Rockets soar into state
Rochester John Marshall sophomore Nick Borth and junior Tim Moore put in the work in the offseason.
They also beat each other up in the wrestling room on a daily basis.
But all the grueling matches, offseason work and in-house battles paid off Saturday during the Section One, Class AAA individual tournament at Mayo Civic Center.
Moore and Borth both claimed Section 1AAA titles and punched their tickets to this weekend’s state tournament at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
For Moore, the win was particularly special.
Moore broke his collarbone prior to last year’s Section 1AAA meet, so he was unable to compete.
After the injury, Moore gained a newfound focus and dedicated himself to wrestling in the offseason.
"I worked all summer," Moore said. "I competed in all the national tournaments. I must have gone to four or five of them. I worked really, really hard, just trying to get better. Now, knowing all the work I put it, it’s the best feeling in the world. It’s the most amazing thing; I’m just so happy all the hard work paid off."
Moore, who was the No. 2 seed at 152 pounds, pulled off an upset in the finals.
He clashed with top seed Triston Westerlund of Albert Lea in the championship match, and they traded points early. After trailing 5-3, Moore tied it up. But in the scramble, Westerlund injured his shoulder. He was unable to continue, giving Moore the victory by injury default.
For JM coach Brian Parlin, Moore’s section title wasn’t a surprise.
"Tim put in a lot of work in the offseason, and so did Nick," Parlin said. "Both have a lot of talent. We were just waiting for them to have their breakthrough matches, and step up and do what we knew they could do."
Parlin said those battles in the room have obviously led to improvement.
"Tim’s a beast, so Nick has his hands full with him; but they make each other better every day," Parlin said.
Borth was the No. 2 seed at 145. And he too pulled off an upset in the finals.
Borth held off top-seeded Hunter Swenson of Hastings for a 3-1 victory and the section title.
Moore and Borth will be joined at state by teammate Ryan Williamson.
Williamson’s championship match at 182 ended in controversy. He went to overtime with Cody Wagner of Hastings.
It appeared that Williamson hit a standing reversal in the third extra session. But it was not called.
Parlin was livid.
"He hit what is called a standing reversal, when you are on the bottom, and you come up behind and lock behind him," Parlin said. "That’s a standing reversal. The head ref didn’t call it and the assistant ref didn’t call it. They didn’t seem to know the rules. I turned to the experienced ref sitting at the table, and he said it was (a standing reversal). That’s what happened."
Luckily the apparent missed call didn’t cost Williamson a trip to state.
He was forced to wrestle for true second, but Williamson got the job done, downing Faribault’s Cole McAdam 5-2.
JM’s Carter Williamson just missed his state bid. He came through wrestlebacks to win the third-place match over Owatonna’s Corey Goetsch.
Carter Williamson was granted a true-second match against Faribault’s Brandon Peters. But Peters came out on top 4-1.
Two Spartans advance
Rochester Mayo moved two wrestlers into the state tournament.
Junior Jake Hanson was the top seed at 138 pounds, and he looked like it. Hanson earned an 8-1 win over Owatonna’s Ben Anderson in the semifinals and then held off Northfield’s Adam Woitalla 5-3 in the finals.
Senior Justin Carr also will wrestle at this weekend’s Class AAA state meet.
Carr lost to Jake Swenson of Hastings in the finals at 195.
He was forced to wrestle for true second, but Carr claimed his state spot with a pin over Faribault’s Logan Hortop.
Though Rochester Century did not have a state qualifier, the Panthers had five section place-winners.
At 106 pounds, Jonny Brushaber took fifth place, recording a pin in the fifth-place match.
Frankie Villeneuve was Century’s highest finisher. He came all the way through wrestlebacks to claim fourth place at 113.
Donyae Funches placed sixth at 132, Nick O’Brien was sixth at 170 and Justin Morbeck was sixth at 182.
Tigers lead way
Albert Lea led Class AAA with eight state entrants, while Hastings was second with seven. Owatonna finished with five.
The section coach of the year awards were handed out Saturday, though it should be noted coaches had to be full members of the coaches association to be considered.
In Class A, Chad Olson of Kenyon-Wanamingo was the assistant coach of the year, and Zumbrota-Mazeppa’s Link Steffen was the coach of the year.
Austin’s Randy Smith claimed the assistant coach of the year award in Class AA, while Mike Matiash of Plainview-Elgin-Millville was the coach of the year.
In Class AAA, Owatonna’s Scott Seykora was the assistant and Josh McLay of Hastings was the coach of the year.