State Wrestling: 7 area wrestlers advance to state semifinals

Senior Cade Barrett of the Brainerd Warriors (right) pinned No. 1 seed Seth Arndt from Rochester Century in their 220-pound match of the Class 3A State Individual Wrestling Tournament Friday, Feb. 29, at Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul. Bill Johnson / Picture Day Pro!

Brainerd’s Cade Barrett pinned his opening round opponent in 4:17 and won by a 13-6 decision in the quarterfinals to advance to the Class 3A State Semifinals at 220-pounds Friday, Feb. 28, at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Barrett said he felt disrespected coming into the tournament unseeded.

“I knew that wasn’t right,” Barrett said. “Kind of had a little chip on my shoulder, because I have been ranked in the top 10 all year. I wrestled the sixth-seed in the first round and I knew he wasn’t really that good. I just had to wrestle my match and I could beat him.”

In the semifinals, Barrett hopes his nerves don’t get the best of him.

“I have never been on this stage before, so it’s different,” Barrett said. “Just not let the stage get to me and stay the course.”


Gabe Nagel of Little Falls pinned both of his opponents to reach the semifinals in the 170-pound Class 3A bracket.

“His first match he had a tough opponent,” Flyers head coach Mike Hendrickson said. “He was a strong kid and Gabe wore him out and hooked him up in the cradle to finish him. In the second match, I was really confident the kid was not as physical as Gabe, and he beat him up.”

Nagel feels confident being down at state having won a state title last year, the bright lights of the Xcel Energy Center don’t make him nervous.

“This is my third year down here. You can definitely tell that I have had time under the bright lights,” Nagel said. “Just really trying to wrestle mistake free.”

Hendrickson anticipates the big showdown in the finals with Max McEnelly of Waconia.

“There is a lot of talk in the stadium about the guy who takes down everyone and buzzes through all takedowns,” Hendrickson said of the possible matchup with McEnelly. “And Gabe, ironically, has not been taken down in a couple of years. It’s going to be a crazy finals, but first things first, got to take care of the semifinals.”

Other Warriors Isaiah Jillson at 120 and Atlie Danielson at 138 lost their opening round duals and didn’t qualify for wrestlebacks. Jillson finishes the season with a record of 29-15 while Danielson posts a 35-8 record.

Little Falls wrestler Austin Litke lost in a major decision in the opening round at 106 and also did not make wrestlebacks. Litke owned a 34-4 record.


In Class 2A, Connor Tulenchik of the Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus Road Crew made the semifinals at 145. Tulenchik won in a 5-3 sudden death decision in the opening round and a 9-2 decision in the quarterfinals.

“We came in with a mindset that we were as good as anyone on the bottom of the bracket,” Road Crew head coach Travis Hoffarth said. “We had some confidence coming in, but then we just stuck with our strengths. We got some key takedowns late and in overtime.

“A lot of times when you get in an overtime match the kid’s tank is on empty. So you want to make sure if you are going to take a shot that it’s a quality shot. We were able to defend one shot on him and then pick a key time and he was able to finish.”

Tulenchik’s Road Crew teammate, Caleb Ruh,l defeated his opening round opponent in a 6-3 decision at 113, but lost 23-9 in a major decision to the No. 1 seed in the quarterfinals. Ruhl then dropped his wrestleback match in a major decision 9-0.

“Outstanding experience for him as a sophomore getting down here for the first time,” Hoffarth said. “Great season for him. I am proud of him.”

Pierz’s Trevor Radnuz won in a 3-2 decision in the opening round after an escape with 1:05 left in the third period. Radnuz then fell in a 20-8 major decision in the quarterfinals.

Fellow Pioneer Tanner Young pinned his opening round opponent and then won in a 10-5 decision in the quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals at 182.

In Class 1A, two-time defending 285-pound champion Criag Orlando of the Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale/Parkers Prairie Raiders pinned both of his opponents to reach the semifinals. Orlando’s pin in the quarterfinals took 27 seconds. He pinned Crosby-Ironton’s Kyle Blazek in the opening round at 2:21.


Gideon Ervasti was the other Raider to make the semifinals at 182 after a pin in the opening round and a 11-2 major decision in the quarterfinals.

Mason Schroeder at 160 pinned his opening round opponent, but lost 16-2 in a major decision in the quarterfinals. Schroeder advanced in the first round of wrestlebacks due to injury forfeit.

Staples-Motley wrestler and top-seed at 160 Owen Bjera won in a 19-4 tech. fall in the opening round and then a 20-9 major decision in the quarterfinals to reach the semifinals.

Aitkin’s Marshall Larson won by a 5-1 decision the opening round at 106. He then fell in the quarterfinals by a 8-4 decision, but won by 15-5 major decision in the first round of wrestlebacks.

