In another classic matchup to decide the Section 7AAA champions Friday night, 3rd-ranked St. Michael-Albertville jumped out to a 25-0 lead then held off a furious rally from 4th-ranked Cambridge-Isanti to take their third-straight 7AAA title 39-19. The Knights, who hosted the Feb. 17 tourney, have now reached State 14 straight years dating back to their days in Class AA.
In the opening 106 match, C-I’s Tommy Guy battled hard in a 5-3 loss to STMA’s Aaron Dick. Top-ranked Knight Tommy Thorn followed with a first-period pin, then teammate Colton Shoen got a third-period reverse for an 8-5 decision at 120.
The Knights continued their advantage when Cole Sladek took an 11-5 decision at 126, Mark Voss won a 15-6 major at 132, and Lincoln Mallinger got his escape to win 4-3 in triple-overtime at 138. Wayne Voss made it 25-0 Knights with a single-leg takedown with 3 seconds left to win 4-3 at 145.
At 152, C-I’s Codie Auren stepped up to the varsity role and rolled to a 14-4 major to begin the Jackets’ rally. With the Jackets’ meat of the order all bumping up weights, Travis Holt overcame stalling wrist-grabber Thor Holstad for a 10-0 major at 160, and Cole Bakke followed with an 11-1 major at 170. Cody Skog earned an 8-2 decision at 182, then Clayton Jennissen handled Mitchell Eull completely in a 15-4 major at 195 as the Bluejackets got to within 25-19.
But senior Nick Edling, just returning to action from a broken hand, came through with a second-period pin for an insurmountable 31-19 Knight lead. STMA’s Mike Kessler polished off the victory with a 1-0 decision at 285.
Along with the Knights, other teams earning berths in the Class AAA Team tourney (March 1 at Excel) are: Hastings, Prior Lake, Apple Valley, White Bear Lake, Champlin Park, Willmar and Little Falls. The Bluejackets (26-5 final) defeated P. Lake, WBL, C.Park and L. Falls at invites this season and dropped two duals to Hastings by a combined margin of 8 points.
Semis: Jackets 43, Coon Rapids 22
In another marquis matchup in the 7AAA semifinals, Cambridge-Isanti ended 6th-ranked Coon Rapids’ season with a deluge of pins in their 43-22 victory.
The Cardinals led 10-3 after the first four matches, with Monty Frederickson’s 4-2 decision at 113 the Jackets’ lone win in the opening stretch. But at 132, C-I’s Tanner Torgerson slammed a pin in 50 seconds to close the gap. The Cardinals picked up a 3-1 overtime win by Darren Gagne to make it 13-9 after the 138 match. Then the Bluejackets caught fire against their annual playoff rivals.
Ty Torgerson cradled his foe for a pin in 1:00 at 145, and Holt scrambled for eight takedowns in a 17-6 major at 152. Bakke, Skog and Jennissen ran off three consecutive pins to officially clinch the match with a 37-13 lead after the 182 bout. Kyle Chromy added a fall at 220 for the Jackets’ final points.
“Tanner’s a great technician, so we knew we were looking good in that 138 matchup. Ty is so dangerous with his pin holds, and he came through over a grinder in Lubinski,” said C-I Coach Neil Jennissen. “I think the really key matchup in the dual was at 113 because Monty was not favored to beat Julkowski; that decision was the one that put things in our favor. At the top, I just call Clayton ‘Mr. Reliable.’ He knows how to find a way, and he got the clincher. I’m awfully proud of him and this team.”
In the quarterfinals to open Friday’s action, Cambridge-Isanti defeated Elk River 56-21. Winning by fall against the Elks were 120 Medin, 126 Hartnett, 132 Tan. Torgerson, 138 Robbie Phillips, 145 Ty Torgerson, 160 Bakke, 170 Russell Laboe, and 220 K. Chromy.
• The Bluejackets next wrestle at the 7AAA Individual Tourney hosted at Elk River Feb. 24-25. C-I will try to match their team-record eight State entrants who finished in the top-two at section individuals last season. Jennissen and Skog are among the stacked field of eight returning 7AAA individual champions.