Four Warriors, three Flyers headed to state
Brainerd’s Dan Babineau and Levi Rubin captured titles along with Frank Wilczek of Little Falls in the Section 8-3A individual tournament Saturday night at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School.
The Warriors’ Jace Engelmann and Casey Biever also earned state trips as runners-up. The Flyers’ Connor Scherping and Dillon Kifer both also were second.
Babineau (132) entered the tournament as the No. 2 seed. He decisioned top-seeded Scherping 12-9 in the final. Scherping had beaten Babineau twice during the regular season.
“Dan wrestled a smart match and stayed out of trouble,” Warriors co-head coach Mike Boran said. “It took us two matches to figure out how to stay out of (Scherping’s) match. It was a great tournament for Dan.”
Second-seeded Rubin (170) upset top-seeded AJ Wheeler of Moorhead 1-0 in the final.
“Levi had lost three times to Wheeler, all in overtime,” Boran said,” and he was able to sneak it out this time. Good for Levi. It was icing on the cake, losing close matches the three other times Levi had wrestled him.”
Engelmann (182) was pinned in 1:41 by Moorhead’s Chase Morlock in the final. He avoided having to wrestle a true second-place match because he edged Little Falls’ Adam Grams 7-6 in the semifinals and Grams finished third.
“We thought there was a pretty good chance (Scherping) would get third,” Warriors co-head coach Mike Boran said. “Jace wrestled a good match (against Morlock). He hung in there, pushed him the whole match, and Grams finished third, so they didn’t have to wrestle for true second.”
Biever (195) lost 5-2 to Sartell’s Brady Goebel for the title. Biever then had to beat Trysten Ross of Little Falls for true second.
“We knew it would be tough in the finals,” Boran said. “Casey had wrestled (Goebel) before and lost to him. In the final round you just go out there and give it your best.
“True second in sections is kind of a gut check. It was quite a match, back and forth. It was pretty tense. Casey ended up getting a reversal at the end to win it.”
Wilczek pinned Moorhead’s Kenny Mark in 25 seconds for his title. Kifer was edged 9-8 by St. Cloud Apollo’s Grant Nehring for the 138 title.
106: 1st: Brian Maas, Bemidji; 3rd: Justin Jenks, LF
113: 1st: Grant Dullinger, Apollo; 3rd: Axel Lange, LF
120: 1st: Frank Wilczek, LF
126: 1st: Mitch Bengtson, Apollo
132: 1st: Dan Babineau, Brainerd; 2nd: Connor Scherping, LF
138: 1st: Grant Nehring, Apollo ; 2nd: Dillon Kifer, LF; 3rd: Shane White, Brd
145: 1st: Tony Hubbard, Alexandria; 6th: Luke Boran, Brd
152: 1st: Nam Nguyen, Apollo; 3rd: Nate Adams, Brd
160: 1st: Daniel Vitale, Sartell; 3rd: Jeff Flickinger, Brd; 6th: Jordan Petrone, LF
170: 1st: Levi Rubin, Brd; 6th: Tyler Gastecki, LF
182: 1st: Chase Morlock, Moorhead; 2nd: Jace Engelmann, Brd; 3rd: Adam Grams, LF
195: 1st: Brady Goebel, Sartell; 2nd: Casey Biever, Brd; 3rd: Trysten Ross, LF
220: 1st: Justin Cumberbatch, Alexandria; 3rd: Sam Adams, Brd; 4th: David Copa, LF
285: 1st: Alex Johnson, Bemidji; 3rd: James Weiss, Brd; 6th: Conor Swanson, LF
Next: Brainerd, Little Falls in Class 8-3A individual tournament 9 a.m. Friday, Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul.