Trojans wrestlers send 5 to state meet

Going into the Section 2AA wrestling meet, New Prague felt they had a realistic hope of sending five wrestlers to the state Class AA tournament. They did just that, and very nearly sent a sixth, as the Trojans had a strong showing.

New Prague had two section champions, in Justin Turek at 140 pounds and Eric Olson at 152 pounds. Also, three Trojans placed second, Mike Minette (112), Travis Rutt (119) and Jake Schoenecker (215). Schoenecker, a junior, is a first-time qualifier, while the others have all qualified before.

New Prague and Windom/ Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin each had five qualifiers. Only Scott West had more, with six qualifiers. One of those is New Prague resident John Dvorak (140), who qualified two years ago when he wrestled for the Trojans.

140-Justin Turek

Turek earned his second trip to state by taking first at 140 pounds. The Trojan senior also qualified in 2002, as a freshman.

He opened with an 11-5 decision over Lucas Torres of Blue Earth. The win was the 152nd of his high school career, breaking the school record formerly held by Allen Huigens.

He went on to score a pin and a decision to qualify for the championship match, where he pinned former teammate Dvorak in 5:50.

The weight class may have been the toughest in the tournament. The top seed, Lucas Meurer of Waseca, lost to Dvorak, the fourth seed, 5-3 in the semifinals. The top four seeds each had four losses or fewer. Dvorak had been ranked second in the state, Meurer third and Turek seventh.

152-Eric Olson

Olson, a junior earned his third trip to state, having also qualified in 2002 as an eighth grader and last year.

Olson won three tight matches to win the section title. He defeated Chris Langr of Waseca 4-2, Chris Fast of Windom 10-6 and Jared Anderberg of St. Peter 6-5 to claim the gold medal. Olson is ranked eighth in the state.

112-Mike Minette

Minette, a senior became a two-time qualifier by placing second at 112 pounds. He qualified for state a year ago, but could not wrestle for medical reasons. He advanced to the section finals with a pin over Joe Willart of Le Sueur-Henderson and a decision over Travis Cleberg of Jackson County Central. He lost a tough championship match to Tony Valek of Scott West, 5-4 in two overtimes. Valek was ranked seventh, while Minette was unranked.

119-Travis Rutt

Rutt, a freshman, earned his third straight trip to state by making quick work of his first two opponents, scoring pins in the first minute. In the semifinals, he pinned Colt Bergendahl of Windom in 3:28, then lost to Torey Stewart of Jackson County Central 8-3 in the championship. Rutt was ranked third and Stewart fifth.

Last year, Rutt placed third at state at 103 pounds.

215-Jake Schoenecker

Schoenecker, a junior, won his first two matches handily, scoring first period pins to advance to the finals. There he lost to Blake Crow of Windom, getting pinned in 5:00, after leading going into the third period.

It was Schoenecker’s first loss since January 6, when Crow pinned him in a triangular meet in New Prague.

Schoenecker had to wrestle a true-second match against Brian Jean of Mankato East. He defeated Jean for the third time in three weeks to advance to his first state tournament.

Crow is ranked 10th in the state. Schoenecker is unranked.

Other wrestlers

Three other Trojan wrestlers placed in the section meet. Cody Lines finished third at 145 pounds. He lost his semifinal match to unbeaten Mike Wubbena of Fairmont, then won a pair of matches in the wrestlebacks to earn a true-second match against Jake Roberts of Scott West. Roberts won that match, 10-2.

Shane Nelson finished fourth at 125 pounds. He lost in the semifinals to unbeaten Nick Kulseth of Windom, then advanced to the third place match, where he lost to Eric Nagel of Blue Earth.

Matt Arens took fourth at 189 pounds. It was Kyser Bartelt of Waseca who proved to be his undoing. After losing his quarterfinal match to Bartelt, 3-1, Arens scored three straight wins to advance to the third place match, where he again lost to Bartelt, 8-5.

First round matches

In Thursday’s first round matches, Minette (33-5) will face fifth-ranked Dan Greeno (30-2) of St. Michael-Albertville; Rutt (39-2) will face Chris Harmon (20-11) of Buffalo Lake-Hector/BOLD; Turek (25-4) will face Ben Johnson (26-10) of Milaca; Olson (35-4) will face Scotty Schlangen (26-3) of Albany and Schoenecker (33-6) will face Mike Hopkins (30-4) of Becker.

First round begins at noon Thursday. Winners will wrestle their second round matches, beginning at about 2 p.m. First round losers whose opponent loses their second round match are eliminated. Wrestlbacks begin Friday morning.

Scott West will also represent Section 2AA in the Class AA team tourney. They face Milaca Thursday evening in the first round.

Section 2AA meet

103: Erick Pendergast — pinned by Stevens (Win) 5:57; dec. Dvorak (SW) 9-8; lost dec. to Oatman (MR) 10-3. Did not place.

112: Mike Minette — pinned Wallert (LSH) 2:45; dec. Cleberg (JCC) 9-4; lost dec. to Valek (SW) 5-4 (2OT). Second place

119: Travis Rutt — pinned Hammer (Fmt) :27; pinned Schumacher (ME) :57; pinned Bergendahl (Win) 3:28; lost dec. to Stewart (JCC) 8-3. Second place

125: Shane Nelson — dec. Phaengkhouane (JCC) 5-4; pinned by Kulseth (Win) 1:26; dec. Davis (ME) 7-3; pinned by Nagel (BE) 3:50. Fourth place.

130: Aaron Becker — pinned by Sohn (BE) 3:36; lost dec. to Johnson (SP) 16-4. Did not place

135: Ted Berg — pinned by Radtke (MR) 2:40; pinned by Pesch (LSH) 1:43. Did not place

140: Justin Turek — dec. Torres (BE) 11-5; pinned Hottel (Win) 1:10; dec. Bartyzal (LSH) 8-2; pinned Dvorak (SW) 2:57. First place

145: Cody Lines — dec. Bach (MR) 6-5; pinned by Wubbena (Fmt) 2:54; pinned Michel (ME0 1:13; dec. Ruser (BE) 4-2; lost dec. to Roberts (SW) 10-2. Third place.

152: Eric Olson — dec. Langr (Was) 4-2; dec. Fast (Win) 10-6; dec. Andergerg (SP) 6-5. First place

160: Joe Graham — pinned by Fast (Win) 1:03; pinned by Bach (LSH) 1:53. Did not place.

171: Caleb Lines — pinned Snyder (Fmt) 3:26; lost dec. to Shivley (MR) 5-4; lost dec. to Faugstad (ME) 3-2. Did not place.

189: Matt Arens — lost dec. to Barelt (Was) 3-1; dec. Rodney (Win) 10-5; dec. Sloma (B) 11-2; pinned Benke (Sw) 3:36; lost dec. to Bartelt (Was) 8-5. Fourth place

215: Jake Schoenecker — pinned Bushway (MR) :16; pinned Blumberg (JCC) :42; pinned by Crow (WIN) 5:00; pinned Jean (ME) 2:54. Second place.

275: No entry

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