Raiders place fourth at state wrestling meet, Rowh places second
It didn’t take long to learn that the Hastings wrestling team meant business at the state tournament last weekend at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Against Willmar in the opening round of the team competition, Adam McSorley had what looked like a tough opponent in the first match of the tournament.
In fact, the first three matches looked like they were going to be tough ones for Hastings.
So much for that.
McSorley pinned his opponent, and the rout over the Cardinals was on. Spencer Kopp won at 113 pounds and Luis Sanchez won at 120. Right out of the gate, Hastings led 12-0.
Getting that pin to start the tournament went a long way for Hastings.
“The first three weights were toss-up matches,” Hastings coach Josh McLay said. “There was no clear favorite. I told Adam that if he could get us going, like he has so many times this year, that we were just going to roll. He really set the tone for the match. It got the team pumped up.”
Hastings went on to beat Willmar, 42-21.
That win meant that the team had to then face the No. 1 team in the state and the No. 2 team in the country, Apple Valley. The Eagles won, 65-3.
“They don’t have a hole at any weight,” McLay said. “We weren’t favored at any weight class, but the kids came out there and battled. That’s all we can ask for.”
Hastings then faced St. Michael-Albertville, the tournament’s No. 2 seed, in the third-place match.
STMA won that match, 30-25. Hastings was the No. 4 seed, but even though they were the underdogs, that team loss stung for the Raiders, McLay said.
“I told the kids, it was nothing to hang their heads about,” he said. “We gave it all we had and we left it all on the mat.”
In January, STMA beat Hastings 34-22. This time around, things were much closer.
“That STMA team had beat us pretty good before,” McLay said. “There was nothing to be ashamed of. A couple things didn’t go our way, but taking fourth in the state is nothing to be ashamed of.”
Hastings had six seniors this year, and all six advanced to the individual state tournament. They are Luis Sanchez, Luke Rowh, Dan Marquette, Jake Johnson, Daryale Harris and Tony Lodermeier. Losing that group will be hard on the Raiders, McLay said.
“It’s been fun coaching this group of boys and these seniors, they’re such a great group of kids,” he said. “They had a team GPA of 3.7. They’re not only really, really good wrestlers, but they’re great students and they’re great kids. This group is something special.”
Luke Rowh, a senior co-captain wrestling at 132 pounds, began his tournament with a pin over Ryan Reid of Mound-Westonka. He then beat Tyson Leon of Shakopee, 9-4. In the state semifinals, he pinned Adam Hedin of Rosemount in 1:41 and advanced to the finals.
He lost to Maolu Woiwor of Apple Valley in the final, 8-4.
Rowh finished the season with a 30-3 record.
The season was a wild one for the senior co-captain. He broke his ankle in a match against Forest Lake on Jan. 9 and it wasn’t clear if he’d even be able to rejoin the team. It was a big blow, as he was ranked No. 2 in the state at the time.
“We didn’t even know if he’d able to compete,” McLay said. “The week of team sections, he came back and was still walking gingerly. I was like, ‘Oh man.’ We didn’t know if he was going to be able to go.”
Well, Rowh got busy and won three matches that weekend for the Raiders. He then won the section individual championship the next weekend.
“He’s literally one of the hardest working kids I’ve seen,” McLay said. “He lives it. He came so close to reaching his goal (of being a state champion). It just kills me that he wasn’t able to reach his goal, but if you would have told me when he broke (his ankle) that he’d be in the state championship match, I wouldn’t have believed it.
“It was pretty miraculous that he was able to compete at that high of a level that shortly after the break.”
Dan Marquette placed fourth. He started with a 4-3 win over Evan Foster of St. Michael Albertville, then beat Vaughn Johnson of Willmar, 6-5.
In the semifinal match, he lost to Mark Hall of Apple Valley, the eventual champion at 170 pounds.
Marquette then beat Tyler Vogt of Owatonna, 4-3, before falling to Corey Parsons of Andover in the third-place match. He placed fourth.
He was recovering from a bout of mononucleosis and hadn’t even been able to practice much, McLay said.
“We could barely warm him up – it took such a toll on him,” he said. “He’s such a good wrestler, and such a tough kid, he was still able to place. It’s pretty crazy that while being sick he was able to place fourth in state.”
Marquette is also a senior co-captain. Losing him and Rowh will be a big blow to the Raiders, McLay said.
“We’re going to miss the leadership from those two kids, and their character,” he said. “They’re some of the best leaders I’ve seen, and such good people, too. I’m going to miss their work ethic in the room. Their leadership is going to be tough to replace.”
Luis Sanchez, wrestling at 120 pounds, lost in his first-round match to Alex Lloyd of Shakopee.
He won in the wrestlebacks over Karl Keller of Mounds View, but then fell to Gannon Volk of Apple Valley, 3-2.
Austin Eichmann, wrestling at 138 pounds, lost in the first round to Elijah Muedeking of White Bear Lake, 6-4.
In the wrestlebacks, he beat Blake Olhausen of Alexandria, 5-1, in overtime. He then beat Kiyanu Baker of Coon Rapids in overtime, 6-4.
He fell to James Pleski of Forest Lake and ended up facing Muedeking in the match for fifth place.
He lost that match, 3-2, and placed sixth.
“He was right there,” McLay said. “I’m glad that he wrestled as well as he did. He’s a tough kid. It was good to see him find some success.”
Jake Anderson at 145 pounds won his first-round match over Justin Burg of Tartan by fall at 2:22. He then lost to the eventual state champ, Mark Voss of St. Michael-Albertville, in overtime, 6-3.
Anderson lost in the wrestlebacks to Connor Larson of Rogers, 3-2.
Jake Johnson lost his first round match at 152 pounds to eventual state champion Owen Webster of Shakopee.
He then lost in the wrestlebacks to Justin Herold-Plakut of Woodbury, who ended up placing third.
It was the toughest draw in the tournament.
“Sometimes you get stuck with a really tough draw,” McLay said. “You can’t get a worse draw than that. The sad thing is, when I was looking at the semifinalists, he had pinned two of them earlier in the year. That’s why wrestling is so tough. It doesn’t always go your way.”
At 160 pounds, Stuart Mattison lost in the first round to Jacob Rukavina of Eastview.
Mattison won by fall in the wrestlebacks over Tyler Graham of Roseville, but then fell to Matt Njos of Anoka.
Daryale Harris, wrestling at 195 pounds, won his first-round match by fall over Isaac Schmadeke of Roseville at 2:55. He lost to Gable Steveson of Apple Valley, who eventually placed second.
Harris then beat Blake Keske of Sauk Rapids-Rice before losing to Jake Briggs of St. Michael-Albertville.
Tony Lodermeier qualified at 220 pounds and faced Paul Cheney of Apple Valley in the opening round. Cheney won and went on to place second.
Lodermeier lost in the wrestlebacks to Adam Treptau of Buffalo-West Lutheran.