It had been awhile since Little Falls had seen action when it took to the mats at the Cambridge-Isanti Bluejacket Invite, Jan. 4.
So, senior Tyler Gastecki and junior Axel Lange did their best to wrap things up as quickly and quietly as possible, combining for four pins in six matches to win their respective weight classes.
Gastecki pinned his way through the 182-pound bracket, while Lange faced similarly minimal drama, cruising through the 152 class with a pin, 8-1 decision and 6-0 victory.
“Axel and Tyler had great days,” Little Falls head coach Mike Hendrickson said. “They were both seeded first and took care of business by beating guys they should.”
The 10th-ranked Flyers ended the tournament in second place in the eight-team field, behind only fifth-ranked Cambridge-Isanti.
All 13 Flyers entered in the tournament placed in the top six, with junior Logan Kapphahn (120) and freshman Josh Beack (126) joining Lange and Gastecki in the finals, finishing as runners-up.
Also placing were: in third place seniors Dan Mushel (138) and Trysten Ross (220); in fourth place senior Derek McMahan (160), sophomore Trevin Larson (170) and eighth-graders Leo Wilczek (106) and A.J. Jenks (132); in fifth place freshman Lane Rutten (113); and in sixth place sophomore Justin Jenks (145) and freshman Billy Winkelman (195).
“The two toughest weight classes were 145 and 220,” Hendrickson said. “Justin Jenks was a champion at 126 last year. This year he was sixth and not because he wrestled poorly, with three ranked wrestlers at his weight.
“Trysten lost in the semifinals to a state-ranked wrestler … (who) actually made Trysten look small,” he said. “The Blaine guy then went on to get beat in the finals by another state-ranked wrestler. Yikes.”
The tournament was the first competition in 16 days for Little Falls, with another two matches wiped off the schedule Tuesday due to school closings.
“Our conditioning is a little suspect at this point because of inconsistent practices due to weather and holidays. This will be rectified soon,” Hendrickson said.
“We are 7-2 with losses to two tough opponents – both could have been turned around with a little luck,” he said. “We have a big match with Pierz (scheduled to be held Friday). They are solid. We will be fighting for another trip to St. Paul (for the state tournament) before we know it.”
rough up Mille Lacs
Mille Lacs Area was caught on the short-end of a pair of home duals against area teams, Jan. 2, falling 78-3 to Pierz and 54-18 to Royalton-Upsala.
Ten Pioneers recorded pins, including seniors Brandon Sullivan, Chris Ortman, Evan Woitalla and Curtis Brisk, junior Cole Brausen, sophomore Teddy Dehler and freshmen Brandon Ortman, Andrew Tomala, Matt Kummet and Brett Kapsner.
Pierz improved its dual record to 10-0 with the win.
Royalton-Upsala found similar success, picking up pins from juniors Joe Jensen and Brady Moulzolf, sophomores Kyle Lange and Clint Gadacz and seventh-grader Jackson Held, as well as a technical fall from senior Matt Neu and major decisions from sophomore Brad Kroll and eighth-grader Cole Scofield.
Huskers’ Gerads wins title at Foley tournament
Senior Kyle Gerads won the title at 160 to lead Holdingford to ninth place out of 13 teams at the Foley Tom Keating Memorial Tournament, Jan. 4.
Also placing for the Huskers were juniors Jake Knettel in second at 152, Zach Scott in third at 132 and Nathan Brinker in fourth at 195, sophomore Clem Gerads in fifth at 138 and junior Jamey Koetter in eighth at 113.