Mayo's Sheehan advances to semifinals; K-M sends three as part of solid day for area in Class AA
Overall, it was a solid day for the area at the Class AA and Class AAA state individual wrestling championships on Friday.
ST. PAUL — Back in December, Mayo's Calder Sheehan said the goal was to win a state championship.
Considering Sheehan had yet to secure a state medal and had just placed 10th at the Minnesota Christmas Tournament that day, it seemed like a lofty goal.
Yet, after an impressive Friday, the sophomore is just two wins away from making that dream a reality.
Sheehan, a 145-pounder, punched his ticket to Saturday's Class AAA state semifinals after winning both his first round and quarterfinal matches at the Class AAA state tournament on Friday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Semifinals are slated for 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
"It still hasn't hit me yet," Sheehan said. "I put in a lot of hard work to get here. Like I feel like I deserve to be here, but it's just crazy to think about."
Sheehan won by an 8-2 decision in the first round, before a rubber match with Park sophomore Gunnar Mullen awaited in the quarters.
The two had faced off twice this season, with Mullen winning at the Christmas Tournament and Sheehan knocking him off at the Pine Island Invitational.
Sheehan used what he learned that day in Pine Island, making sure not to get too locked up in Mullen's longer arms and instead use his quickness and underrated strength to secure a pair of takedowns. And that proved to be enough.
"It felt good to get him," Sheehan said with a laugh.
He did it in front of many friends and family, some traveling as far away as Kansas to watch him compete.
"I had to put on a show for them," Sheehan said with a grin.
Now, his family will get to see him have an opportunity for a state title.
Sheehan's teammate Dylan Peper fell to Joseph Muhlstein of Mounds View by a 2-1 decision in his quarterfinal.
The area saw just one other state-qualifier in Class AAA in Winona/Winona Cotter senior Logan Henningson (138), whose brother Ryan won a state title in 2020.
Kasson-Mantorville sends three to state semis
After taking home fourth place in Class AA on Thursday, Kasson-Mantorville will have three — Joey Kennedy (145), Luke Swanson (152) and Cole Glazier (170) — that are guaranteed medals, thanks to stellar showings on Friday.
"Three state semifinalists, that means we got a shot with three in the finals and that's what we are looking for," Glazier said. "It'd be nice to have eight guys in the semifinals or all 14 right? But we wrestled hard and we still have a few more guys with wrestleback opportunities."
Kennedy was once again solid, securing three takedowns for a 6-4 victory in the quarterfinals, while Swanson won an overtime thriller in his quarterfinal.
Luke Swanson is a state semifinalist thanks to these two points in overtime. pic.twitter.com/BN1eMd9Phr— Alex VandenHouten (@AlexVandenhout1) March 3, 2023
Glazier, meanwhile, had little trouble in his two matches, securing a third-period pin in the first round and a 15-7 major decision in the quarters. Now, it's his time to bring home that elusive state title. But first he's going to do his best to enjoy his final two matches as a KoMet.
"This is everything I have been working for since youth, since I started varsity in seventh grade," Glazier said. "Everything is striving to be a state champ and it's cool to have that opportunity. It's my last shot and I feel good about it. Really confident.
"I finally get to pursue what I've been dreaming about. It's going to be fun, it's going to go by quick. So I'm going to do my best to soak it in and slow things down. Have fun and enjoy it."
Motivated Geerts impressive
Byron senior Carter Geerts wasn't happy with his second-place finish at the Section 1A championships just a week ago.
But the University of Minnesota-Duluth football commit learned from it and had a good week of practice.
Now he is a state semifinalist at 285.
"I'm just happy to be here," Geerts said. "Worked all year — six years — for this moment and putting myself in this position."
Geerts looked like a man on a mission, securing pins in both his first-round and quarterfinal matches. After a tough weekend, Geerts is now on top of the world.
"Felt awesome," Geerts said. "Just awesome."
Bryons Carter Geerts is a state Semifinalist. pic.twitter.com/43rcZlyRfM— Alex VandenHouten (@AlexVandenhout1) March 3, 2023
Other area semifinalists in Class AA include Zumbrota-Mazeppa junior Jack Krier and Cannon Falls junior Calvin Singewald, both at 126.