Senior Jacob Swindell will represent the Caledonia/Houston/Spring Grove wrestling team at the 2013 state tournament this weekend at the Excel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Swindell placed second at 152 pounds at the class AA section 1 individual tournament at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester over the weekend and will take a 28-10 record to St. Paul as he makes his first trip to the state tournament.
Swindell lost to Lucas Roe of GMLOK in the finals after Roe (38-2) pinned Swindell at the 4:32 mark for the championship. Coach Dan Goergen said, “Jacob wrestled strong the whole tournament. He was prepared and stayed strong and focused through the whole tournament.”
Swindell beat Andrew Bigelow of Kasson-Mantorville 7-1 for the true second place. “He showed who the better wrestler was in that second place match,” Goergen said.
The individual competition will begin Friday morning at 9 a.m. and Swindell will get thrown into the mix a little later in the morning. His first opponent is Jake Short of Simley High School. Short is the 2012 state champion at 145 pounds and is the only undefeated wrestler in the 152 lb. class.
“He’s the #1 seed,” Goergen said, “But it’s actually a pretty good draw for Jacob – he’s got a great shot at placing at state if he wrestles well, and I think he will.”
The Warriors also had three wrestlers place third. Jacob Winjum (106), Drew Stemper (132) and Blake Mauss (285) all just missed out on a trip to state. Winjum lost to eventual champion Gabe Shea of K-M in the semifinals and then beat McCoy Tekautz of LARP 5-3 in the third place match. Stemper pinned Jack McCormick of La Crescent in the third place match after McCormick pinned Stemper in the semifinals. “He was in the mix. After losing in the semi’s he came all the way back to third place. He took on a new role for us midway through the season, and I don’t think we would be where we are as a team without him,” Goergen said.
Blake Mauss also placed third, not too bad for a freshman who decided to move up to the heavyweight class. “I told him this is what we practice for,” Goergen said. “I told him to get his points, and he gave it everything he had. We asked him about moving up and he decided to do it. I really admire him for that.” Mauss beat Nolan Folkert of P-E-M in a classic 2-1 overtime match for third place.
Other wrestlers who fared well were Dylan Lee and Luke Werner, who placed fifth, and Blaine Knutson and Reece Lange who placed sixth.
“When you look at the team and how strong we are now and how young we are, we’re going to be a force in a couple years. I’ve never had such a young team that has been this fun to coach.”
The 2013 State Wrestling Tournament opens Thursday, Feb. 28 and runs through Saturday, March 2 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The three-day format features all of the team dual competition on Thursday, followed by exclusive individual competition Friday and Saturday.
On Friday, March 1 the Class AA individual first round begins at 9 a.m. The Class AAA individual first round starts at 11 a.m., followed by the Class A individual first round at 1 p.m. On Friday evening the Class AA individual championship quarterfinals begin at 5 p.m. The Class AAA and Class A individual championship quarterfinals will follow at 6 and 7 p.m., respectively. The evening session will conclude with all wrestlebacks at 8 p.m.
On Saturday there will be five rounds of competition. The first starts at 10 a.m. and will consist of all individual consolation quarterfinals. The second round will start approximately at 11:15 a.m. and will include all individual championship semifinals. Round three begins approximately at 1:15 p.m. and will encompass all individual consolation semifinals. At approximately 5 p.m. all individual fifth- and third-place matches will begin. The day will end with all individual championships beginning at approximately 7:30 p.m. Awards will then follow the final round.
Ticket prices are $14 per adult and $9 per student for each session. Daily passes are available for $26 for adults and $17 for students. Season passes, good for the entire tournament, are available to adults for $78 and to students for $51.
– Brady Ambrose