1/16/2014 3:57:00 PM Wildcats edge Princeton for victory
The Wildcats lost to 41-27 to Princeton at the Hibbing Duals on Saturday, January 4. Just five days later, they hosted Princeton at Chisago Lakes High School and avenged the earlier defeat with a 35-30 win. The Wildcats built a 32-0 lead after the first six matches. Joe Virga’s 3-2 decision over Princeton’s Billy Clay at 170 gave the Wildcats an insurmountable 35-9 lead. Princeton forfeited at 106 to give the Wildcats a 6-0 lead. Princeton moved Jesse McClay down from 120 to 113 to take on the Wildcats’ Teddy Pierce. Pierce completely dominated the match, building a 13-0 lead before he pinned McClay at 4:34 to give the Wildcats a 12-0 lead.
Wildcat Grant Brown, who lost to McClay in Hibbing, took on Elliott Arens at 120. Leading 2-0 early in the second period, Brown tuned a takedown attempt by Arens into a takedown of his own to go up 4-0. Another takedown and a near fall gave Brown a 9-1 lead after two periods. In the third period, Arens started down. Brown scored two three point near falls by the 5:07 mark to take a commanding 15-1 lead. He let Arens escape a few seconds later, but the strategy backfired as Arens took Brown down with 22 seconds left to cut Brown’s lead to 15-4. Both wrestlers had run out of steam by then and the match ended with a major decision win for Brown to extend the Wildcat lead to 16-0. Princeton forfeited at 126 to give the Wildcats a 22-0 lead. Aaron Sistrunk (132), who lost by major decision to Tim Bialka at Hibbing, had a different opponent at Princeton. He took down Luke Rogers 20 seconds into the match. He rode Rogers hard and got a three point near fall at 1:10. He kept Rogers from crawling out of bounds twice with less than 20 seconds left in the period and, with nine seconds remaining in the period, he pinned Rogers to build the Wildcat lead to 28-0.
Bialka moved up to 138 to take on Wildcat Kyle Schoenecker. Bialka cramped up several times during the match, requiring injury stoppages, but managed to finish it. He took down Schoenecker with 12 seconds left in the first period, but Schoenecker scored a reversal with four seconds left in the period to tie it at 2-2. Schoenecker started on the bottom in the second period and used an escape, takedown and near fall to build an 8-2 lead by the end of the period. Schoenecker kept on the pressure in the third period, getting a takedown and two near falls to complete a convincing 15-4 win.
The Wildcats now led 32-0. Princeton started its comeback at 145 as Carson Velaski lost to Jason Robilard by a 5-2 decision. Velaski had beaten Gabe Kohloff at Hibbing. Joe Olinger (152), who had decisioned 4-3 Nathan Hellman at Hibbing, lost to Hellman 4-2 to cut the Wildcat lead to 32-6. At 160, Wildcat Mark Sontag and Jake Pramann of Princeton went to triple overtime. Sontag appeared to have a takedown early in the first period, but the referee ruled that the wrestlers were off the mat before the takedown was completed. Each wrestler scored on an escape and the match was tied after three periods.
In the second overtime, Pramann started on the bottom and escaped just before the wrestlers went out of bounds with 17 seconds left in the period for a 2-1 lead. Sontag nearly escaped in the third period, but couldn’t quite free up his ankle and the match ended with a 2-1 win for Pramann. After a scoreless first period, Virga (170) started on the bottom against Clay. He scored an escape and a takedown ten seconds into the period for a 3-0 lead. Clay starting on the bottom in the third period, escaped quickly to cut Virga’s lead to 3-1. Virga was given a stall warning with 20 second left in the match. He was warned again with 7 seconds left and Clay was awarded a point to cut the lead to 3-2, but it was too little, too late. Virga’s 3-2 win gave the Wildcats a 35-9 lead and the Wildcats were assured of winning the match. After a Wildcats forfeit at 182, freshman Adam Klick wrestled a tough match at 195 before losing 7-0.
Bill Mechelke was pinned at the end of the first period at 220. Jake Klein, who was pinned by Princeton’s Eric Elsner early in the second period at Hibbing, led Elsner 4-0 going into the third period at home. But Elsner took Klein down and pinned him at 5:03 to set the final score at 35-30 in favor of the Wildcats.