Central wrestlers compete at state

Wallace Michels went 2-2 at the Class A wrestling tournament at the Xcel Energy Center. (Adam Gruenewald/The Times)

by Adam Gruenewald
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Central wrestling had a strong showing at the Class A state tournament on Saturday with four individuals competing.
At 145, Wallace Michels opened with a 4-2 decision over Frazee’s Tanner Eischens in the first round, lost a 6-4 decision to Zumbrota-Mazeppa’s Maverick Johnson, who took second, won a 8-1 decision over Pierz’s Andrew Tomala on Friday, and concluded his tournament with a 7-6 decision loss to West Central Area’s Kaden Spindler on Saturday.
According to head coach Darrin Fox, Michels stayed with his aggressive wrestling style that got him to the state tournament.
“I think Wallace’s offense was very good,” said Fox. “I was very happy with the way he wrestled in all of his matches.”
Fox added that Michels, who ended the season with just three losses, did suffer a first period injury in the loss to Spindler.
“That really set him back I think in terms of having a little more firepower to probably get in a little better position to score,” said Fox, also crediting Spindler for pulling out the decision win in the back and forth battle. “For the effort and the drive that Wallace has, you just wish it wasn’t an injury… Wallace showed incredible guts getting hurt in the first period and wrestling the whole match out.”
Notably, Wallace Michels’ first state tournament win was his 164th career win, which is a Central school record. Fox added Michels plans to wrestle at the college level, but remains undecided on where.
At 106, sophomore Wyatt Lemke lost by a first period pin to a more experienced wrestler in Sunburg’s Will Magaard in 1:41.
“For him to be down there and get experience as is a big thing as a sophomore is good because it doesn’t happen very often,” said Fox. “I think right now Lemke has to understand the importance of wrestling every match and learn from the experience of what got him there… We’re hopeful as coaches that this drives him.”
At 126, Peter Barth lost a 7-5 decision to Paynesville’s Shawn Rue.
“I thought Peter wrestled a really, really good match,” said Fox, adding Barth didn’t fare as well against Rue early in the season. “It was a good way to gauge how he improved throughout the year. It was a really good experience to take away how much he had improved throughout the year to score points and be in there right at the end.”
At heavyweight, Nick Forner battled even in the first, was unable to get out in the second and then gave up an escape in the third and wound up losing a 3-1 decision to Ortonville’s Nick Miska.
In team results, Zumbrota-Mazeppa won the Class A state tournament title with Section 4A winner Sibley East losing both of their matches.
Follow Adam Gruenewald on Twitter @adamgruenewald.