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Rob’s High School Notebook • March 6, 2013
Tie with St. Michael-Albertville keeps Apple Valley streak intact
The most anticipated dual meet in Minnesota wrestling this year had all the drama of a state championship match. And, fittingly, that’s where it occurred.
After finishing as the 3A runner-up to No. 25 Apple Valley the past three seasons, No. 3 St. Michael-Albertville finally scaled the Minnesota wrestling summit, tying the Eagles 28-28 in a pulse-pounding final.
Decisions by Mitchell Eull (220) and Michael Kessler (285) helped STMA erase a 28-22 deficit.
According to Minnesota state tournament rules, a placing match which ends in a tie is not decided by criteria. The two teams share the place, which means that Apple Valley’s streak of state titles remains intact at eight.
Had criteria been used, the Eagles’ streak would have ended at seven. STMA would have been the winner with a 2-1 edge in six-point victories. Each team had a pin — Mitchell McKee at 106 for STMA and No. 4 (at 152) Mark Hall at 160 for Apple Valley — but Cole Sladek’s win by injury default at 138 would have been the difference for the Knights.
The default gave STMA its biggest lead at 19-7, but Apple Valley roared back with four straight wins. After Dayton Racer (145) scored a technical fall and Davlonte Young (152) a major decision, Hall’s pin gave the Eagles their first lead, and Daniel Woiwor’s decision at 170 made it 25-19. The Knights won three of the final four bouts.
Meanwhile, No. 17 Kasson-Mantorville erased a 10-point deficit in the final three matches to dethrone five-time defending 2A champion Inver Grove Heights Simley, 30-27 for its first state title. A decision by Corben Hansen (195), a major decision by 2012 state champion Broc Berge (220), ranked No. 4 nationally at 195, and a forfeit win by state champion Sam Stoll (285), also No. 4, helped the KoMets rally from a 27-17 deficit. Simley, which also forfeited at 106, was required to forfeit an upper weight as well after forfeiting the 220-pound match in a 42-23 semifinal win over Foley.
Jackson County Central won its fourth straight A state title, 38-22 over Frazee.
In the individual tournament, double Cadet Nationals champion Lance Benick of Fridley Totino Grace, and ranked No. 16, upset Berge, 2-1 in the tie-breaker in the state final at 195.
Keeping the Spartans in the match was three-time state champion Kyle Gliva (132), who avenged two previous losses this season with a 7-2 victory in the ultimate tie-breaker over fellow returning champion Brady Berge. The two met again the next day in the individual state quarterfinals and Gliva prevailed again, 5-4, and went on to win the title.
No. 6 Mitch Bengtson (138) of St. Cloud Apollo and No. 1 Jake Short (152) of Simley became four-time state champions in 3A and 2A, respectively.
Williams stuns Valencia in California; Nevills records 6 falls
Senior Sean Williams of Lemoore avenged two previous losses this season, shutting down top-ranked defending champion Zahid Valencia of Bellflower St. John Bosco, 3-2 in the California state semifinals at 113. Valencia came back to finish third. In the finals, Williams fell 5-3 in overtime to freshman Israel Saavedra of Modesto. Williams was ranked No. 18 nationally, Saavedra No. 17.
Valencia’s brother, Anthony (145), also came up short in his bid to repeat. No. 13 Anthony Valencia, the 126-pound champion a year ago, lost 5-3 to No. 14 Christian Pagdilao of Corona Santiago. Valencia had beaten Pagdilao in the Southern Section finals the previous week.
While the Valencia brothers came up short, freshman teammate Aaron Pico (132) did anything but. The top-ranked Pico’s closest match was his 14-4 major decision in the finals over Paul Fox of Gilroy. He had a pin, two technical falls and two major decisions in building a 5-0 record.
No. 2 Clovis stole many of the remaining headlines. The Cougars won their third straight team title, outscoring No. 22 Poway, 179-109.5 as No. 14 Adrian Salas (182) and No. 5 Nick Nevills (Hwt) won titles to pace five state placewinners. All 12 Clovis wrestlers won at least once.
Nevills became just the third wrestler to record six pins in a single state tournament. He pinned all six opponents in a combined time of 15 minutes, six seconds. Nevills finished the season 50-0 with a state-record 44 falls. The last Golden State wrestler to record six falls: Hunter Collins of Gilroy in 2008.
Three-time champion Isaiah Martinez (160) of Lemoore, ranked No. 3, was voted the Outstanding Wrestler after recording his second pin of the tournament in the finals. He also had a major decision and two technical falls.
Mount Anthony ends Timberlane’s New England streak
Plaistow (N.H.) Timberlane had enjoyed a record period of dominance in the New England Championships, winning the past five seasons and seven of the past eight. But Bennington (Vt.) Mount Anthony, which hadn’t won the New Englands since 2004, ended the Owls’ dominance in stunning fashion.
The winner of its 25th consecutive Vermont state title the previous week, the Patriots romped to a 109-69.5 margin over Timberlane at the Providence (R.I.) Career and Technical Center. The real battle was for second place, with Timberlane edging Exeter (R.I.) E./West Greenwich (64.5), Massachusetts teams North Andover (61) and Dracut (60.5) and Danbury, Conn. (59.5).
Mount Anthony placed four and got titles from Miguel Calixto (132) and national No. 17 Jesse Webb (285).
Junior twins Christian and Andrew LaBrie, who won at 145 and 152, respectively, made Exeter/West Greenwich the only other school with more than one champion. The two finished third at the same weights last year. Andrew LaBrie was voted the meet’s Outstanding Wrestler, and Christian LaBrie did not allow a single point all season.