Brainerd's Braden Kramer pulled off the upset of Class 3A's 152-pound bracket Friday, March 1.
The Section 8-3A champion was handed the No. 13 seed and opened his second state individual tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul against No. 4 seeded and fourth-ranked Roman Rogotzke of East Ridge.
The senior with a 37-8 record and a No. 6 state ranking posted a 9-8 decision over Rogotzke to advance to the quarterfinals.
"Braden is wrestling really good right now," Warrior head coach Mikky White said. "He came in as the 13th seed and took down the No. 4 seed right away. That was a tough kid, but he's just wrestling really solid right now. He's doing everything he needs to do."
Kramer faced fellow upset-minded senior Brian Avre of Minneapolis South. Avre knocked off fifth-seeded Brendan Dunagan of Mounds View 5-1. Kramer than sent Avre to the wrestlebacks with a 10-8 victory to advance to the championship semifinals.
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Class 3A State Wrestling
- Brainerd: Kramer in Champ. Semifinals, 3 others still alive
- Little Falls: Nagel in Champ. Semifinals, Litke still wrestling
- Next: Class 3A State Individual Tournament at Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul 9:30 a.m. Saturday, March 2
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Kramer will face top-seeded Willie Bastyr of Lakeville South. Bastyr posted two decision victories to advance to face Kramer.
"We don't know a whole lot about (Bastyr) yet, but that's our plan for (Friday night) is to learn as much as we can about him," White said. "If we don't find out a whole lot about him, as long as Braden stays focused on what he's doing and what has brought him here and what has kept him successful, he'll be fine. He'll give himself a shot."
Kyle Patnode collected an 11-3 major decision over Trae Janisch in his opening-round match. Kyle Patnode, in his first state tournament, then wrestled top-seeded Drew Woodley of Northfield where he fell 7-6 to fall into the wrestlebacks.
In the wrestlebacks or consolation bracket, Mounds View's Mitch Engebretson provided little resistance as Kyle Patnode eliminated him 9-3.
"Kyle looks really good, too," White said. "In the quarterfinals, he lost to the No. 1 seed 7-6 and he was right there. He was a really good kid and for us to get close to him and almost beat him, I'm not going to count that as a win because obviously, we would have liked to have won, but as far as a confidence booster it was huge. It kept him feeling good and kept him in a good place mentally so that he came out in the wrestlebacks and worked the next kid.
"He broke that kid pretty early and never let him back in."
The Little Falls Flyers scored two opening-round wins. Sophomore Gabe Nagel kept his perfect record intact with a 1:18 pin over Bloomington Kennedy's Isaac Grams.
Nagel then pinned White Bear Lake's T.J. Turinske in 2:28 to advance to the championship semifinals.
Nagel will face top-seeded Wyatt Lidberg of St. Michael-Albertville Saturday.
"(Gabe) had an outstanding day," Little Falls head coach Mike Hendrickson said. "He had a couple of tough opponents and a couple of pins and hopefully he can keep it rolling."
Senior Grant Litke posted an 8-1 decision in his first-ever state match over Eagan's Carter Lyons. Litke then faced top-seeded Zach Glazier of Albert Lea and fell into the wrestlebacks after losing by technical fall to the University of Iowa recruit.
"That kid that he wrestled was an absolute buzz saw," Hendrickson said. "For Grant to bounce back was nice. His last opponent walked out onto the mat and he was really tall. I think he picked the wrong sport he was so tall. In fact, they were in their stances and the kid kept tapping Grant on the top of the head. Well, I think that just mad Grant mad so he went after his legs and pinned him. That was funny. It was probably an anger pin."
Brainerd's Denny Busbey opened against top-ranked and top-seeded Trayton Anderson and held him to a 13-3 major decision. Busbey fell into the wrestlebacks after Anderson topped Michael Murphy of Eagan 14-0 in the quarterfinals.
The 132-pound senior remained alive as he defeated Murphy 7-4 in the wrestlebacks.
"It helps that we had two guys going this morning so Denny came in and worked out with the guys this morning and I think that really helped him stay focused," White said. "It is a long wait sitting around all day, but being around the guys helped."
Brad Patnode dropped his opening match against No. 3 seeded and third-ranked Nick Dunagan of Mounds View 12-1. Dunagan dispatched Albert Lea's Caleb Talamantes, an 11th seed, into the wrestlebacks to face Patnode, where the Warrior senior eliminated him 11-5.
"This next round is a big round," White said. "We have to win to keep moving on and all of these guys are in a good spot mentally and physically. I think we just need to stick with what's been working and what we've been doing. I feel pretty positive about tomorrow."
Opening round results
132: Trayton Anderson (Northfield) maj. dec. Denny Busbey (Brainerd) 13-3
138: Kyle Patnode (Brainerd) maj. dec. Trae Janisch (Blaine) 11-3
145: Nick Dunagan (Mounds View) maj. dec. Brad Patnode (Brainerd) 12-1
152: Braden Kramer (Brainerd) dec. Roman Rogotzke (East Ridge) 9-8
160: Gabe Nagel (Little Falls) pinned Isaac Grams (Blake) 1:18
182: Grant Litke (Little Falls) dec. Carter Lyons (Eagan) 8-1
138: Drew Woodley (Northfield) dec. Kyle Patnode 7-6
152: Kramer dec. Brian Avre (Minneapolis South) 10-8
160: Nagel pinned T.J. Turinske (White Bear Lake) 2:28
182: Zach Glazier (Albert Lea) tech. fall Litke 4:57
132: Busbey dec. Michael Murphy (Eagan) 7-4
138: Kyle Patnode dec. Mitch Engebretson (Mounds View) 9-3
145: Brad Patnode vs. Caleb Talamantes (Albert Lea)
182: Litke pinned Deonte Bryan (Hopkins) 2:49