Raiders to send nine individuals to wrestle at state
Not only will Hastings be represented in the team competition at the state wrestling meet this weekend in St. Paul, but they’ll also be represented in the individual competition.
Hastings will have wrestlers in nine of the 14 weight classes. They qualified at the section individual tournament in Rochester over the weekend.
“The kids wrestled great,” coach Josh McLay said. “We were hoping (to qualify) anywhere from six to 10 guys.”
Hastings had six section champions.
Senior co-captain Luke Rowh won the section title at 132 pounds and advances to the state meet. He has a 25-2 record and will open the tournament against Ryan Reid of Mound-Westonka, who is 27-13 on the year.
Jake Anderson won the section title at 145 pounds and qualified. He is 35-7. Anderson is a junior.
He’ll wrestle Justin Burg of Tartan, who is 26-8.
One of the big stories of the tournament was turned in by HHS senior Jake Johnson, who won the section title and qualified at 152 pounds.
Johnson entered the tournament as the No. 4 seed. He upset the No. 1 seed, pinning him in overtime.
In finals, against the No. 2 seed, Johnson won again.
“He was a huge underdog, and upset both those kids,” McLay said. “This offseason of training, he decided he wanted his senior year to be a good one. He worked his butt off and decided to make his mark this season.
“He’s been consistently getting better. He’s a very coachable kid. He just listens really well and he started believing in himself. That’s one of the biggest things – he just decided, ‘Hey, why not me?’
“All of his work has paid off.”
Stuart Mattison, a junior, qualified at 160 pounds by winning the section. He has a 25-8 overall record and will take on Jacob Rukavina of Eastview in the first round. Rukavina has a record of 33-5.
Senior co-captain Dan Marquette won the title at 170 pounds and advances to the state meet. He is 35-7 on the year and will face Evan Foster of St. Michael-Albertville in the opening round. Foster is 31-13.
With his win in the section finals, Marquette earned his 100th win as a Raider.
Daryale Harris won the section title at 195 for the Raiders, and he advances. Harris, a senior, will wrestle Isaac Schmaedeke of Roseville in the first round. Schmaedeke is 24-6 on the year, while Harris is 25-9.
Three Hastings wrestlers placed second in their weight class and advanced.
Luis Sanchez, a senior, qualified at 120 pounds and he will face Alex Lloyd of Shakopee in the opening round. Sanchez is 23-19 overall, while Lloyd is 37-0.
Austin Eichmann, a sophomore, qualified at 138 pounds. He is 28-12 on the season and will face Elijah Muedeking (28-12) of White Bear Lake in the first round.
Tony Lodermeier, a senior, qualified at 220 for the Raiders. He has a record of 32-10 and will face Paul Cheney of Apple Valley in the first round. Cheney is 39-1 on the year.
The Raiders have six seniors on the roster this year, and all six qualified for the state meet. They are Sanchez, Rowh, Marquette, Johnson, Harris and Lodermeier.
The wrestlers weren’t the only ones earning accolades this year. McLay was named the section’s coach of the year.
And, off the mat, the Raiders also earned a nice award. The section team had a combined GPA of 3.7, earning them a gold level plaque.
“It’s a tribute to their work ethic on and off the mat,” McLay said.
The rest of the lineup fared well for the Raiders, too, with everyone placing.
Adam McSorley just missed out on qualifying at 106 pounds. He was just one win away.
McSorley went 2-2 on the day.
“He was close,” McLay said. “It just wasn’t quite there for him. It was a bummer for him.”
Spencer Kopp placed third at 113 pounds. He went 3-1 on the day.
Kyle Erickson placed fifth at 126 pounds. He went 2-2 at the tournament.
Mark Vaith placed third at 182 pounds, finishing the day with a 2-1 record.
Edison Duong, wrestling at 285, went 2-2 and placed fourth.
The state meet begins at 9 a.m. today (Thursday) for the Raiders as they face Willmar. The team competition continues with matches throughout Thursday, including the final round at 5 p.m. All the matches are at Xcel Energy Center.
The individual tournament runs from Friday afternoon through Sunday.