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Wrestler Mygland returning to form

By Staff | Jan 31, 2014

Tim Chapman/PCT Rugby wrestlers Ethan Morin (standing) and sophomore Spencer Koehmstedt practice at RHS on Tuesday.

Bennie Mygland isn’t concerning himself with seeding during regular-season wrestling tournaments. The unseeded junior at 152 pounds is steadily improving after missing the first half of the season while recovering from a knee injury.

His latest step came with a seventh-place finish at the East-West Tournament in New Salem on Jan. 25. Mygland finished 3-2 in the tournament and beat No. 6 Coleton Jore of Watford City in a 6-3 decision in the final match.

“My throw was pretty good,” Mygland said. “I’m improving every week it seems like. The thing I need to work on the most is getting off the bottom, getting hand control. I feel like I’m really good on my feet right now.”

Mygland (12-7 overall) shrugged off a first-round pin by No. 5 Chander Meiers of Stanley and beat No. 6 Jared Roth of Oakes in a tough 5-3 decision.

“He’s improving immensely each week,” RHS coach Craig Zachmeier said, “so Bennie’s on track to where he needs to be.”

Zachmeier thought his up-and-comers from junior high underachieved with losses to opponents they previously beat. The coach took consolation in the feeling that his wrestlers still haven’t peaked.

“You can just tell by the way they carry themselves, by their mat presence, by how they work up here (in the wrestling room) and seeing how hungry they are,” Zachmeier said. “When you’re up here wrestling, when they come up with a smile on their face. This time of year kids are trying to get out of work. Our kids are coming up, they want to work hard, they’re putting in extra time yet.”

RHS junior Reid Mundahl took eighth at 145 pounds and finished 2-3 at the tournament. The No. 7 seed opened with a pin of Velva’s Brady Irmen 15 seconds into the second round, but fell to No. 2 Christian Hughes of Hettinger with 34 seconds left in the second round. Mundahl fell in the seventh-place match in a 5-3 overtime decision won by Killdeer’s Derek Tabor.

“(Mundahl’s) on track where we need him and we got a couple tough, close losses out of the way,” Zachmeier said. “All he needs to do is get the first takedown. If we get the first takedown, the kid’s not gonna have to battle back and have (the opponent) sit on a lead. That’s not what we want. We gotta get the first lead and not make those mistakes.”

Eighth-grader Kaden Jaeger (113) led the Panthers with a sixth-place finish as the No. 8 seed.

“For his talent level that isn’t near where he should’ve been,” Zachmeier said.

Seventh-grader Riley Zachmeier, unseeded at 106, had one of his tougher outings of the season as he suffered two pins and was eliminated early.

“A 12-year-old mentality came out, so we’re working with him,” his father said. “Kids that were placing, he’s beaten, so he had a bad weekend and I’m glad it’s before state because now we got three weeks to get him through it.

“Our kids aren’t even close to where they’re going to be in three weeks.”

The Panthers will focus on improving as they take a thin roster to the Region 3 Dual Tournament in Velva today.

“If we didn’t have disciplinary problems on the team we would’ve qualified (for state) as a dual team, hands down,” Zachmeier said, “but, basically, with our upperclassmen not being able to follow the rules or not being able to handle the grind, now we’re concentrating on these young kids to perform at state.”

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