Farmington stops Raider wrestlers in section championship match
For some Hastings High School sports, making the state tournament is a dream. In fact, there are longtime sports at HHS that have never qualified for the state tournament as a team, including the boys basketball team.
For one team, though, earning a trip to the state meet is something that happens with regularity. That’s the case with the Hastings wrestling team. That precedent, though, is what makes what happens on Saturday a tough pill to swallow for the Raiders. After a number of close one-point losses to Farmington on Saturday afternoon, Hastings ended up losing the Tigers and will not advance to the state meet as a team.
“We wrestled tough, but just not good enough,” coach Josh McLay said. “We came up a little bit short. That’s how it works out sometimes.”
The final score was 35-28.
Hastings lost four matches by one point. Among those was Jake Anderson’s match at 152 pounds. He ended up hurting his knee in the match and lost, 1-0.
“You need things to go your way, and things just didn’t,” McLay said. “I don’t know why. It just didn’t work out. It’s hard. As a coach, I’m looking back and wondering what I could have done differently.
“Did I have the team ready? What do I need to do as a coach to work on next year? Farmington and Owatonna – they’re not going away. We have to be sure we’re doing all the little things better so we can find a way to win next time.”
Hastings lost the first two matches in the dual and trailed 9-0 when Adam McSorley took the mat for the Raiders at 120 pounds. He earned a pin in just 1 minute and 19 seconds and the Raiders trailed 9-6.
The Raiders lost at 126 pounds by fall, but T.J. Pottinger slowed the bleeding with a pin by himself at 132 pounds and the score was 15-12 in favor of Farmington.
The Tigers, though, went on to win matches at 138, 145, 152, 160 and 170 to take a 32-12 lead.
Jon Vouk won a 3-2 decision at 182 pounds to make it 32-15. Crazy as it sounds, the match was still up in the air at that point. Hastings would need three consecutive pins, but it was possible.
In the end, Hastings earned pins at two of the weights, with Cullin Brendeland and Jacob Bacon each recording pins. The deficit was too great to overcome, though.
The final was 35-28.
While the team has been eliminated from the section tournament, there is still the upcoming section individual tournament for the Raiders to compete in. The top two wrestlers in each weight class advance to the state meet.
One wrestler who won’t be able to compete is Jake Anderson, a senior, who sprained his MCL in the match against Farmington and is out for the rest of the year.
“That’s just a huge bummer for him as a senior,” McLay said. “He’s one of our best wrestlers.”
A few other seniors who have been big parts of the program for many years won’t be at the section tournament either. The team had wrestle-offs earlier this week to determine who would be competing at the section individual tournament, and three seniors lost out to underclassmen.
“If our team was going to state, it would have been a little less hard for the seniors to take,” McLay said. “Since we didn’t make it, it’s that much harder. We have all these great kids who don’t get to compete at the section tournament or state tournament. Our lineup is tough. It’s a tough week for those seniors, but they’re a great group of kids.
“Wrestling, in the big scheme of things, is just one small part of their life. The lessons they learned through wrestling are what is important. That’s what they’re going to take away.”
The individual tournament is held at the Rochester Civic Center. Ranked wrestlers for the Raiders include Mark Vaith, Jon Vouk, Austin Eichmann, Adam McSorley, Spencer Kopp and Cullin Brendeland. All are ranked in the top 10.
Several others will have shots to earn trips to the state meet, too.
“Our goal is to get as many kids through to the state tournament as we can,” McLay said. “Hopefully we can pick up some all-state wrestlers.”
All state goes to the top six wrestlers in each class.
On Thursday night, Hastings ended up taking on Northfield and the HHS won handily, 65-3. That meant Hastings moved on to Saturday’s championship rounds.
Hastings opened action on Saturday with a 61-11 win over Rochester John Marshall.
Jesse Mimbach won the opening match for Hastings, 8-7.
Derek Edwards won by fall at 112 and Adam McSorley won by fall at 120. Spencer Kopp won by tech fall at 126 and T.J. Pottinger won by decision at 132.
After a loss at 138, Austin Eichmann earned a 9-7 win at 145 pounds.
Jake Anderson and Trey Rogers earned back-to-back pins at 152 and 160 respectively.
Jon Vouk won by decision at 170. Mark Vaith earned a pin at 182, Keith Mikel won by forfeit at 195 and Jacob Bacon won by fall at heavyweight.