little Falls 39, Champlin Park 28

The Flyers’ lightweights built a 27-3 lead in the consolation semifinals against Champlin Park.

Jenks once again opened with a fall, followed by a 9-3 decision by sophomore Axel Lange and a pin by Wilczek.

The Rebels got on the board with a decision at 126, but junior Connor Scherping and Kifer earned back-to-back falls to strengthen Little Falls’ advantage.

Champlin Park cut the lead to 27-22 with three matches to go and appeared to be closing in even further at 195.

Little Falls sophomore Axel Lange, left, lifts Champlin Park junior Andrew Longerbone into the air before picking up a takedown, Thursday. Lange won the match 9-3 to help lead the Flyers to a 39-28 win in the state consolation semifinals.

But sophomore Trysten Ross, trailing 13-6, headlocked his opponent to his back. Ross’ tight grip could have produced a fall, but the Rebels’ wrestler could not recover from an injury, leading to a default and six points to make it 33-22.

That’s when Copa delivered and secured a trip to the placing round for Little Falls.

White Bear Lake Area 36, Little Falls 27

Little Falls once again started strong in the consolation championship against White Bear Lake Area, taking a 27-10 lead nine matches into the dual.

But White Bear Lake swept the final five to pull out the 36-27 victory.

Jenks, Wilczek and Kifer each secured falls for Little Falls, while Scherping, Levi Hoffman and Keith Yorek won with decisions.

Wilczek, Scherping and Kifer will compete in the individual tournament starting Friday and concluding Saturday.


Little Falls sophomore Tyler Gastecki (top) attempts to lock up a cradle in the state team consolation semifinals against Champlin Park junior LaQuan Wallace, Thursday. Gastecki and the Flyers won the dual 39-28 to clinch a trip to the medal round.

Hastings 47, Little Falls 19

106: Justin Jenks (LF) Fall 0:42, (LF, 6-0)
113: Rowh (H) Fall 1:11, (TIE, 6-6)
120: Frank Wilczek (LF) 4-2, (LF, 9-6)
126: Gove (H) 11-1, (H, 10-9)
132: Bauer (H) Fall 1:11, (H, 16-9)
138: Dillon Kifer (LF) 12-0, (H, 16-13)
145: Anderson (H) 7-0, (H, 19-13)
152: Nelson (H) 9-6, (H, 22-13)
160: Rachuy (H) 16-0, (H, 27-13)
170: Nygaard (H) 15-0, (H, 32-13)
182: Adam Grams (LF) Fall 1:28, (H, 32-19)
195: Lodermeier (H) 6-2, (H, 35-19)
220: Eichmann (H) Fall 1:34, (H, 41-19)
285: Anderson (H) Fall 3:25, (H, 47-19)


Little Falls 39, Champlin Park 28

106: Justin Jenks (LF) Fall 0:33, (LF, 6-0)
113: Axel Lange (LF) 9-3, (LF, 9-0)
120: Frank Wilczek (LF) Fall 0:48, (LF, 15-0)
126: Ockuly (CP) 9-7, (LF, 15-3)
132: Connor Scherping (LF) F 2:43, (LF, 21-3)
138: Dillon Kifer (LF) Fall 1:06, (LF, 27-3)
145: Burtness (CP) 15-6, (LF, 27-7)
152: Berry (CP) 15-0, (LF, 27-12)
160: Pham (CP) 3-2, (LF, 27-15)
170: Wallace (CP) 12-4, (LF, 27-19)
182: Navalany (CP) 7-6 4OT, (LF, 27-22)
195: Trysten Ross (LF) Inj. Def., (LF, 33-22)
220: David Copa (LF) Fall 3:11, (LF, 39-22)
285: Flemister-King (CP) F 1:00, (LF, 39-28)


White Bear Lake Area 36, Little Falls 27

106: Justin Jenks (LF) Fall 2:18, (LF, 6-0)
113: Martin (WBL) 10-0, (LF, 6-4)
120: Frank Wilczek (LF) Fall 0:50, (LF, 12-4)
126: Bolduan (WBL) 10-3, (LF, 12-7)
132: Connor Scherping (LF) 6-4, (LF, 15-7)
138: Levi Hoffman (LF) 5-2, (LF, 18-7)
145: Dillon Kifer (LF) Fall 3:05, (LF, 24-7)
152: Potter (WBL) 9-7 OT, (LF, 24-10)
160: Keith Yorek (LF) 11-7, (LF, 27-10)
170: Anderson (WBL) Fall 3:04, (LF, 27-16)
182: Longendyke (WBL) 17-3, (LF, 27-20)
195: Bibeau (WBL) Fall 1:26, (LF, 27-26)
220: Hubman (WBL) Fall 3:24, (WBL, 32-27)
285: Seed (WBL) 12-3, (WBL, 36-27)