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25 wrestlers to watch at this week's Section 1 individual championships

In no particular order, here is a look at the southeastern Minnesota wrestlers who appear to have the best chance at advancing to the Xcel Energy Center.

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Kasson-Mantorville's Bennett Berge celebrates winning the 170-pound Class AA championship match against Simley's Gavin Nelson on Feb. 29, 2020, at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Berge is looking to become the seventh wrestler in Minnesota to win five individual state titles.
Post Bulletin file photo / Andrew Link
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After the Rochester-area saw a thrilling team version of the Section 1 wrestling meet, the section individual wrestling championships are now set to take center stage.

The Section 2A championships kick things off Thursday, before the Mayo Civic Center sees another great weekend of action with the Section 1AAA, 1AA and1A championships on Friday and Saturday.

In our area, there are many grapplers with state aspirations.

Here are 25 who appear to have the chance to turn those aspirations into reality this weekend.

Section 1AA

Gavin Peterson, Cannon Falls

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Peterson qualified for state last season at 106 and is ranked as the sixth-best 113-pounder in Class AA by The Guillotine. The junior appears poised to build on that and collected career victory No. 100 this season.

Jack Krier, Zumbrota-Mazeppa

Jack Krier's older brother Luke has been a big reason behind the Zumbrota-Mazeppa sophomore becoming one of the best 126-pounders in Class AA.

The sophomore qualified for state as a freshman, placing fifth at 106 at last year’s Class A tournament. He has been ranked in the top five throughout the majority of the season even with the Cougars making the leap to Class AA.

Joe Kennedy, Kasson-Mantorville

Since dropping from 138 to 132, the sophomore has taken off and his now ranked No. 10 in his new weight class. He is one of the reasons why the KoMets also like their chances in the state team competition.

Maxwell Petersen, Byron

The senior and NDSU commit has been a state runner-up the last three seasons, but for him that's all part of the process of being the best he can be.

The Byron senior is looking to make a run at his second state title after winning one as an eighth-grader at 106.

Three runner-up finishes have followed.

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Yet, the North Dakota State University commit has been a cut above the rest this season. He is undefeated with titles at the Minnesota Christmas Tournament and the Rumble on the Red in Fargo, N.D. He also became the only wrestler in program history to reach the 200-career win mark.

Logan Vaughan, Kasson-Mantorville

The KoMets finished with 177.5 points, behind St. Michael's-Albertville (199.5) and ahead of section rival Simley (172.5).

Vaughan has been knocking on the door of a state title his entire career and is one of several KoMets who look to bring a state title back to Kasson-Mantorville.

The St. Cloud State University commit is a four-time state qualifier, having placed in the top four each time. The top-ranked 152-pounder by The Guillotine has been truly impressive throughout the season, including him earning a Minnesota Christmas Tournament title.

Jon Harvey, Lake City

The Lake City senior is a three-time state qualifier, placing sixth last year at 145 pounds. He is ranked No. 8 at 160 by The Guillotine and has been in the top-10 throughout the season, collecting titles at the PEM and Edina invitationals this season. He also reached the 50-career pin mark.

Cole Glazier, Kasson-Mantorville

Cole Glazier
Kasson-Mantorville's Cole Glazier (right) wrestles Stillwater's Hunter Laden during the Minnesota Christmas Tournament on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021 at Rochester Community and Technical College. Lyden — the reigning Class AAA champion at 170 pounds — won by a 7-2 decision.
Alex VandenHouten / Post Bulletin

Glazier is another Kasson-Mantorville wrestler ranked No. 1, the top 170-pounder in Class AA by The Guillotine. The junior placed third at last year's state meet at 160 pounds.

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Kail Wynia, Kasson-Mantorville

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Kasson-Mantorville’s Kail Wynia, bottom, wrestles Hutchinson/Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart’s Cale Luthens in a 170-pound quarterfinal match of the Class AA individual state wrestling championships on Friday, March 26, 2021, at St. Michael-Albertville High School in St. Michael. (Traci Westcott / twestcott@postbulletin.com)

The senior is looking to reach state for the third time and hopes to capture his first state title before heading to South Dakota State University.

Wynia is ranked No. 2 at 182 by The Guillotine and placed third in the 170-pound weight class as a junior at last year's Class AA state meet.

Bennett Berge, Kasson-Mantorville

Winning one state title is an incredible achievement. But four state titles? That's legendary. Kasson-Mantorville's Bennett Berge earned his fourth Class AA state title on Friday.

The four-time individual state champion is looking to make history this postseason by becoming just the seventh wrestler in the state to win five individual state titles.

The South Dakota State commit has been the clear and consensus top-ranked 195-pounder throughout the season. He also went over the 200 career win mark this season.

Martin Prieto, Plainview-Elgin-Millville

Plainview-Elgin-Millville's Martin Prieto, who was born to Mexican immigrant parents, has come to embrace wrestling. It's what drives him, and his family has joined him on his ride.

Prieto qualified for the state preliminaries last year after placing second at the Section 1AA tournament. He has followed that with a great senior season and recently committed to Rochester Community and Technical College.

He is ranked eighth at 195 and his only three losses came at the Minnesota Christmas Tournament — his first competition of the season — which came about three weeks after he broke the MSHSL state tournament record for tackles in a game in PEM's Class AA state football final against Dassel-Cokato.

