March 1, 2007 at 8:16 a.m.
Kostik, the number-one seed in the section, had a close match with Chisago Lakes' Mike Michaelson in the tournament's opening round. Kostik was called for several false starts in the match and had to let Michaelson escape a couple of times, then take him down to get some points and pull out a nail-biting 6-5 win. Kostik then major-decisioned Brent Molitor 19-9 in his second round match to advance to the final against Murphy.
Kostik didn't quite know what to expect from Murphy in the championship match, as the seventh-seeded Murphy had beaten a prior-year state entrant to reach the championship match. Murphy gave Kostik all he could handle for nearly two periods, and the score was still 0-0 late in the second period. But Kostik got Murphy in a cradle, his signature pin move, for the pin just before the end of the period to win the match and the right to go to the state tournament.
"Erik wrestled well this year," said Viking head coach Tony Aho. "When he beat the Anoka kid in the team section meet, I knew he had a chance to go to state. We feared Michaelson, the kid from Chisago, the most, and Erik won that match by just one point. This is only Erik's third year of wrestling. He was 5-25 his first year and 25-10 last year, so he's a quick learner. This year, he beat some kids who beat him last year. The sky's the limit for Erik. He wanted everyone to be proud of him - his team, his family, his coaches - and he's accomplished that. The biggest reason he's going to state is he hit the weights hard."
"I think he'll do real well at state," continued Aho. "We'll bring him down to the Xcel on Wednesday so he can practice there and get a feel for it. Erik's not the kind of kid who will get shell-shocked or is just happy to be there. He wants to win. I like his mentality and I think he's on the right side of the bracket. He doesn't know enough to be nervous. He's got a great attitude."
Greg Arnt, at 171 pounds, nearly joined Kostik at State. The fourth-seeded Arnt pinned Tony Payne of Champlin Park midway through the second period. Against top-seeded Luke Munkelwitz of Forest Lake, ranked second in the state, Munkelwitz won by a technical fall. Arnt then squeezed by Tal Bakke of Cambridge Isanti 3-2 and beat Josh Schuldt of Coon Rapids 7-3 to claim third place. Since Arnt hadn't yet gotten to wrestle second place wrestler Adam Armstrong of Anoka, they wrestled a "True Team Second" match for the right to go to state.
Arnt got behind early, trailing 5-0 just 10 seconds into the match. He was down 9-3 after the first period and 13-7 after the second. He outscored Armstrong 8-3 in the third period, but it wasn't enough as Armstrong hung on for a 16-15 victory and a berth in the state tournament.
"I really think Greg wrestled well," said Aho. "I think he's equal in desire and technique with most of his opponents. He's talented, and has been on the varsity since seventh grade. He just needs to work on his strength. He was already hitting the weights hard the day after his last match."
"I'm excited about the future of this team," said Aho. "Our wrestlers are great kids, work hard and have good technique. Sophomore Boyd Suparat might be the best wrestler I've ever coached from a technical standpoint. Our wrestlers just need more power. Boyd and the other kids are already in the weight room working on that power."
Wt Name Place
103 Rett Long DNP
112 Tom Mork DNP
119 Erik Kostik 1st
125 Boyd Suparat 5th
130 Nick Salo DNP
135 Joe Blom DNP
140 Matt Newham 5th
152 David Kowarsch DNP
171 Greg Arnt 3rd
189 John Wickoren DNP
215 Justin Bergerson DNP
285 John Morrison DNP