Powering up in January

C-I Wrestlers win own invite, beat St. Francis

Greg Hunt

The Cambridge-Isanti wrestlers jumped into their usual grueling January schedule with a hot weekend at home. The Bluejackets held off St. Francis 44-23 in a Friday night non-conference dual, then they put together a solid day of wrestling on Saturday to win their own Bluejacket Invite.

At the invite, Cambridge-Isanti, ranked 7th in Class 3A, scored 202.5 points to overcome 10th-ranked Prior Lake (168.5 points), 11th-ranked Elk River (165) and Class 2A 10th-ranked Grand Rapids (141). Also competing were Little Falls (132), Henry Sibley (129), Brainerd (123.5) and Blaine (40).

“I was real happy with the results. Our guys were wrestling at a high level all weekend—facing a lot of tough battles and picking up pins along the way,” said C-I Coach Neil Jennissen. “It was a very balanced tourney with 20 ranked kids in the brackets altogether. Prior Lake is expected to compete for its section title this year. Elk River, Grand Rapids and Little Falls are all quality teams, as is Brainerd who finished 7th.”

The Bluejackets had three champions take home medals on Saturday—Cody Skog, Clayton Jennissen (left) and Derek Swanson. Skog went 3-0 at 140, earning his title with a 10-4 decision over Dillon Kifer of Little Falls. Jennissen closed his perfect day at 171 with a 3-2 decision over Brainerd’s Tyler Kohmeier. Swanson worked to the 189 title match, defeating Blaine’s Caleb Butler 9-5 in that battle.

Four Bluejackets were runners-up at the invite. Tanner Torgerson fell to Prior Lake’s Ben Rock 10-4 in the 119 championship. Ty Torgerson lost by fall in the third period to PL’s 3rd-ranked Brady Johnshoy in the 130 title match. GR’s Zac Bainville slipped past C-I’s Travis Holt 10-9 in the 135 final bout. Cody Glines was decisioned 13-7 by GR’s Jamison Evans in the 152 championship.

Placing 4th for Cambridge-Isanti were Nate Medin (112) and Adam Kelling (145).

C-I 44, St. Francis 23
The Bluejackets improved to 8-1 in duals this season with a Friday night win over the section rival Saints. The meet opened with a salute to military veterans and local safety personnel.
C-I got big pins from Medin and Ben Hartnett to take an early 12-9 lead. 2nd-ranked Austin Leibel gave the Saints their last lead with a tech fall at 130, then the Bluejackets began building up an advantage.

Holt and Skog quickly racked up tech falls at 135 and 140, then Kelling’s 10-2 major at 145 pushed the Jackets ahead 26-14 (left). The Saints’ Alex Olson pulled off a come-from-behind pin at 152, but the Jackets reasserted themselves when Mark Volker turned his foe for third-period pin at 160. Jennissen’s 11-6 decision at 171 was followed by a clinching forfeit at 189. Jon Knowlton closed the match with a 6-2 decision at 285.

“Those pins by Nate and Ben were important since they didn’t allow the match to tighten up down the line. Mark’s pin at 160 was a big answer to the Saints,” described Coach Jennissen.

On deck: The Kiffmeyers
The Bluejackets continue to take on ranked foes by competing in this Saturday’s Kiffmeyer Duals at St. Cloud Tech. Top-notch teams in the brackets will be St. Michael-Albertville (2nd AAA), Foley (2nd AA), Hastings (4th AAA), Albert Lea (6th AAA), along with SC Apollo, Tech and Sauk Rapids.

The January buildup heightens the following Friday, Jan. 21, when the SMA Knights come to CIHS for a major M-8 dual battle. That will by C-I “Youth Wrestling” night at the gym, as well.

M-8 Wrestling
St. Michael-Alb. 4-0, 8-3; Monticello 4-1, 10-2; Cambridge-Isanti 3-1, 8-1; Becker 2-1, 5-5; Rogers 1-2, 1-2; Zimmerman 1-2, 4-6; Princeton 0-3, 3-3; Big Lake 0-2, 0-4; Buffalo 0-3, 4-4.