Wrestling team struggles at state
BISMARCK – The Rugby High School wrestlers are eager to put an up-and-down season behind them and look ahead after scoring just one point at the state tournament Feb. 13-15.
RHS sophomore Spencer Koehmstedt (195 pounds) was critical of his first state appearance, but is already thinking about what he needs to do to advance further next year.
“I need to prepare more,” Koehmstedt said. “Warming-up was definitely a big part of it. … I had a tough draw right off the bat, but I should’ve beat my second kid.
“I was nervous for it and I just didn’t open up for the match. Coaches always say, ‘If you don’t open up here you’re not gonna win, especially at the state tournament.’ “
RHS seventh-grader Riley Zachmeier picked up the team’s lone point when he won the first state tournament match of his career. Zachmeier (106) drew No. 7 seed Kyle Burwick, of Hettinger, in the opener and was pinned in 29 seconds. The youngster shook it off and won a 6-4 decision over Alex Madrigal, of Bowman County, in his next match.
“He still didn’t wrestle as good as what he is capable of, but good enough to win and he won the match,” RHS coach Craig Zachmeier, Riley’s father, said. “He was in control of the match the whole time.”
Riley, who finished the season 19-20, was pinned in the first period of his next match against No. 8 seed Braydin Jangula, a freshman at Napoleon.
Koehmstedt (9-13) suffered consecutive pins by Hillsboro-Central Valley junior and No. 3 seed Wyatt Schultz; and Stanley-Powers Lake-Tioga-Ray sophomore Alex Kucera.
RHS juniors Reid Mundahl (145) and Benny Mygland (152) lost by fall in their opening matches and were eliminated in decisions in their next matches.
Mundahl (25-20) was pinned at 2 minutes, 47 seconds by No. 3 seed and senior Christian Hughes, of Hettinger. He dropped the next match in a 10-5 decision to sophomore Mason Faut, of Beulah-Hazen.
Mygland (13-12) was pinned at 1:03 by No. 3 seed and sophomore Billy Holtan, of Carrington. Holtan was a semifinalist. Mygland then lost a 12-4 major decision to Standing Rock freshman Kobe Murphy.
“This year we had multiple kids, that were certainly top-four placers at state, that when we got there weren’t mentally ready,” Craig Zachmeier said. “The nerves got to them when they were there. There’s no question that we have state-champion talent on that team. They just need to keep putting the time in.”
South Border beat out Carrington for the Class B individual team and dual titles. The Mustangs beat the Cardinals 34-33 in the dual championship and held on for a 182-172.5 advantage in team points. Lisbon (160.5), Pembina County North (150) and Oakes (144.5) rounded out the top five.
Notes: Lisbon senior Dylan Urbach (160) capped his career with a second straight championship and set the Class B record for career wins at 241. His win in the final broke his tie with 2013 South Border graduate Blake Bosch.
Region III top-four placers included: 138 champion Justin Thomas, Des Lacs-Burlington; 152 fourth-place Chandler Meiers, S-PL-T-R; and 285 third-place Mason Kramer, Bishop Ryan.