|1/13/2023 2:04:00 PM|
Thao and Baker grind their way to high finishes at Ogilvie Invite
Gary Baker Invitational
Senior Michael Thao won the championship at 132 pounds at the 42nd Annual Gary Baker Invitational in Ogilvie, Minn. last Saturday, January 7. Jack Baker also had an impressive showing at 106, finishing third at a weight that included three wrestlers in the top four in Class A or Class AA. Other Vikings placing were Karson Gariepy, third at 285; Ethan Kester, fourth at 120, Tanner Cummings, fifth at 152, Aiden Schwarz, sixth at 133, and Leonardo Santos, sixth at 182.
Thao had over 15 total takedowns in his three matches. In his opening match, he won by a 14-5 major decision over Corbin Schiller of Park Rapids. In the semifinals, he pinned Kaden Felge of Ogilvie at 2:29, And in the championship match, he major-decisioned Taytan Nielsen of Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg 12-4 to claim the championship. Viking head coach Kyle Kahl said “In the seeding meeting for this tournament, they looked at Michael’s 7-7 record so far this season and weren’t sure he should be seeded very high. But here’s the thing about Michael. He will look at the other team’s lineup and want to wrestle the toughest kid from 132 to 145. He only started wrestling as a sophomore, so he’s on the fast track to want to get better. And Michael is all about scoring points, is really good on his feet and gets a lot of takedowns.”
Baker opened with a 4-1 decision over Colton Noble of Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg. In the quarterfinals, he was pinned by Reggie George of Osakis, who is ranked second in the state in Class A, at 2:53. In the consolation semifinals, he won by a 10-0 major decision over Aiden Ruschmeier of Glencoe - Lester Prairie. And in the third-place match, he won by a 3-2 decision over Beau Hudoba of Ogilvie, who is ranked fourth in the state at Class A. “Jack had a tough weight,” said Kahl, “and turned in an outstanding performance.” Baker will see Hudoba again at the upcoming St. Croix Lutheran tourney.
The Vikings will wrestle in a triangular with Monticello and host Big Lake starting at 5 p.m. tomorrow night. On Saturday, January 14, they will wrestle in the twelve-team St. Croix Lutheran tournament, with the proceedings getting underway at 9:30 a.m.