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Hastings wrestlers Rowh, Marquette compete at nationals

Two Hastings High School wrestlers put in an appearance at the USA Wrestling national championship July 13-21. Luke Rowh and Dan Marquette competed on the Minnesota Storm team in Fargo, N.D.

Rowh was named all-American and placed third in Greco-Roman at 126 pounds.

"It was an awesome feeling," he said, "just knowing that I just took third at one of the toughest tournaments in the country."

This year was his second year at nationals; he made it to Fargo last year as a first-year cadet but didn't place. This year he won six matches before his only loss. Two more wins secured him the third-place spot.

Despite the number of wins, Rowh fought the entire tournament.

"It's the toughest high school tournament in the country," he said.

Most of his matches were won or lost in the third period, he said. He wrestled eight matches in two days and credited his coaches with keeping him focused and prepared.

"They make sure that you're getting the right stuff in you," he said.

Competing with the Minnesota Storm was a key piece in advancing Rowh's wrestling career. Several coaches had told him that if he wanted to get better, participating with the Storm was the way to do it. It helped, too, that his high school coach, Josh McLay, had been involved with the Storm.

Rowh will be a junior this year at Hastings High School and will be a co-captain of the HHS wrestling team with Marquette and Isaac Bauer.

Marquette will also be a junior this year at Hastings High School. He wrestled at 160 pounds in both the Freestyle and Greco styles at nationals, putting in 10 matches over four days.

"It was kind of a lot, but it was worth it," he said.

He said he was a little out of shape because it's the off-season, and he was a little underweight in both styles, but he was still looking to compete. His matches went pretty well, he said, even though he didn't place.

"I was one win away in both styles from placing," he said.

In freestyle, he lost his first match, won the next four, had a bye and lost in the seventh round. In Greco he lost the first round, won the next three and lost the fifth round. This was his second year competing at nationals.

"The matches (at nationals) are a lot harder and there's a lot more kids," Marquette noted. "In Minnesota, you kind of know who you're wrestling. By nationals it's completely different."

Rowh and Marquette attended the Minnesota Storm training camp in early July. The top four wrestlers at each weight made the Storm's national team.

Marquette said he's planning on making another run at nationals next year, and that he's hoping to get a few more Hastings wrestlers to give it a shot as well.