Two place for Rugby at Class B Wrestling Meet
Rugby junior Wyatt Thompson entered the wrestling season with an ambitious goal in mind.
Finish fifth or better in his weight class at the Class B state tournament.
Wyatt, seeded fifth at 130 pounds, won his first two matches before dropping his semifinal match. He rebounded with a win in wrestlebacks to reach the third place match.
Despite a loss in that match, Wyatt was happy to reach his goal. He competed last year at the meet, but did not place.
“You see a lot of good competition,’ he said. “It’s nice to place.”
Not to be outdone, Wyatt’s twin brother, Garrett, also had a good showing.
The 140-pounder placed sixth – the third straight year Garrett has placed at state.
He finished 3-3, needing to win matches in the wrestleback rounds to reach the fifth-sixth place match.
“My goal was to place as high as I could, and finishing one spot better than my (seventh) seed was nice,’ Garrett said.
Rugby coach Ken Higbee was also pleased to see two wrestlers end up on the awards stand. “We had two seeded and they ended up finishing a notch above where they were started,’ Higbee said.
Five other Panthers competed, but just one of them – Zach Berube at 152 pounds, won a match.
Zach was competing in his first state meet and posted a 1-2 mark. “It was good to see him get a victory,’ Higbee said. “I felt we had some other chances at some other spots (to win a match or two), but it didn’t happen. That was disappointing.”
Seventh grader Reid Mundahl (103); junior Josh Tank (135); senior Michael Steen (145); and junior Michael Ostrem (160) went 0-2 in their matches. For Mundahl, it was his first state tournament.
Six of the seven will be back next season and that bodes well for the program. Rugby will have several seniors in the lineup and hopefully that experience will result in a big season.
Oakes claims another title
Last season Oakes won the Class B state title, despite having just one individual state champion. This season, the Tornadoes had four. That helped the team score 182 points. Oakes also won the dual team tournament.
Like last season, Carrington had to settle for runner-up. The Cardinals scored 143.5 points. They finished with three individual state champions. Lisbon and New Salem tied for third with 118 points. Rugby placed 21st with 30 points.
Higbee wasn’t surprised by the team outcomes, noting both Oakes and Carrington had a lot of talented wrestlers.
Rolla-Rock Lake-St. John was the top finisher from Region 3. The Bulldogs were 10th. The squad had two wrestlers reach the finals, both placing second. They were Willson Hallaway at 140 pounds and Michael Bonn at 171. Another, Seth Anderson finished third at 285.