The Mille Lacs Raiders took 11 wrestlers to the Section 7A Individual Championship Tournament on Friday, Feb. 24, and had a great showing. Nine of the 11 placed in the tourney and three became state qualifiers.
At 113 pounds, Zach Remer was the number one seed coming into the tournament with a 35-2 record. In the quarter finals, Remer made quick work of his Deer River opponent, earning a fall in a mere 23 seconds. In the semi-finals, Zach once again dominated the action and scored a pin in the second period. This put Remer up against Wyatt Pilarski from Holdingford, who is currently the fourth-ranked wrestler in Class A. Once again Remer controlled the match and came away with a 6-2 win and his third consecutive section title. He will enter the state tournament seeded first of among the 16 qualifiers at 113 pounds with a record of 39-2.
Donovan Schmid took the mat as the number one seed in the section at 120 pounds. Schmid earned a second period pin to win his first match and then followed with a hard fought semi-final match where he won a tight 2-0 decision over his Deer River opponent. In the finals, Donovan continued to roll and won 7-2 over Wyatt Novitski from Holdingford, who is the current number four ranked wrestler at 120 in Class A. Schmid will take his unblemished 42-0 record to the state tournament next week where he is seeded second among the 16 qualifiers at his weight.
The third state qualifier for the Raiders came at 170 pounds. Senior Hudson Mann opened his afternoon with a pin and then faced a tough opponent in Luke Biniek from Holdingford, who is ranked fifth in Class A at 170. After exchanging a pair of escapes, the score was tied at 1-1 when Biniek was able to score a takedown with only four seconds left. This loss would knock Hudson into the consolation bracket. Here he would face the number one seeded Gus Thompson from Deer River, who Mann smartly out-wrestled to a 9-2 victory. In the third-place match Hudson again wrestled a smart match and defeated his Staples opponent, 6-1. This gave Mann a chance at a true-second match against Jake Lenners from Royalton. Hudson really poured it on this time, attacking from the first whistle and winning handily 13-4. This win gave Hudson a runner-up finish and a berth in the state tournament.
Also placing were Cam Wilkes at 138, who won three matches in the tournament and finished his impressive career with the Raiders with a fourth place finish. A pair of Raiders, Vincent Schmid and Carter Adickes earned fifth-place finishes for the day by each winning three matches. Tucker Strecker, Creedon Spengler and Chris Ecker each picked up a pair of wins and placed sixth to round out the Mille Lacs placers.
Ashley Strang, who qualified for the Girls State Wrestling Tournament, will see her first match take place on Saturday, March 4 at 9 a.m. She enters the tournament with a 15-3 record.
The State Boys Wrestling Tournament will take place at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Friday, March 3. The three Mille Lacs wrestlers will first take the mat starting at around 12 noon.
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