Raiders win Kiffmeyer Duals titleThe seventh-ranked Hastings Raiders wrestling team had their most productive week of the year, winning four duals, with three coming over highly ranked teams at the Kiffmeyer duals to claim another title at the prestigious tournament.
By: Gary LaChance, The Hastings Star-Gazette
The seventh-ranked Hastings Raiders wrestling team had their most productive week of the year, winning four duals, with three coming over highly ranked teams at the Kiffmeyer duals to claim another title at the prestigious tournament.
Hastings remained perfect in the SEC with a win over White Bear Lake 47-19.
The Raiders’ Spencer Kopp scored a 10-4 decision to give Hastings an early 4-0 lead after 106 pounds. White Bear Lake answered with a pin at 113 pounds to lead 6-4.
At 120 pounds, Luke Rowh responded with a 14-5 major decision followed by Isaac Bauer’s own 10-0 major decision to move Hastings back in front at 11-6.
A loss at 132 pounds by the Raiders was followed up with a Bears forfeit at 138 pound to give Hastings a 17-9 lead. White Bear Lake answered with a 9-0 major decision at 145 pounds before Hastings claimed a 4-1 decision at 152 pounds by Dylan Nelson and a pin by Hunter Swenson at 160 pounds to push the Raiders lead to 26-13.
White Bear Lake earned a fall at 170 pounds before Hastings ran the table to end the dual. The Raiders earned pins by Jake Swenson, Cody Wagner and Isaac Eichmann while Jake Anderson closed the dual with a 5-3 decision.
The wrestlers showed up in St. Cloud on a mission with increased confidence. They left with another title and their confidence and team chemistry overflowing.
Hastings' first opponent of the day was the fifth-ranked Cambridge-Isanti Bluejackets. The dual was a seesaw match with the Bluejackets drawing first blood with a 10-9 decision at 106 pounds. Luke Rowh earned a 15-5 major decision while Isaac Bauer gained a 6-1 decision to give Hastings a 7-3.
Cambridge answered with a 9-0 major decision at 126 pounds before Eric Bauer and Dan Marquette earned a 4-2 decision and an overtime pin, respectively, making the score 16-7 Hastings.
The Bluejackets rolled off wins at 145, 152 and 160 pounds before the Raiders’ Bryan Rachuy scored an 8-6 decision at 170 pounds, bringing the score to 19-17 Hastings.
After dropping a decision at 182 pounds Hastings responded with Cody Wagner winning a 4-1 decision. Isaac Eichmann scored an 11-0 major decision to push the score to 26-20. An 8-1 loss at heavyweight by the Raiders closed the dual to 26-23.
Hastings 41, Albert Lea 21
Round two with the second-ranked Albert Lea Tigers was even more important for the Raiders; a victory would, in all likelihood, give Hastings the top seed in the team section tournament next month. With that in mind, the Raiders were focused on wrestling their best and that is exactly what they did in posting one of their more complete wins of the year.
Hastings fell behind early with a pin at 106 pounds by Albert Lea, but Luke Rowh answered with a 6-3 decision over fourth-ranked Garrett Wangsness.
The Tigers scored a 5-4 decision at 120 pounds to give them a 9-3 lead before Hastings ran off five consecutive wins. Dan Gove started the run with a 6-1 decision, Eric Bauer scored an 18-3 technical fall, Dan Marquette won 2-0, Jake Anderson claimed an 11-3 major decision and Dylan Nelson won 9-2 pushing the lead to 21-9.
Albert Lea’s Triston Westerlund earned a pin at 160 pounds. Hastings’ Bryan Rachuy netted a 17-7 major decision followed by Jake Swenson’s first period pin. Cody Wagner won a 10-2 decision before Isaac Eichmann notched a second-period pin to increase Hastings lead to 41-15. A pin by Albert Lea at heavyweight closed the scoring and the dual at 41-21.
St. Michael-Albertville 24
Rolling into the finals against fourth-ranked St. Michael-Albertville, the Raiders started off slow with a 17-7 loss at 106 pounds. Top-ranked Tommy Thorn of STMA took a 7-1 decision from Luke Rowh, giving the Knights a 7-0 lead.
Isaac Bauer put the Raiders on the board with a 6-1 decision at 120 pounds. With four straight losses at 126, 132, 138, and 145 pounds things were looking bleak for Hastings. STMA's lead had swelled to 21-3 by the time Hunter Swenson stepped on the mat at 152 pounds. Swenson gave the Raiders a boost with a last-second pin to close the gap at 21-9.
Seizing the energy created by Swenson's pin Hastings 160 pounder Bryan Rachuy scored a 7-4 decision followed by 170 pounder Andy Rachuy claiming a 6-0 decision, bringing the score to 21-15 with four matches to go.
At 182 pounds, Alex Nygaard pulled The Raiders even at 21-21 with a second-period pin. Senior captains Jake Swenson and Isaac Eichmann came through for Hastings with decisions at 195 pounds and 220 pounds respectively, pushing the lead to 26-21.
Needing a pin to win the dual, STMA could only muster a 3-1 overtime decision, giving the Raiders a 26-24 dual win and claiming the title of champions of the Kiffmeyer Duals.
The Raiders travel the Roseville on Friday at 7 p.m. for their only dual of the week.