Wrestling: Elks’ Lubinski is section champ, heads for state; five Elks place 3rd

Holton Lubinski neared a pin of an Andover opponent on the way to winning the 145-pound section crown. (Photo by Edward Stevens)

Holton Lubinski will be the lone Elk River wrestler at the state tournament after winning the Section 7AAA championship at 145 pounds.


A senior with a 119-58 career record, including 21-2 this year, he’ll be making his first state trip. He was the top seed.


Lubinski pinned Andover’s Luke Kothman in 3:31 and won decisions over  Blaine’s Jimmy Kittleson 14-1, STMA’s Lucas Martin 8-1, and in the finals, Cambridge-Isanti’s Adam Kelling 10-5.


“Holton wrestled very well. He was focused and ready for the tournament,” said coach Paul Nelson.  “He  deserves to be in the state tournament and am happy for him.”

Holton’s brother Jory, a junior, reached the 215-pound finals, and went overtime with top-seeded Michael Burkhardt of Coon Rapids. But he was pinned in 7:25, and then lost a true-second match to Forest Lake’s Jake Toupal 12-5.


He reached the finals with a pin of Cambridge-Isanti’s Trent Chromy in 1:09 and a 4-2 decision over STMA’s Mitchell Kolles, and finished the season 23-11.


Also placing third for the Elks were sophomore Evan Caldon (23-12) at 112, senior Jake Staffenhagen (25-10) at 119, senior Eric Stevens (27-7) at 135, and junior Kyle Wiemann (27-13) at 285.


Eric Stevens, a state qualifier last year, lost to C-I’s Travis Holt 8-5 in the semifinals. He then won twice, but didn’t get a true-second match because Holt lost in the finals.


Stevens, a 100-win club member, finished his career with a 116-39 record.

“I was disappointed we did not send more wrestlers to state,” said Nelson. “Our section is tough, but I have no excuses for our kids.   I’m proud of our team. Our wrestlers put forth their best effort and they now know where they stand with the toughest competition.”

Nelson said that for next year, the team will be working to improve skills and becoming a more physical and competitive team.


How Elks fared

103 — Zang Vang 0-2

112 — Evan Caldon 3-1,1 pin, 3rd place, 23-12

119 — Jake Staffenhagen 3-2, 1 pin, 3rd place, 25-10

125 — Yong Yee Vang 0-2

130 — no entry

135 — Eric Stevens 3-1, 1 pin, 3rd place, 27-7

140 — Ryan Osberg 0-2

145 — Holton Lubinski 4-0, 1 pin, 1st place

152 — Austin Stevens 2-3, 6th place, 13-7

160 — Corey Collins 1-2

171 — Abe Williams 2-2, 1 pin, 5th place, 21-14

189 — Mitch  Beaudry 0-2, 6th place (2 byes)

215 — Jory Lubinski 2-2, 3rd place, 23-11

285 — Kyle Wiemann 3-1, 3 pins, 3rd place, 27-13


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