Mayo wrestling breaks through, captures Section 1AAA team championship for program's first state appearance

The Spartans all season believed this was the team to make history and on Saturday, they came through on that promise.

Section wrestling
Mayo captains Kai Kobayashi (far left), Logan Burger and Dylan Peper (right) gather the Section 1AAA championship plaque after the Spartans knocked off Faribault to win the program's first section title on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023 at the Mayo Civic Center.
Alex VandenHouten / Post Bulletin

ROCHESTER — For nearly two decades, Art Trimble has watched his baby — the Mayo wrestling program — grow up, molding it to fit a championship caliber program.

It was anything but easy, but at last after many years of hard work, sweat and tears, the Spartans and Trimble have their championship.

Thanks to an impressive performance on Saturday, the Mayo wrestling team is heading to the MSHSL state tournament for the first time in program history after knocking off No. 2 seeded Faribault 37-20 in the Section 1AAA championship dual on Saturday at Mayo Civic Center.

For Trimble, who was fighting tears as he watched most of the young men he had helped introduce to the sport receive their first-place medals, it was more than a special moment.

"I'm so happy for the kids," Trimble said. "I've known so many of them since they've been in kindergarten now, third grade, fourth grade. They've worked hard, they show up every day. They really deserve this. I am so excited for them. It's such an amazing opportunity. And we know how tough the wrestling is in Section One. You can't take these lightly. You can't."


Trimble may be happiest for his wrestlers, but it's his wrestlers who will be the first to tell anyone: The credit goes to Art.

"It feels like we did it for him," senior captain Logan Burger said. "He puts everything he does into this."

"It's just surreal," sophomore Calder Sheehan said. "We've always wanted to go to state with him and like he's put in so much time and effort into the program from the youth on up. It's cool to see him finally get what he deserves."

The Spartans looked like a team that knew it was destined for history, coming out with a fire the Falcons couldn't match initially.

That showed right away at 106 with Andrew Trimble doing the same thing he did against Owatonna in the section semifinals. The seventh-grader once again showed poise beyond his years, collecting a pin about halfway mark of the first period. It was a 12-point swing from the last time these two teams met, a close victory for Mayo on Feb. 3.

"Talk about showing up and performing at the right time," coach Trimble said. "What a way to start the dual with another 12-coin flip."

Section wrestling
The Mayo bench reacts to Andrew Trimble getting a pin at 106-pounds to open up the Section 1AAA Championship on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023 at the Mayo Civic Center.

Juan Cobarruvais was then stellar in a 12-1 major decision at 113 and after Faribault trimmed the deficit to 10-9, Kellen Burger picked up a big-time pin at 132. It loomed even larger after the Falcons secured 11 of the next 14 points across the next four weight classes to take a 20-19 lead.

Yet, the Spartans still had done their jobs by not giving up crucial bonus points. It set up the Spartans' heavy hammers to take of business.


They didn't disappoint.

Logan Burger snuffed out any sort of momentum Faribault may have had at 170. The senior captain was strong and lethal, methodically working his way towards a second-period pin to put the Spartans back up.

"We can be down 12 or whatever and still win," Burger said. "I have confidence in us and the guys behind me."

Dylan Peper followed with a technically sound win by a 7-1 decision to make it 31-20 entering the final two weights.

That meant all Ethan Peper had to do at 220 was not lose by pinfall and the dual was Mayo's.

He did one better, sprinting out to a five-point first-period lead before relying on his conditioning to ride out a 9-4 win by decision and give Mayo the title.

"It doesn't feel real; it hasn't hit me yet," Logan Burger said. "We all knew that we could do it this year and we just put in a different level of work in the room than we ever had before."

The Spartans will now head to St. Paul for the Class AAA quarterfinal at 9 a.m. on March 2. But for now, Trimble and company are going to enjoy this one.


"I'm just so happy for Mayo High School," coach Trimble said. "All the fans, the parents, the culture we have built with sports. Football has been pumping us up all week, which is just awesome. A ton of them are in the stands, supporting their teammates. It's just great to see."

Section wrestling
Mayo's Calder Sheehan (left) looks for a takedown against Faribault's Bo Bokman in a 145-pound match during the Section 1AAA Championship on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023 at the Mayo Civic Center.
Alex VandenHouten / Post Bulletin

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
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