Max Balow, Lake City

The Lake City senior wrestler is ranked second in the Class AA 285-pound weight class.

The Augustana University commit placed sixth at last year's Class AA meet and has had a great senior campaign.

Balow is ranked as the No. 2 heavyweight in Class AA by The Guillotine and became LC’s career pins leader, passing the old mark of 71 that had stood for over 20 years.

Section 1A

Javier Berg, Chatfield

One of the top freshman in Class A, Berg has been ranked by The Guillotine all season long and has been No. 2 in the last two polls.

He placed fourth at the prestigious Bi-State Classic in La Crosse and his only loss in the month of February came to Simley's Austin Grzywinski — who is ranked No. 4 in Class AA at 106 — at the Mike Fasnacht Memorial invitational.

Brandon Ross, Caledonia/Houston

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Zumbrota-Mazeppa’s Kaleb Lochner wrestles Caledonia’s Brandon Ross in a 120-pound match during preliminary rounds of Class A individual wrestling on Saturday, March 20, 2021, at Century high school in Rochester. (Traci Westcott / twestcott@postbulletin.com)

The defending Class A 120-pound state champion has been the top-ranked 126-pounder in Class A all season.

The St. Cloud State commit is hoping for a run at his third straight state final and back-to-back titles.

Cohen Wiste, Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Southland

The junior is the top-ranked 138-pounder in Class A by The Guillotine.

The three-time state entrant won individual titles at the Stewartville Darrel Jaeger Invitational and Wisconsin Dells Invitational this season. He has not lost since an 8-4 decision to K-M's Joe Kennedy on Jan. 20.

Isaac Blocker, Caledonia/Houston

The sophomore appears poised to challenge Wiste at 138. The two squared off Jan. 21 with Wiste coming away with a 3-2 decision by ultimate tie breaker.

Blocker qualified for state last season and has been ranked in the top five by The Guillotine all season.

Donovan Felten, GMLOS

Felten was state-ranked last year, going 32-2 and qualifying for the state meet, but was unable to compete due to contact tracing.

He is ranked No. 3 at 145 and has gone over the 150-career win mark this season.

Maddox O’Reilly, Goodhue

It's been another solid season for O'Reilly, who is hoping to improve on a third place finish at last year's Class A state tournament at 138.

The senior is ranked as the No. 4 145-pounder and will be a factor in a tough section.

Brodie Kellen, Dover-Eyota

Kellen has had a solid junior season after placing fifth at 132 as a sophomore.

He is ranked No. 5 at 145 in the Feb. 10 poll by The Guillotine but will move up after defeating No. 4 O'Reilly by a 6-4 sudden-victory decision on Feb. 17.

Kellen was also instrumental in helping the Eagles claim their first Section 1A title since 2007 in last week's team sections.

Gavin Gust, Dover-Eyota

The junior is a two-time state medalist, finishing third last season at 145 and fifth at 138 as a freshman.

He appears to be even better this year.

He collected career win No. 150 this season and won a title at the Mike Fasnacht Memorial invite. He has been ranked in the top-five at 152-pounds all season.

Jett Thoreson, St. Charles

The senior has elevated his game and hopes to reach his second consecutive state meet.

He collected individual titles at the La Crosse Wrestling Invitational as well as the Northfield Larry Severson Invite and is ranked No. 5 at 152 by The Guillotine.

Grady Schott, Chatifeld

View photos of Dover-Eyota's 33-30 win over Chatfield in the Section 1A wrestling team championship match Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022, at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester.

The Chatfield senior finished runner-up in Class A at 182 a season ago and once again has been one of the best around this season.

He has individual titles at the Mike Fasnacht Memorial and the FCLMC Holiday Tournament as well as a solid third-place finish at the Bi-State Classic. He has been ranked No. 1 or No. 2 at 182 by The Guillotine all season.

Cody Lohman, Goodhue

Lohman wrestled at the state prelims as a junior last season at 220. He is ranked the No. 3 195-pounder in Class A by The Guillotine, but has wrestled at 220 and 285 the majority of the season.

Jackson Duellman, Dover-Eyota

Trailing 6-2 entering the third period, Duellman found an extra gear, before lifting the Eagles to the 33-30 victory in Saturday's Section 1A championship.

Duellman is coming off a thrilling section team championships that saw him win at 285 to break a 30-30 tie with Chatfield and send D-E to the state tournament.

Duellman is ranked No. 9 at 220 by The Guillotine. He has collected impressive pins over Chatfield's Campbell Berge, Kasson-Mantorville's Heath Parrish, Lohman and Caleb Kurtti and placed second at the Mike Fasnacht Memorial.

Section 1AAA

Calder Sheehan, Mayo

The freshman was the most consistent wrestler for a Mayo team that made a run at a Big Nine Conference title. He has been ranked in the top 10 throughout the year by The Guillotine in his 138-pound weight class, coming in at No. 9 in the latest poll.

Dylan Peper, Mayo

Peper has just one loss since Jan. 15 with it being to one of the best 182-pounders in Class A in Chatfield’s Grady Schott.

The Mayo junior is 31-8.

Alex VandenHouten has been a sports reporter at the Post Bulletin since Sept. 2021. He loves to go hiking, biking, snowshoeing and just simply being outdoors with his wife Olivia. Readers can reach Alex at avandenhouten@postbulletin.com.
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