Wrestling: Raiders take 16th at Clash
The Clash was everything it was cracked up to be.
As advertised, the best teams in the nation were in Rochester last weekend for the nation's premier high school wrestling tournament. Among those teams was the Hastings Raiders, who ended up placing 16th out of 32 teams.
Hastings opened the tournament with a 32-29 win over Wausau (Wis.) West.
Hastings then lost to Montini (Ill.) Catholic, 46-15 and Plainview-Elgin-Millville, 39-30, on the first day of competition.
On the second day, the Raiders lost to Sturgis (S.D.) Brown, 33-31; Owatonna, 38-25; and Vacaville, Calif., 38-20.
"You can't assess that tournament by wins and losses, just because those teams are so dang tough," Hastings coach Justin Hahn said. "These were very good teams."
Hastings was leading Sturgis, the perennial state champions in South Dakota, by four points in the last match. The Hastings wrestler was pinned, and Sturgis won by two points. Still, that match was a highlight for Hahn and the Raiders.
"I thought that was the best match we've wrestled all year," he said.
Hastings lost some close matches against Owatonna, and then lost four one-point matches and a two-point match against Vacaville.
Still, Hahn was happy with how his team wrestled, especially in the second day of competition.
"We wrestled so well," he said. "I think that will give us a lot of confidence going into the rest of the season."
The Hastings effort was led by 112-pounder Eric Bauer, who finished the tournament with a perfect 6-0 record, including two technical falls and two pins.
He was named to the all-tournament team, not an easy feat considering there's just one wrestler at each weight class to earn the distinction.
"It was the best wrestling I've seen him do at the high school level," Hahn said.
Corey Latuff finished with a 5-1 record at 119 pounds.
"He had some great matches," Hahn said. "His only loss was by one point. He was really going after it. He did a really nice job and won a lot of really tough matches. He wrestled a lot of tough guys."
Colten LaChance finished with a perfect 6-0 record at 135 pounds, including one pin and two technical falls.
"It's pretty amazing," Hahn said. "In those two technical falls, he had 16 takedowns. He had to get us team points. That's not an easy thing to do. He looked awesome out there."
At 140 pounds, Zach Rohr finished with a 5-1 record.
"He just had some great matches," Hahn said. "He's still recovering a little bit from his hand surgery, but he's looking better all the time. You can see he's starting to come around."
P.J. Mike, the team's heavyweight, also had a winning record. He finished with a 4-2 mark at the tournament.