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Class 1A State Wrestling: 2 from BHVPP, Staples-Motley's Bjerga reach semifinals

Staples-Motley 138-pounder Owen Bjerga (left) beat Colton Weiland of Crookston in the opening round of the Class 1A individual state tournament Friday. Bill Johnson - Picture Day Pro!

ST. PAUL—Out off 14 area wrestlers, only Holt Truax and Craig Orlando, both of Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale/Parkers Prairie, and Staples-Motley's Owen Bjerga reached the semifinals following the first day of matches in the Class 1A individual state tournament Friday at the Xcel Energy Center.

Seven other area individuals reached the wrestlebacks but by the end of the day Friday, only two reached Saturday's consolation quarterfinals which begin at 9 a.m. Championship semifinals start at 10:15 a.m. Saturday.

Bjerga, a sophomore ranked seventh at 138 pounds, won an 8-7 decision over sixth-ranked Colton Weiland of Crookston in the opening round and decisioned Tagen Miller of Wabasha-Kellogg in the quarterfinals. He faces fourth-ranked Kyle Cavanaugh of Caledonia/Houston in the semifinals.

Truax, an undefeated senior at 42-0 and ranked second at 182 pounds, won both of his matches by pin and takes on fourth-ranked Garrett Ploeger of Pipestone in the semis.

Sophomore Orlando, ranked third at heavyweight, also won both of his matches by pin and will face Blue Earth's sixth-ranked Trevor Oppedal in Saturday's semifinals.

Advancing to the consolation quarterfinals are Crosby-Ironton's seventh-ranked junior Nate Williams at 126 pounds and Aitkin's 10th-ranked freshman Tyler Spolarich at 145.

Williams will face eighth-ranked Mason Gode (LPGE-Browerville). Williams lost his opening match to top-seeded Michael Suda from Pipestone in a 17-6 major decision and then eked out an 11-9 decision over Triton's Cole Rasmussen in the wrestlebacks.

Spolarich got a break when he won by forfeit over fourth-ranked Seth Brossard of Kenyon-Wanamingo in the opening round. He then lost a 12-6 decision in the quarterfinals, but bounced back to beat sixth-ranked Zach Spinks (Windom/Mountain Lake) in the wrestlebacks. He will face unranked Jack Ridgeway (Trinity School at River Edge) in the consolation quarterfinals.

Class 1A

126: No. 1 Michael Suda (Pipestone) maj. dec. No. 7 Nate Williams (C-I) 17-6. Wrestlebacks: Williams dec. Cole Rasmussen (Triton) 11-9. Consolation quarterfinals: Williams vs. No. 8 Mason Gode (LPGE-Browerville) 9 a.m. Saturday.

132: No. 4 Tyler Bents (Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa) pinned Trever Arceneau (BHVPP) 4:38. Wrestlebacks: Joash Lord (NYA) dec. Arceneau 7-0. Arceneau finishes 33-21.

138: No. 4 Kyle Cavanaugh (Caledonia/Houston) pinned Luke Pelarski (Aitkin) 3:43. Wrestlebacks: Owen Novacke (BGM) maj. dec. Pelarski 14-5. Pelarski finishes 36-17.

138: No. 7 Owen Bjerga (Staples-Motley) dec. No. 6 Colton Weiland (Crookston) 8-7. Quarterfinals: Bjerga dec. Tagen Miller (Wabasha-Kellogg) 5-3. Semifinals: Bjerga vs. No. 4 Cavanaugh 10:15 a.m. Saturday.

145: No. 10 Tyler Spolarich (Aitkin) by forfeit over No. 4 Seth Brossard (Kenyon-Wanamingo). Quarterfinals: Lukas Meier (Crookston) dec. Spolarich 12-6. Wrestlebacks: Spolarich pinned Zach Spinks (Windom/Mountain Lake) 2:50. Consolation quarterfinals: Spolarich vs. Jack Ridgeway (Trinity School at River Ridge) 9 a.m. Saturday.

145: No. 3 Chandler Mooney (Roseau) dec. No. 9 Kaven Blazek (Crosby-Ironton) 4-3. Wrestlebacks: Zack Holtz (Kimball) pinned Blazek 0:48. Blazek finishes 35-15

145: No. 8 Anthony Axford (Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut-Grove) dec. Devin Dean (BHVPP) 7-3. Dean eliminated when Axford defeated in quarterfinals and finishes 37-17.

152: Zach Buseman (Blue Earth) pinned Carter Endrizzi (Aitkin) 2:19. Wrestlebacks: Tommy Wentzlaff (Sibley East) pinned Endrizzi 1:58. Endrizzi finishes 28-22

152: No. 3 Toby Hintzman (United North Central) tech fall Gideon Ervasti (BHVPP) 3:01 15-0. Ervasti eliminated when Hintzman defeated in quarterfinals and finishes 25-19

170: No. 9 Dalton Mielke (Rush City/Braham) pinned Steven Erkenbrack (Wadena-Deer Creek) 1:51. Erkenbrack eliminated when Mielke defeated in quarterfinals and finishes 31-11.

182: No. 5 Logan Quam (Kenyon-Wanamingo) maj. dec. Cedric Farnsworth (Aitkin) 9-0. Wrestlebacks: Farnsworth vs. Carson Haugrun (Pelican Rapids) pinned Farnsworth 2:00. Farnsworth finishes 29-13.

182: No. 2 Holt Truax (BHVPP) pinned Nick Podlack (Mahnomen/Waubun) 2:47. Quarterfinals: Truax pinned Nate Meixner (Medford) 3:46. Semifinals: Truax vs. No. 4 Garrett Ploeger (Pipestone Area) 10:15 a.m. Saturday.

195: Morgen Moreno (Waterville-Elysian-Morristown-Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton) dec. Taylor Eigenheer (C-I) 16-11. Eigenheer eliminated when Moreno lost in quarterfinals and finishes 37-12.

285: No. 3 Craig Orlando (BHVPP) pinned No. 9 Zach Evans (Badger-Greenbush-Middle River) 1:48. Quarterfinals: Orlando pinned Scot Edwards (Adrian Area) 2:43. Semifinals: Orlando vs. No. 6 Trevor Oppedal (Blue Earth Area) 10:15 a.m. Saturday.

Next: Class 1A state tournament, Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, 9 a.m. Saturday, March 3.