Wrestlers win another conference titleThe Hastings Raiders wrestling team celebrated senior night with another powerful performance in their 43-27 win over the Forest Lake Rangers. The Raiders won nine of the 14 weights, amassing three pins, two technical falls, three decisions and one forfeit. The win was a great way for the seniors to go out on top in their last home appearance.
By: Gary LaChance, The Hastings Star-Gazette
The Hastings Raiders wrestling team celebrated senior night with another powerful performance in their 43-27 win over the Forest Lake Rangers.
The Raiders won nine of the 14 weights, amassing three pins, two technical falls, three decisions and one forfeit. The win was a great way for the seniors to go out on top in their last home appearance.
The Raiders were able to withstand the early onslaught from Forest Lake’s ranked lightweights at 103 pounds and 112 pounds. With the team trailing 9-0, Eric Bauer (119) put the Raiders on the board with a 20-5 technical fall, and Corey Latuff (125) scored a 2-1 decision over Cody Paggen to put Hastings within one at 8-9.
Pins at 130 pounds and 135 pounds by the Rangers put Hastings in a deep hole at 8–21. It appeared the changes the Rangers made in their lineup by bumping their top wrestlers were working.
At 140 pounds, No. 5-ranked Colten LaChance and No. 2-ranked Kevin Nelson of Forest Lake squared off with LaChance, earning a 9-4 decision. The win by Charlie Janssen at 145 pounds gave Forest Lake its biggest lead of the night and what would be the last points as well. Wrestling at 152 pounds, Zach Rohr recorded a 5-4 decision and Tyler Rohr (160) claimed a 16-1 technical fall to move Hastings closer at 19-27. Pins by Jake Swenson (171), Josh Lohmann (189), and Isaac Eichmann (215) put an exclamation point on the dual.
PJ Mike (HWT) was awarded a forfeit to end the dual, giving the Raiders a 43-27 win and the SEC title.
After a vote by the coaches earlier in the day, this became the last SEC conference tournament. Having been discussed in past years, it finally was voted into extinction. Although a sad end to the tournament, it will give the team more opportunities to wrestle other schools due to the maximum 36 matches a wrestler can have before sections.
The Raiders had 13 of 14 wrestlers place, with six winning their weight class. It was a collectively strong performance by a team that has showed improvement throughout the entire year. As a team, they scored 250.5 points on their way to routing the competition with host school Forest Lake coming a distant second at 185 points.
Conference Champions included Eric Bauer (112) defeating No. 4-ranked Tyler Isaacson of Forest Lake in the finals. Corey Latuff (119) won over Collin Petrun of Roseville, scoring at 14-1 major decision in the championship match. Zach Rohr (140) took first place with a 17-7 major decision over Cory Strecker from Roseville. Tyler Rohr (145) avenged an earlier loss to Deron Giadyu of Park Cottage Grove with a 4-0 decision. Jake Swenson (171) came out on top in a back-and-forth match against Peter Paul of Roseville. Isaac Eichmann (215) found the top of the victory stand with a pin of Kris Orloske of White Bear Lake in the finals.
Wrestlers taking second place in the conference tournament were Colten LaChance (135) with 10-5 loss to No. 2-ranked Kevin Nelson from Forest Lake and Jeff Engstrom (145) losing to No. 2-ranked Charlie Janssen of Forest Lake.
Other top finishers placing were Isaac Bauer (103) fourth place, Matt Leko (125) third place, Harry Bourgoin (160) fifth place, Josh Lohmann (189) fifth place, and PJ Mike (HWT) third place.
Hastings had nine wrestlers earn All-Conference status. They were Bauer, Latuff, LaChance, Z. Rohr, Engstrom, T. Rohr, J. Swenson, Eichmann, and Mike.
All 16 kids wrestling in the JV portion of the conference tournament for Hastings placed in their respective brackets, demonstrating the program’s depth. There were a couple of cases where Hastings wrestlers were facing each other in the finals guaranteeing the top two spots. Taking first place in their final tournament of the year were Alex Jones (112), Dylan Nelson (140), Jake Rachuy (160), and Taylor Wazvick (HWT).
Second-place finishers were German foreign exchange student Toby Hanson (135), Andy Lenz (160A), Cody Wagner (160B), Tyler Satchell (190), and Jake Anderson (HWT).
Third-place winners were Ty Storlie (145) and Alex Nygaard (152), with Louie Wright (152) and Tory Behny (189) bringing home fourth-place finishes. DJ Yandrasits took fifth place with James Harper (135) and Dylan Myers (189) both ending in sixth place.