Wrestling: Zimmerman has four state qualifiers, Rogers has one

Hunter Smith (blue) of Zimmerman won this match on the way to second place at 119 pounds to earn a trip to state. (Photo by Kara Stritesky)

The Zimmerman wrestling team  will have four entrants in the state tournament, their most ever, after a strong sectional on Friday and Saturday.

 

Zach Stepan was a Section 5AA champion while Hunter Smith, Weston Schwartz and Mitch Robinson all placed second in  the two-day sectional hosted by Zimmerman.

 

Four state qualifers is a program-best for the Thunder, coached by Ponch Hartman. Previously no more than two Thunder had gone to state.

 

“We had a great last round,” said Hartman. “We had Stepan winning and we won three true-seconds.”

 

The Rogers Royals had one state qualifier in Kyler Swanson, a runner-up.

Zimmerman's state qualifiers are (from left) Mitch Robinson, Hunter Smith, Zach Stepan and Weston Schwartz. (Photo by Desiree Stepan)

Stepan, who’s 36-1 and ranked No. 4 at 125 pounds, will make his third state trip. Stepan had a 45-second pin, a forfeit, and a pin in 3:51 against Fridley’s Justin May in the finals.

 

Zimmerman’s other three qualifiers had to win true-second matches.

 

Smith (24-14), a sophomore seeded fourth at 119, pinned Benilde-St. Margaret’s Christian Ehlen, then lost to Monticello’s Zach Beaumaster 5-2. He beat BCA’s Malick Ceesay 7-2, pinned Totino-Grace’s Jake Sonsovich in 1:20 in the third-place match, then pinned Spectrum-PACT-Legacy’s top-seeded Paul Nolden in 3:50 in the true-second.

 

Kyle Ytseboe (blue/black) of Rogers won this match by pin on the way to third place at 103. (Photo by Kara Stritesky)

Schwartz (17-12), a senior seeded fourth at 145, was 5-1 including a quarterfinal loss to Rogers’ Michael Voorhead 3-2. He came back with four wins including a pin of Voorhees in the third-place match, and scuttled  Brooklyn Center-Concordia Academy’s David Afolabi 6-2 in the true-second match.

 

Robinson (31-4), a sophomore at 189, reached finals with a pin of Spectrum-PACT-Legacy’s Brett Henkemeyer and a 9-2 win over Fridley’s Jesse Root, then lost in the finals to Monticello’s Ryan Michaelis  6-4. He  survived the true-second 5-3 over Orono’s Gavan Winkels.

 

Zimmerman also had a third-placer in Alex Koch (21-21), a freshman at 140 who was unseeded.

“We had some major surprises,” said Hartman, meaning the two fourth-seeded boys going to state and Koch taking third.

 

Kyler Swanson

Kyler Swanson (23-17), Rogers sophomore 140-pounder, reached finals with a 13-second pin against Orono and an 11-7 win over Koch, then lost to Monticello’s Jake Schmitz 13-4.

 

Rogers freshman Kyle Ysteboe (19-7) placed third at 103.

 

Spectrum-PACT-Legacy almost had a state qualifier in Nolden (27-6), a senior at 119. Nolden  reached finals with a pin and tech fall, lost 8-6 to Monticello’s Zach Beaumaster, and got pinned by Smith in the true-second match.

 

The state Class AA individuals tournament will start Friday at 11 a.m. at the Xcel Energy Center.

 

How Zimmerman fared

 

103 — Justin Viktora 0-2

112 — Chase Rosby 0-2

119 — Hunter Smith 4-1, 3 pins, 2nd place

125 — Zach Stepan 3-0, 2 pins, 1st place

130 — Austin May 0-2

135 — no entry

140 — Alex Koch 3-1, 2 pins, 3rd place

145 — Weston Schwartz 5-1, 2 pins, 2nd place

152 –Alex Collins 1-2

160 — no entry

171– Jon Zdenek 3-2, 3 pins, 4th place

189 — Mitch Robinson 3-1, 1 pin, 2nd place

215 — Zach Copic 2-2, 2 pins, 5th place

285 — Albin Sterneman 1-2, 1 pin

 

 

How Rogers fared

 

103 — Kyle Ysteboe 3-1, 2 pins, 3rd place

112 — Phillip Anderson 3-2, 3 pins, 5th place

119 — no entry

125 — Tim Beach 2-2, 4th place

130 — Steffen Paige 1-2, 1 pin

135 — Andrew List 0-2

140 — Kyler Swanson 2-1, 1 pin, 2nd place

145 — Michael Voorhees 2-2, 1 pin

152 — no entry

160 — no entry

171 — no entry

189– no entry

215 — no entry

285 — Thomas Kwiatkowski 0–2

 

How Spectrum-PACT-Legacy fared

 

103 –Esteban Tiegen 2-2, 2 pins, 4th place

112 — Josh Davie 1-3, 6th place

119 — Paul Nolden 2-2, 1 pin, 3rd place

125 — Ian Netzler 1-2, 1 pin

130 — Alex McDonough 0-2

135 — no entry

140 — no entry

145 — no entry

152 — Connor McDonough 0-2

160 — no entry

171– Guilio Borghi 0-2

189 — Brett Henkemeyer 0-2

215 — Thomas Stroup 0-2

285 — no entry

 

 

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