Sykora (WCA-ABE) and Ervasti (BHV-PP) qualify for the semi-finals; many local wrestlers vying for medal – Alexandria Echo Press

ST. PAUL – West Central Area-Ashby-Brandon-Evansville’s Anthony Sikora (170) crushed the competition Friday with two wins to put him in the Class A semifinals at the 2022 MSHSL State Tournament.

Sykora, a junior, reached the semifinals with a first-round technical fall over Frazee junior Daniel Graham (TF 2:33, 16-0). Sykora scored one escape, two eliminations and five near-falls in her win over Graham.

Sykora, the fifth seed in its bracket, beat fourth seed Caden Johnson (Tracy-Milroy-Balaton-Westbrook-Walnut Grove) with a third-period pin (5:33). Sykora had a 6-1 lead so far.

In the semifinals, Sykora (45-5) will face top seed Ashten Hanan (33-3, Kimball Area).

The Knights went 4-4 in the first round and 1-3 in the semifinals.

First-year student Gruchow Hunter (132), senior Rubens Swanson (145) and senior Colton Lindquist (220) won their first-round matches but fell in the semifinals.

Swanson and Gruchow each rebounded with pins in their wrestling match, while Lindquist won by a 7-1 decision over TM-BW-WG’s Travis Willhite.

In Saturday’s comeback fight, Gruchow will take on New Richland-HE-G’s Nicolas Petsinger, while Swanson takes on Minneota’s Zack Fier. Linquist takes on Colton Long of Howard Lake-Waverly-Winstead.

Second year Solomon Wales (138), second year Will Rustan (195), junior Handsome Robinson (182) and senior Ashton Danner (160) all qualified for the tournament but were eliminated on Friday.

Top-seeded Ervasti Does Not Disappoint in Category A 220 Entering the tournament with an 18-1 record, Bertha-Hewitt-Verndale-Parkers Prairie senior Gideon Ervasti did what it took to get to semi final.

BHV-PP’s Gideon Ervasti raises his hand after winning the first round of the 2022 MSHSL State Tournament on March 4, 2022.

Sam Stuve/Alexandria Echo Press

Ervasti opened the tournament with a major 15-7 decision over New Richland-HEG rookie Ben Hagen. Ervasti recorded seven eliminations against Hagen.

Ervasti followed up his first-round win with a 9-3 quarterfinal decision over Howard Lake-Waverly-Winstead runner-up Colton Long. Ervasti recorded four eliminations in their semi-final victory. He will face Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa junior Ethan Spanier. Ervasti beat Spanier 10-5 on February 8.

Second year David revering (126) joined Ervasti in the quarter-finals with a 2-0 first-round decision over Fosston Bagley runner-up Aiden Wolfe. Revering took the win with a penalty point and a breakout.

Revering (36-12) lost 5-0 to Royalton-Upsala junior Alex Diedrich but rebounded with a fine 4-0 win over Jackson County Central junior Landon Andrews. Revering won with a knockdown and an out.

eighth grade student Justin Olson (106), Bennett Arceneau (120) and cadets Captain Deagan (132) all struggled in the tournament but failed to advance.

McGrane shines for Alexandria, Nelson eliminated

1-Mason McGrane-DSC_9926.JPG
Alexandria’s Mason McGrane works for a pin during a game at the 2022 MSHSL State Tournament on March 4, 2022.

Sam Stuve/Alexandria Echo Press

First-year student Mason McGrane (37-4) threw himself into the medal discussion in the AA 113-pound class.

McGrane started his day with a second-period pin (3:48) against Scott-West’s Caleb Tracy (32-10). McGrane fell in the quarterfinals to Becker’s Kaden Nichols (39-5) 12-6.

Trailing 8-4 to start the third period against St. Paul Johnson’s Sai Yang (32-9) in the wrestling match, McGrane found himself in a hole. But he got out of that hole and won 10-8 to stay alive in the tournament.

McGrane had a knockdown, a cautionary point and two near-falls in the third period to take the win from behind.

McGrane’s next opponent is Big Lake’s Cash Sixberry (41-3).

Junior Alexandria Blaze Nelson (35-11) struggled in the 138-pound range but was pinned by Aitkin’s Marshall Larson (5:02) in round one and Princeton’s Ethan Bellweber in the wrestling back (2:30).

Minnewaska’s Chase Smith bounces back from a tight quarterfinal loss with a bang, Blair is set to advance

1- Chase Smith-DSC_9809.JPG
Minnewaska’s Chase Smith (green) attempts to complete an out during a game at the MSHSL State Tournament on March 4, 2022.

Sam Stuve/Alexandria Echo Press

Just as McGrane did in the AA 113-pound class, Minnewaska rookie Chase Smith (37-4) inserted himself into the medal discussion in the A 113-pound class.

Smith opened his day with a major 16-7 decision over Kimball Area’s Mark Schiefelbein. Smith had two takedowns, three near-falls and two penalty points in her victory over Schiefelbein.

With a late knockdown, Blackduck-Cass Lake-Bena-Kelliher’s Donovan Schmid beat Smith 6-3 in the quarterfinals.

Smith bounced back with a vengeance, pinning Wadena-Deer Creek’s Mason Brauch in 45 seconds.

In Saturday’s rear wrestling match, Smith takes on two-seeded Zach Remer (Mille Lacs).

Senior Jacob Blair (31-8, 152) came close to qualifying for another wrestling match on Saturday, but missed a point. Trailing 1-0 late in the third period, Kimball Area’s Logan Kuseke earned a backhand for the 2-1 victory and eliminated Blair.

Blair started his day with a decisive 8-7 victory over Dane Niemi (New York Mills), courtesy of two knockdowns in the final period. Blair lost 7-0 to Dover-Eyota’s Gavin Gust in the quarter-finals.

Osakis’ George goes 2-1, Taplin eliminated

1- Reggie George- DSC_9788.JPG
Reggie George of Osakis attempts to convert an opponent during a game at the 2022 MSHSL State Tournament on March 4.

Sam Stuve/Alexandria Echo Press

Freshman from Osakis Reggie George is still alive in the A 106 category thanks to winning two out of three matches.

George earned a 7-5 decision over Jackson County Central’s Isaac Rodriguez, although Rodriguez nearly got the pin in the last second of the game.

Caledonia-Houston’s Braxton Lange beat George 3-0 in the quarterfinals with one out and one escape.

George (39-9) responded to his loss to Lange by beating Crookston’s Evin Trudeau 4-2 in a wrestling match.

George will face Chatifield’s Javier Berg (30-9) on Saturday.

Osakis’ Jacob Tapin (120) lost to BOLD’s Brady Kiecker 7-2 in the first round and didn’t have a chance to fight due to Kiecker’s loss in the quarterfinals.

The fight on Saturday begins with consolation matches at 9 a.m. with semi-finals to follow.

The final session of the tournament is at 4 p.m.