by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
The Spectrum wrestlers picked up their program’s first four state tournament wins Friday and the Sting will have their first medal as well, possibly two.
Esteban Teigen won twice in Class A at the Xcel Center to reach the semifinals and clinch a podium finish. Ryan Killeen won two of three, one of them in wrestle backs to stay alive, and needs two more wins for a top-six finish.
“Esteban and I are so excited for our school, and for ourselves,” said Killeen, “to finally get those wins for our school.”
For all classes, the wrestle back rounds Saturday start 9:30 a.m., followed by championship semifinals at 10:45, consolation semifinals at 12:45 p.m., third- and fifth-place matches at 4:30 p.m., and championships at 7 p.m.
Killeen, an unranked sophomore, faced three straight ranked wrestlers, in the section finals and first two rounds at state, and won two of those. “I’m having a lot of fun,” said Killeen. “Last year I had some bumps in the road, but this year I broke through and I’m making some noise here.”
Teigen (32-2), a sophomore at 113 pounds, ranked No. 10, beat No. 2 Trenton Coyer (33-2) of Osakis 15-9 and Dillon Kubiatowicz (31-11) of New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva 7-1. He faces No. 4 Jared Goldsmith (33-0) of Chatfield in the semifinals.
Killeen (32-4), a sophomore at 120 pounds, pinned No. 4 Joe Fischenich (36-4) of Windom/Mountain Lake with a half-nelson in 5:34 while leading 4-3. Killeen then lost to three-time state champion, No. 1 ranked Cameron Sykora (33-0) of Border West 15-0 at 120 pounds.
Killeen, who has 48 pins among 66 career wins, stayed alive in wrestle backs defeating Tyler Bare (22-17) of Aitkin 7-0. He will face Cordell Peterson (26-18) of NRHEG on Saturday.
Spectrum, coached by Sean Ryther, had three state qualifiers for the first time. The other qualifier, sophomore 126-pound Luke Nolden (29-8), lost to Alex Erpelding (32-8) of Staples-Motley by fall in 2:30 and did not get a wrestle back.
Teigen and Nolden each had one previous state trip each, neither winning a match.