Class 3A results
Opening round
106: Jeremiah Vanacker (Forest Lake) maj. dec. Austin Litke (LF) 11-3, Litke finishes 34-4
120: Yves Evillard (Owatonna) tech. fall Isaiah Jillson (Brd) 15-0, Jillson finishes 29-15
138: Pedro Velazquez (Chaska/Chanhassen) dec. Atlie Danielson (Brd) 5-4, Danielson finishes 35-8
170: Gabe Nagel (LF) pinned Mitchell Nowland (Andover) 4:41
220: Cade Barrett (Brd) pinned Seth Arndt (Rochester Century) 4:17
Championship Quarterfinals
170: Nagel (LF) pinned Mannix Morgan (Mounds View) 1:30
220: Barrett (Brd) dec. Walter West (Robbinsdale Cooper) 13-6


Class 2A results
Opening round
113: Caleb Ruhl (PL/PRB) dec. Rameses Peterson (Totino-Grace/Fridley) 6-3
120: Trevor Radunz (Prz) dec. Tyson Kroells (Delano) 3-2
145: Connor Tulenchik (PL/PRB) dec. Carson Tschudi (Delano) 5-3
182: Tanner Young (Prz) pinned Johnny Harstad (Orono) 1:03
Championship Quarterfinals
113: Reid Nelson (Simley) maj. dec. Ruhl (PL/PRB) 23-9
120: Ethan Lebrija (MAHACA) maj. dec. Radunz (Prz) 20-8
145: Tulenchik (PL/PRB) dec. Joe Gardas (Zimmerman) 9-2
182: Young (Prz) dec. Alex Nelson (Hutchinson) 10-5
113: Levi Jacobson (Foley) maj. dec. Ruhl (PL/PRB) 9-0, Ruhl finishes 35-16
120: Trevor Radunz (Prz) pinned Will Nihart (South St. Paul) 0:29

Class 1A results
Opening round
106: Daunte Yost (Fertile-Beltrami) dec. David Revering (BHVPP) 6-2, Revering finishes 38-9; Marshall Larson (Ait) dec. Lane Fink (Canby) 5-1
113: Ryan Jensen (Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa) dec. Deagan Captain (BHVPP) 7-6, Captain finishes 39-10
120: Brandon Ross (Caledonia) dec. Simon Sydner (WDC) 6-3
126: Gavin Winter (Kimball) pinned John Paul Fitzpatrick (CI) 2:54
138: Jaxen Kinkner (Blue Earth) dec. Jason Koehn (BHVPP) 7-3, Koehn finishes 33-13; Hunter Hitchen (Fertile-Beltrami) pinned Jack Grell (Ait) 0:37, Grell finishes 20-18
160: Owen Bjerga (S-M) tech. fall Tate Lange (Holdingford) 19-4, Mason Schroeder (BHVPP) pinned Kailb Greenman (Canby) 3:08
170: Noah Sayles (Grand Meadow-Lester) pinned Michael Fitzpatrick (CI) 3:38
182: Gideon Ervasti (BHVPP) pinned Lance Wagner (Wabasso/Red Rock Central) 3:45
285: Craig Orlando (BHVPP) pinned Kyle Blazek (CI) 2:21
Championship Quarterfinals
106: Anthony Romero (Grand Meadow-Lester) dec. Larson (Ait) 8-4
160: Bjerga (S-M) maj. dec. Sawyer Schwartz (Tracy-Milroy-Balaton) 20-9; Max Ehrich (Blue Earth) maj. dec. Schroeder (BHVPP) 16-2
182: Gideon Ervasti (BHVPP) maj. dec. Brady Kroll (Barnesville) 11-2
285: Craig Orlando (BHVPP) pinned Austin Schlangen (Eden Valley-Watkins) 0:27
106: Larson (Ait) maj. dec. Gavin Johnson (Kenyon-Wanamingo) 15-5
120: Ayden Horner (Tracy Milroy) maj. dec. Sydner (WDC) 13-2, Sydner finishes 36-12
126: John Paul Fitzpatrick (CI) pinned Lukas Volstad (Frazee) 1:57, John Paul finishes 37-13
160: Schroeder (BHVPP) inj. forfeit Evan Young (Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa)
170: Ashton Hanan (Kimball) pinned Michael Fitzpatrick (CI) 2:06, Michael finishes 31-16
285: Blazek (CI) pinned Austin Schlangen (Eden Valley-Watkins) 2:59

Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus Road Crew wrestler Conner Tulenchik reacts to his win over Carson Tschudi from Delano in their 145-pound opening-round match at the Class 2A State Wrestling Tournament Friday, Feb. 29, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Bill Johnson / Picture Day Pro!

What To Read Next
Get Local