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Class AAA wrestling notebook 3-6 /kh/

By Ben Pherson

bpherson@postbulletin.com

ST. PAUL — Most wrestlers hate to lose. But Rochester Mayo coach Dwight Gingerich said there isn’t a word in the English language to accurately describe how much Mike Minske hates to lose.

"He despises it," Gingerich said. "Nobody hates to lose more than he does. He’s always hated to lose, but this year he’s really taken that hatred to another level."

So far at the Class AAA state wrestling tournament, Minske has avoided what he hates the most.

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Minske won in dominating fashion Thursday during the quarterfinals at 152 pounds. The Mayo junior was relentless, taking down Eastview’s Nels Pederson over and over again and racking up nine nearfall points in an 18-5 victory.

"He’s wrestling very well," Gingerich said. "He wrestled very tough, very intense. And he did it for the full six minutes, which is something we’ve been preaching to him all season."

Minske, who is ranked No. 9, will meet Anoka’s Jake Begin, who is ranked No. 2, in today’s semifinals.

While his performance in the quarterfinals was nearly flawless, Minske said he struggled in the opening round but was able to pull out a win.

"It was a good thing I got a good draw, because if I wrestled like that against most of the kids in my bracket, I wouldn’t have won," Minske said. "I feel like I’m wrestling better now than I have recently. I’m not sure if I’m wrestling the best I ever have; I’m just really trying to get better."

While on Thursday Minske was all smiles, Wednesday wasn’t as pleasant. Although he won his match, he watched as his brother Jake suffered a 11-9 setback in the opening round.

"I hate seeing him like that," Mike Minske said. "Because I know how hard he’s worked to get here."

But the Minske brothers received good news Thursday. Because Jake Minske’s first-round opponent won in the quarterfinals, Jake was granted a spot in the wrestlebacks. And he didn’t waste the opportunity. He won a 4-1 decision to advance to today’s wrestleback quarterfinals.

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"Jake got another match, so that’s good," Mike Minske said. "I really think he can come back and get third."

Mayo’s other state wrestler, Marcus Wolf, wasn’t as lucky. His opponent lost, so Wolf was eliminated from the state meet.

One Rochester John Marshall wrestler is still alive at state. Senior Garrett Steiger was eliminated Thursday when his first-round opponent lost in the quarterfinals, but senior Pen Maclin is still wrestling.

Maclin lost his quarterfinals match to top-ranked and undefeated Tom Bouressa of Alexandria. Maclin kept it close, but he fell short of pulling off the upset in a 6-3 loss.

Maclin bounced back with a win by pinfall in wrestlebacks. He’ll wrestle Frank Pokriefka of Rosemount in the wrestleback quarterfinals today. A win would mean Maclin could finish no worse than sixth place overall.

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