|3/1/2018 3:18:00 PM|
Chisago Lakes' Carlson and Wenthe heading to state wrestling tournament
After being shut out of the state tournament last year, the Wildcats will send two wrestlers down to the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul this weekend. At last weekend’s Section 4AA tournament, junior Josh Wenthe, seeded second in the section at 160 pounds, pinned his opponent in a wild semifinal match, lost the championship match and didn’t need to wrestle a True Second match to advance. At 285, top-seeded Zach Carlson pinned all three of his opponents to advance to state. Both wrestlers will be making their first appearance at the state tournament. The Section 4AA individual tournament was held Friday and Saturday, February 23 and 24, at South St. Paul High School.
Wenthe opened the tourney by pinning Matt Munchow of North Branch in the quarterfinals. In a wild semifinal match, Wenthe trailed Collin Grandstand of Mahtomedi 11-6 late in the second period. Munchow had Wenthe on his back. Wenthe flipped to the top of Grandstand and, with five seconds left in the period, pinned him to win and advance to the championship match. If Wenthe had not completed the pin, he like would have been awarded two points for a reversal and three points for a near fall, tying the match at 11-11 heading into the third period. In the championship match, Tyler Gustafson of South St. Paul pinned Wenthe in 1:05. Grandstand won the third place match and, since Wenthe had already wrestled Grandstand in the tournament, Wenthe did not have to wrestle for true second, Wenthe was on his way to the state tournament.
Top-seeded Carlson pinned his way through the big boys’ bracket to earn his way to the big show. In the quarterfinals, he pinned Ian Spiegelberg of St. Croix Lutheran with four seconds left in the first period. The semifinal match took longer, but Carlson eventually pinned Tony Cokley-Montbriand of St. Paul Highland Park at 5:32. In the championship match, Carlson and opponent Gabby Brito of South St. Paul were still scoreless nearly midway through the second period. At that point, Carlson got an arm bar, turned Brito over and stuck him to win the section championship and a trip to state. “Zach stuck with his game plane the entire tournament,” said Wildcat head coach Shawn Frederixon. “He stayed within what he can do and didn’t give any of his opponents a real opening to even make it close. He wrestled a really smart tourney. Last week, he had wrestled Brito and was down 3-2 before he completed a reversal and a pin. This time, he didn’t let Brito get anything going.”
Senior Jake Novack, at 113, nearly joined his two teammates at state. He lost 10-8 to Yim-Leej Yang of St. Paul Johnson in his opening match. In wrestlebacks, he pinned his next three opponents: Cullen Ford of St. Paul Highland Park, Cheng Xiong of St. Paul Washington Technology Magnet School and Hunter Wilsey of Mahtomedi. In the third place match, Novack got another shot at Yang. This time, Novack major-decisioned Yang 11-3 to advance to the True Second match against eighth-grader Brandt Bombard of North Branch. In a tough match, Bombard decisioned Novack 7-4 to earn the trip to state, leaving Novack just short.
The Class AA individual matches at state will start at 9 a.m. this Friday, March 2. In the first round, Wenthe (18-10) will take on senior Josh Bernier (44-5) of Thief River Falls. In his first round match, Carlson (22-7) will go up against senior Mitch Trigg of Foley (41-2).