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Raider wrestlers eke out win at Kennedy tournament

It came down to Jacob Bacon. And when it mattered most, the Hastings High School senior delivered. It just took him a long time.

On Saturday, Hastings was in the championship match of a tournament at Bloomington Kennedy. Hastings faced Zumbrota-Mazeppa in the finals and the Raiders trailed 25-24 after senior Cullin Brendeland recorded a big Hastings win at 220 pounds. It was then up to Bacon, the team’s heavyweight. Any kind of win would do. In the seventh period of wrestling, considered an ultimate overtime, Bacon eked out a 3-2 win and Hastings won the tournament title with a 27-25 win over Z-M.

“He just wrestled phenomenal and really handled the kid,” coach Josh McLay said. “He’s really stepped it up. He’s one of the most improved kids we have. The way he’s been progressing has been outstanding.

“There was lots of pretty on that match. He kept his cool and wrestled a smart match. It was a nice win for him.”

The close win was the only close win Hastings has last week. The other four matches that Hastings competed in, they won by a combined score of 288-15.

Among those wins was a near-perfect 83-0 win over Highland Park in the opening of the Kennedy tournament. The score was just one point away from a perfect match. Among the big wins in that one was a pin by Mark Vaith at 182 pounds over the ninth-ranked wrestler in the state.

“That was a really big win for Mark,” McLay said. “To beat a ranked kid is a big deal, but to pin him?”

Recording pins over Highland Park were Jake Anderson, Trey Rogers, Jon Vouk, Mark Vaith, Edison Duong, Brendeland and Bacon.

In the second round, Hastings beat Minnetonka, 61-9.

Winning by forfeit were Jesse Mimbach, T.J. Pottinger and Brendeland.

Recording pins were Eichmann, Anderson, Vaith (in 20 seconds) and Bacon.

Also winning were Derek Edwards, Adam McSorley (by tech fall), Spencer Kopp, Erickson and Rogers.

In the finals against Zumbrota-Mazeppa, Hastings fell behind 6-0 right away, but Edwards earned an 8-2 win at 113 pounds to make the score 6-3.

McSorley lost a close match at 120, 2-1, to a ranked wrestler.

Kopp won by tech fall at 126, 21-3.

Hastings lost at 132 and 138 to fall behind 16-8 before Eichmann earned a close 6-5 win. Anderson won a major decision at 152 to make the score 16-15, but then Hastings fell behind 22-15 following two close losses at 160 and 170.

Vaith earned a win by forfeit at 182, making the score 22-21.

Hastings lost at 195, but then Brendeland and Bacon got to work and got Hastings on top for the first time in the match.

In all, Hastings lost five close matches in the meet.

“Typically, if you say that, you’d think we lost the meet,” McLay said. “The kids fought through it.”

This week

Hastings is at South St. Paul on Thursday night for a Metro East Conference match.

On Saturday, the Raiders travel to Anoka for a big tournament with five of the top nine teams in the state present. Hastings is ranked No. 4.


Hastings beat North St. Paul and Rochester John Marshall in a triangular here on Friday night.

The Raiders took care of the Polars, 80-0.

Jesse Mimbach got things off to a good start for Hastings with a pin in 56 seconds at 106.

Derek Edwards had a pin at 113 in 1:16.

Adam McSorley took just 16 seconds to pin his opponent at 120.

T.J. Pottinger won an 8-1 decision at 126.

Spencer Kopp pinned his opponent in 1:47 at 132 pounds.

Kyle Erickson won by tech fall at 138 pounds, 17-1.

Austin Eichmann pinned his opponent at 145 pounds in 1:41.

Jake Anderson earned a pin in 1:17 at 152 pounds.

Trey Rogers won at 160 with a pin at 1:06.

Jon Vouk won by forfeit at 170.

Mark Vaith pinned his opponent at 182 in 1:14.

Edison Duong won by forfeit at 195.

Brendeland recorded a pin in 2:53 at 220 and Bacon had a pin at 1:00 at heavyweight.

In all, Hastings recorded 10 pins in the match.

Against John Marshall, Hastings won 64-6.

Pins were recorded by McSorley, Kopp, Anderson, Rogers, Vaith and Bacon.

Also earning wins were Mimbach, Edwards, Erickson, Eichmann, Vouk, Duong and Brendeland.

The win by Brendeland was a big one, as he beat the No. 6 ranked wrestled in the state in the final seconds of the match with a takedown, 4-2.

“It was a really fun match to watch,” McLay said. “The John Marshall kid came out and took Cullin down right away, but Cullin kept his composure. In the third period, he relied on his conditioning. He took the kid down to win it. It was really cool.

Brendeland is a senior captain.

“He believes in himself,” McLay said. “That comes from his leadership and work ethic in the room. He’s everything you’d want a captain to be. He rises to the occasion. Against the top-level competition this year, he’s keeping it close and now he’s finding a way to win those matches against the best kids in the state.”