The Hastings wrestling team took fourth at the MSHSL team state wrestling tournament this past week at the Xcel Energy Center. The Raiders, representing section 3AAA in class AAA, wrestled three duals over the course of Thursday, March 2. They beat Owatonna (section 1AAA) 36-29 in the quarterfinals to secure fourth place at the least. In the semifinals they faced defending state champion Apple Valley and lost 52-12, before meeting St. Michael-Albertville (STMA) in the third-place dual. Hastings and STMA went back and forth until the Knights won the last match and the dual 36-33.
The Hastings wrestling team won its quarterfinal dual against Owatonna 36-29 to advance to the semifinals. The Raiders won eight out of 14 matches to beat the Huskies and head coach Josh McLay said there was no doubt coming in that the Raiders would have their work cut out for them.
"I knew this was going to be a tight match since they beat us three weeks ago," McLay said. "But this time we knew we would have Josh Miser back, which was crucial. Our kids in the lower weights came out and wrestled lights out."
The results were as follows:
106 pounds: John Kendall lost to Kaden Nelson by an 8-2 decision (3-0 Owatonna).
113 pounds: Paul Kendall beat Landon Johnson by fall in 4:30 (6-3 Hastings).
120 pounds: Croix Mader beat Joey Wencl by an 8-4 decision (9-3 Hastings).
126 pounds: Jesse Mimbach beat Joe Fox by a 4-2 decision (12-3 Hastings).
132 pounds: Adam McSorley beat Kobie Kath by fall in 0:56 (18-3 Hastings).
138 pounds: Mac Wilson beat Trevor Schroeder by a 4-1 decision (21-3 Hastings).
145 pounds: Corbin Leflay beat Bryce Goodwin by fall in 3:11 (27-3 Hastings).
152 pounds: Kyle Erickson lost to Peyton Robb by technical fall 22-6 (27-8 Hastings).
160 pounds: Alex O'Connor lost to Cade King by fall in 2:33 (27-14 Hastings).
170 pounds: T.J. Pottinger beat Nick Staska by major decision 13-5 (31-14 Hastings).
182 pounds: Cody Leflay lost to Brandon Moen by fall in 0:47 (31-20 Hastings).
195 pounds: Trey Rogers beat Parker Holton by technical fall 24-9 (36-20 Hastings).
220 pounds: Cole Benson lost to Griffin Thorn by fall in 1:46 (36-26 Hastings).
285 pounds: Drake Guck lost to Goy Tut by a 3-1 decision (36-29 Hastings).
Hastings learned in the semifinals that Apple Valley's reputation as the team to beat in Minnesota was well deserved (Apple Valley went on to win the team state championship over Anoka). The Raiders lost to the Eagles 52-12 and once things were out of reach, head coach Josh McLay was able to give some more wrestlers a chance to wrestle in the state tournament.
"We knew we had a shot to win about half the matches, but the question was would we get enough bonus points," McLay explained. "We matched up with them pretty well and battled in a lot of matches."
Hastings won four out of 14 matches; Adam McSorley at 132 pounds, Alex O'Connor at 160, Josh Miser at 195 and Jackson Schichel at 220. The full results are below:
106 pounds: John Kendall lost to Regan Schrempp by fall in 1:51 (6-0 Apple Valley).
113 pounds: Paul Kendall lost to Adam Mickelson by fall in 1:24 (12-0 Apple Valley).
120 pounds: Croix Mader lost to Brady Gross by fall in 1:30 (18-0 Apple Valley).
126 pounds: Lynden Wilson lost to Peyton McLagan by a 2-0 decision (21-0 Apple Valley).
132 pounds: Adam McSorley beat Sebas Swiggum by a 5-0 decision (21-3 Apple Valley).
138 pounds: Mac Wilson lost to Kyle Rathman by technical fall 15-0 (26-3 Apple Valley).
145 pounds: Tyus Reinke lost to Nate Larson by fall in 1:14 (32-3 Apple Valley).
152 pounds: Corbin Leflay lost to Devin Roberts by fall in 2:31 (38-3 Apple Valley).
160 pounds: Alex O'Connor beat Arthur Quinones by a 7-2 (38-6 Apple Valley).
170 pounds: Cody Leflay lost to Jalen Thul by a 9-3 decision (41-6 Apple Valley).
182 pounds: Godswill Pepple lost to Jonah Johnson by technical fall 15-0 (46-6 Apple Valley).
195 pounds: Josh Miser beat Tyler Kim by a 5-2 decision (46-9 Apple Valley).
220 pounds: Jackson Schichel beat Tanyi Besong by a 3-1 decision (Apple Valley 46-12).
285 pounds: Drake Guck lost to Gable Steveson by fall in 0:45 (Apple Valley 52-12).
Hastings lost a heartbreaker to St. Michael-Albertville (STMA) 36-33 in the third-place match. The dual was tied at 33 apiece heading into the 285-pound weight class when Evan Foster of STMA was able to hold off Drake Guck to win 5-1.
McLay said that they simply gave up too many pins against STMA.
"We gave up a lot of falls and you can't win big duals getting pinned that much," McLay said. "We got pinned in the first three weights, even if we just lost by major decision in those three we save six points. We wrestled so well but just came up short."
The results were as follows:
106 pounds: John Kendall lost to Nathan Nygaard by fall in 1:13 (6-0 STMA).
113 pounds: Paul Kendall lost to Brandon Psyk by fall in 3:11 (12-0 STMA).
120 pounds: Croix Mader lost to Patrick Mckee by fall in 1:18 (18-0 STMA).
126 pounds: Jesse Mimbach beat Dylan Hanson by a 3-2 decision (18-3 STMA).
132 pounds: Adam McSorley beat Kyle Elkie by fall in 0:31 (18-9 STMA).
138 pounds: Mac Wilson beat Carl Leuer by a 5-4 decision (18-12 STMA).
145 pounds: Corbin Leflay lost to Cody Schoen by an 8-2 decision (21-12 STMA).
152 pounds: Kyle Erickson beat Wyatt Bice by fall in 3:34 (21-18 STMA).
160 pounds: T.J. Pottinger beat Wyatt Lidberg by a 10-2 major decision (22-21 Hastings).
170 pounds: Cody Leflay lost to Jake Allar by fall in 2:22 (27-22 STMA).
182 pounds: Trey Rogers beat Nolan Schmitz by technical fall 23-8 (27-27).
195 pounds: Josh Miser lost to Max Jensen by fall in 5:50 (33-27 STMA).
220 pounds: Jackson Schichel beat Cole Jann by fall in 1:14 (33-33).
285 pounds: Drake Guck lost to Evan Foster by a 5-1 decision (36-33 STMA).
The Raiders took fourth place to improve upon their fifth-place finish last season. St. Michael-Albertville placed third, while Apple Valley edged out Anoka 30-24 to win yet another class AAA state championship. Hastings' Metro East Conference rival Simley took second in class AA behind Kasson-Mantorville.
In the end, McLay said he was happy with how the season went for the Raiders.
"If you were to tell me at the beginning of the year that we'd take fourth at state, I would have been ecstatic about that," McLay said. "The kids put it all out on the line this season and got better throughout the season. From the beginning of the year to the end of the year we were a completely different team."
Hastings as team finished its season with a 32-9 record overall and qualified nine wrestlers for the state tournament (see separate article detailing the individual state tournament). While the Raiders will graduate a solid core of seniors after this season, they will return nine out of 14 wrestlers who wrestled against STMA.
Seniors who graduate this year are: Adam McSorley, Tyus Reinke, Kyle Erickson, Cody Leflay, Cole Benson, Josh Miser and Jackson Schichel.