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Rohr wins Christmas tourney title

The Hastings Raiders wrestling team traveled to Rochester to compete in the annual Christmas Tournament. The team finished in seventh place with five wrestlers placing in the top eight.

It was a bitter sweet weekend as they boasted one tournament champion in Zach Rohr and four other place winners with a few bumps along the way as well for other wrestlers. However, the team will work to better their placement both as a team and individually in the upcoming Rumble on the Red, which is a Varsity and JV competition.

Zach Rohr found the top of the podium stand in his last visit to the Christmas Tournament. Rohr, wrestling at 145 pounds, won five matches to give Hastings its first Christmas Tournament champion since 1999, when new head coach Josh McLay and assistant coach Nick Zajac won titles. Rohr commented "I am pretty excited right now" on winning the prestigious tournament.

Rohr started his quest with a first period pin of Alex Eastman from St. Francis. In his second round match, Rohr scored a technical fall over David Burtness from Champlin Park. Darick Vancura (No. 3), of Jackson County Central, faced Rohr in the quarter finals. Once again, Rohr controlled the match on his way to an 11-2 major decision and a trip to the Semi-finals. Drew Spaulding (No. 1 in North Dakota) from Bismarck stood in Rohr's way for a trip to the finals. A hard-fought 8-5 decision over the No. 1 seed gave Rohr his ticket to the finals. When asked which match he was most excited about winning Rohr replied, "Probably the semi-final match with Spaulding. He was the No. 1 seed and I really didn't know what to expect from him."

The finals found Rohr toeing the line against Nick Wanzak (No. 2) of Simley. In that championship match Rohr was able to control the match and score four takedowns on his way to a decisive 9-4 win.

"I knew I could beat Wanzak so I wasn't too worried about that one," Rohr said.

Isaac Eichmann completed a 4-2 record and a fourth place for the weekend at 215 pounds. His weekend started with pins against Andrew Gustafson of Centennial and Adam Blue of St. Francis. In Eichmann's quarterfinal match against Mitch Johnson of Eagan he prevailed with a 7-5 decision.

Moving on to the semi-finals Eichmann faced Michel Kroells (No. 1) of Scott West. In the semis, Kroells proved too much in defeating Eichmann 6-0. With a 25 second pin over Caleb Gaudian of Albert Lea, Eichmann moved to the third place match where he came up short in losing to Nick Edling of St. Michael Albertville 4-2.

Jeff Engstrom ended his tournament with 4-2 record and a fifth place finish at 152 pounds. With pins over Corey Berry of Champlin Park and Rick Maris of Spirit Lake, Iowa, Engstrom's quarter-final match was against Zach Neer (No. 6 in North Dakota) of West Fargo.

In the quarter-final match Engstrom pulled out a third period pin of Neer to move into the Semi-finals. Engstrom fell to Destin McCauley (No. 1 in the country) of Apple Valley in the semis.

In the wrestle back round Engstrom faced Dalton Westerlund of Albert Lea and lost a close match 3-0 to put him into the fifth place match. Engstrom bounced back from the two losses to win a close 7-6 decision over Zach Schreiber (No. 8 in MN) of Kasson-Mantorville.

Corey Latuff recorded a 4-2 record on his way to a seventh place finish at 130 pounds. Wins over Ty Torgerson of Cambridge-Isanti by injury default and a first period pin of Cullen Bidem, from Bloomington Kennedy, moved Latuff into the quarter-finals.

Latuff faced Tom Kuehn (#2 in ND) of West Fargo, ND in the quarters. Latuff was able to score the first takedown of the match but was unable to prevent Kuehn from a comeback win of 6-4. Latuff rebounded with a 5-3 decision over Dylan Bryce of Spirit Lake, Iowa to guarantee a spot in the top eight.

Latuff's next match against Ryan Blees (No. 2 in North Dakota) from Bismarck ended with 3-0 loss. Wrestling for seventh place, Latuff faced Paden Moore of Jackson County Central and rode out a 2-1 decision.

Jake Swenson wrestling at 171 pounds finished his tournament with a 3-3 record and an eighth-place finish. Like the other four place-winners, Swenson started his tournament win two wins. He scored a 4-0 decision over Nate Goeli of Stewartville and a pin over Travis Kapol of St. Francis.

Facing Clayton Jennison (No. 3) of Cambridge-Isanti, Swenson lost a 6-0 decision. He was able to come back to win a 9-2 decision over Mike Mello of Prior lake. Next, Swenson lost close matches to Jarod Rau from Bloomington Kennedy 5-1 and Carter Kortan from Albert Lea 4-3 to end his weekend.

Other wrestlers competing in the tournament and not placing were Luke Rowh at 103 pounds(3-2), Isaac Bauer at 112 pounds (1-2), Danny Gove at 119 pounds (0-2 with a bye), Eric Bauer at 125 pounds (2-2), Hunter Swenson at 135 pounds (1-2), Dylan Nelson at 140 pounds (2-2), Jacob Rachuy at 160 pounds (1-2), Josh Lohmann at 189 pounds (2-2) and Jake Anderson at heavyweight (1-2).