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Hastings crowns two youth wrestling champs in Iowa, Rochester tourneys

The Hastings Wrestling Club did some traveling this past weekend to compete in two very big venues.

Hastings had several boys compete individually and with their team in the Northland Youth Wrestling Championships, held in Rochester. In the individual competition, seventh-grader Austin Eichmann, in the 125-pound bracket, took home the championship trophy in the seventh- and eighth-grade division. Also placing were Cody Leflay and Judd O'Connor, fifth place, and sixth place went to Spencer Kopp.

The seventh- and eighth-grade team placed fifth of the top 32 teams in the state. The team started out with wins over Zumbrota Mazeppa and Foley before they lost to Kasson Mantorville. They came back the next day with wins over Minneota and Albert Lea to take home the fifth place trophy.

The Hastings boys also traveled to Cedar Falls, Iowa, to wrestle in the USA National Tournament. Eighth-grader Matthew Boncich took home the first-place national medal. Also placing for Hastings were Isaac Eichmann, third, and Adam McSorley, eighth.

The boys will now start Greco Roman and Freestyle practices under the coaching of Minnesota Gopher, Ben Berhow.

Two Hastings youth wrestlers compete on Team MN national team

The Hastings wrestling club had two wrestlers compete on Team MN at the National USA Middle School Duals in Danville, Ill., March 26 and 27. To qualify for Team MN, each wrestler had to place first through sixth in their weight class at the MN/USA Folkstyle State Tournament in Rochester. Only first place was guaranteed a spot on the team, with the rest making the team by invite only.

Matthew Boncich qualified by taking first in the Schoolboy 190-pound division. Jake Anderson was invited by taking fifth in Cadet 140-pound division.

Team MN was divided into two teams, Maroon and Gold. Both Anderson and Boncich were on the Gold team. Boncich was asked to wrestle up a weight class at 220 pounds (a 30-pound difference) due to team needs, but still wrestled tough. Each wrestler did very well against top competition. Individually, they both finished the tournament with a 4-3 record. Team MN Gold ended up taking fifth place out of 21 teams, while Team MN Maroon placed 14th.