Eagles Park Region wrestling champions, Novak, Harper, Roberts take home titles
LONG PRAIRIE --Shane Novak was named Outstanding Wrestler for the second time this season and Jeremiah Harper and Maison Roberts also garnered individual conference titles to lead the Eagles to the Park Region Conference Championship Saturday in Long Prairie.
"We had a good practice room during the week, prepared well and wrestled up to our seeds," Eagles Head Coach Eric Niemi said.
Novak, ranked #1 in Class A, breezed to the 113-pound title. After a first round bye, he defeated Miguel Ambriz of Long Prairie-Grey Eagle by fall at 47 seconds.
In the final, versus United North Central's Tommy Tellers, Novak dominated the match leading 4-1 after the first period, 13-1 after the second, before taking the title by technical fall by a score of 16-1.
The conference championship was the fourth for Novak. He joins Jason Burg as the only other New York Mills' wrestler with four titles.
Peter Mursu and Mike Weller each have five PRC titles.
Jeremiah Harper preceded Novak in the 106-pound class and got the Eagles off to a quick start in the finals.
Harper advanced out of the first round on a default by Joe Jenson of Royalton-Upsala, before narrowly defeating Tom Leeseberg of Parkers Prairie 5-4 in the semis.
Harper had little trouble in the finals defeating Osakis' Trenton Coyer 14-6.
Maison Roberts made it three-for-three in championship matches with an Eagle wrestler.
Roberts took the 138-pound title via pins in both the semifinals and the finals.
A first round bye set Roberts up against Browerville/Eagle Valley's Tylor Kent. Roberts pinned Kent in 1:02 and did nearly the same thing versus West Central Area's Royal Crow in the finals pinning Crow in 1:11.
NY Mills had three other wrestlers, looking for individual titles, who came away with runners-up points.
Tyler Ehnert pinned Jorge Botello (LPGE) at 1:30 in the quarterfinals and won a 6-2 decision over Parkers Prairie's Bryce Looker in the semis.
In the finals, Royalton-Upsala's Andy Poster took a 4-1 first period lead and put up more points in the second heading into the third period up 11-3.
Ehnert struggled to score in the third period culminating in a 13-4 decision in favor of Poster.
Michael Meyer advanced to the finals of the 152-pound class and held his own in the final.
West Central Area's Kyle Martineau scored a late reversal in the first period to level the match at two points each. Martineau took control in the second upping his lead to 7-2, before winning by decision 9-2.
Meyer advanced by pinning Nick Bennett of Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale at 1:53 in the quarterfinals.
Meyer won a tight 6-5 decision over United North Central's Dylan Huttunen in the semis.
Noah Pesola, ranked #10 in Class A at 195 pounds, wrestled down a class at 182 and reached the finals where he faced Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale's #6-ranked Dillon Card.
Card led 2-0 after the first period. Pesola escaped for the only point in the second period, but Card hung on for a 4-2 decision.
The Eagles had 12 wrestlers place.
"There were some good close matches that I think we should have won but that gives us something to take back to the room and make us a better team in the coming weeks," said Niemi. "You're always looking for one more champ or another high wrestle back finish but in the end our guys got the job done."
Tyler Patron, ranked #10 at 182 pounds wrestled up at 195 pounds and came away with the Eagles' only third place finish.
Patron pinned LPGE's Ben Frieler at 1:29 before losing to eventual runner-up Taylor Carlson, of United North Central, 6-5 in the semifinals.
Patron reeled off two more victories over Ottertail Central's Aaron Bengston by fall at 2:30. Patron won the third place match over Osakis' Cody Adolphson by decision 4-1.
Austin Haman finished in fourth place at 120 pounds. Haman lost a 1-0 decision in his first match to Gage Odegaard (WCA).
He defeated Osakis' Ryan Larson by fall at 4:43; then Brad Kroll of Royalton-Upsala 4-3 to advance to the third place match where he met Odegaard again.
Odegaard came out on top 5-3. Haman trailed 3-1 in the second after a scoreless first period. He nearly scored points in the third to tie the match but an Odegaard takedown at 5:15 made the score 5-2. Haman closed to 5-3 and both wrestlers faced each other with 5.1 seconds remaining where a quick Haman takedown could have sent the match to extra time.
Taylor Ericksrud, 132 pounds, Gunner Flynn, 160 pounds, and Max Carlson, 220 pounds all finished in fifth place. Andrew Mindermann was sixth at 145 pounds.
The Eagles team finished with a total point score of 186. Osakis was second with 152.5.
"We wrestled a solid tournament."
The New York Mills Eagles Cheerleaders also got in on the championship titles bringing home the tournament Spirit Award.