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Frazee falls to JCC 33-32 to finish fourth at state wrestling

Hunter Sorenson of Frazee, left, wrestles A.J. Riley of Chatfield during at 145 pounds during the Class 1A semifinals on Thursday in St. Paul Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

ST. PAUL — It just had to be Jackson County Central. Frazee lost to the Huskies in the Minnesota Class 1A state wrestling tournament in 2010 and 2013 and tied with them in the 2011 state championship.

“We don’t like them very much,” Frazee 285-pounder Garrett Malstrom said.

The stakes were not the same, but the heartache was all too familiar. Frazee fell to Jackson County Central 33-32 in the third-place match to finish fourth Thursday at the Class 1A tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Everything came down to Malstrom. The No. 2-ranked wrestler at 285 pounds needed a pin to win third place for Frazee with the Hornets trailing 33-25. Malstrom won a 13-3 major decision, but it was not enough.

“It was kind of rough knowing I had to go into the match and get a pin, because that’s tough,” Malstrom said. “When a guy knows his one job is to not get pinned, he’ll just ball up, and you can’t do anything, and he’ll stall as much as he can.”

Frazee came into the tournament as the No. 2 seed, and JCC entered as the No. 5 seed, but rankings go out the window when the two square off.

“They just have some horses,” Frazee coach Marty Aho said. “They got a few guys who will probably place No. 1 or No. 2 in the state. We are just a well-balanced team. We don’t have the studs, but we fought hard and won the ones we should have.”

Hunter Sorenson’s technical fall gave Frazee a 25-6 lead with seven weight classes to go. Then came the JCC horses.

Paden Moore got a pin in 1 minute, 13 seconds; Luke Norland got a pin in 1:06; Christopher Baker got a pin at 2:41; and Keegan Moore’s pin at 50 seconds had Jackson County Central up 30-25.

“We knew coming in that it was going to be tough,” Aho said. “Any draw you get here is going to be a battle. I thought our kids battled all right and did as good as they could.”

Kody Van Den Eykel’s 5-2 decision cut the JCC lead to 30-28, but Justin Tirevold took those three points right back with a 4-1 decision at 220 pounds for the Huskies. After the dual, Malstrom seemed ready to start training already.

“It’s rough,” Malstrom said. “We have to build on it for next year I guess. The seniors wrestled their butts off. They did a hell of a job. It was tough for the senior class, but we should be strong next season if we just keep everybody working hard.”

Frazee had been to the state finals in its last three trips to state before Thursday. The Hornets got by Bertha-Hewitt-Verndale in the quarterfinals with a 32-22 win to open the tournament, but lost to No. 3-seeded Chatfield in the semifinals 38-19.

Chatfield had two decisions, two major decisions and two pins in six of the first eight matches to open with a 26-6 lead. Van Den Eykel’s major decision cut the lead to 29-13, but Cody Bly won a 6-0 decision at 195 pounds to clinch it for Chatfield.

“This weekend wasn’t our night,” Aho said. “Jackson has been on top the last few years and we’ve been lucky to meet them. This happened to be for third and fourth, but it is what it is. You get down to state there’s a lot of teams that wish they were in this position.”

Championship quarterfinals

Frazee 32, Bertha-Hewitt-Verndale 22

106: Kern, B, dec., 10-0, Eischens

113: Reetz, F, pin, 1:12, Kveton

120: B. Byer, F, dec., 4-0, Gordon

126: Willis, B, dec., 8-2, E. Byer

132: Jepson, F, dec., 11-6, Waln

138: Skillings, F, technical fall, Truax

145: Sorenson, F, dec., 7-5, Kimber

152: Starry, F, dec., 6-2, Cihlar

160: Truax, B, dec., 10-7, Bachman

170: Bennett, B, dec., 4-0, Streeper

182: Van Den Eykel, F, pin, 2:21, French

195: Bounds, B, dec., 6-0, Brandt

220: Card, B, pin, 0:50, Tapper

285: Malstrom, F, dec., 5-3, Baker.

Championship semifinals

Chatfield 38, Frazee 19

106: Hussein, C, dec., 14-3, Eischens

113: Goldsmith C, pin, 2:40, Reetz

120: B. Byer F, dec., 7-6, Van Sickel

126: Jepson, F, dec., 15-12, Mandt

132: Meeker, C, dec., 12-4, Olson

138: Hank Friederichs, C, dec., 5-3, Skillings

145: Riley, C, dec., 5-0, Sorenson

152: Harvey Friederichs, C, pin, 0:34, Beaty

160: Starry, F, dec. (OT), 9-7, Bradt

170: Haffner, C, dec., 7-5, Bachmann

182: Van Den Eykel, F, dec., 16-3, Dahl

195: Bly, C, dec., 6-0, Brandt

220: Bleess, C, pin, 1:11, DeGroat

285: Malstrom, F, pin, 3:15, Karver.

Third-place dual

Jackson County Central 33, Frazee 32

106: Eischens F, dec., 5-4, Tvinnereim

113: Reetz, F, technical fall, Wagner

120: B. Byer, F, dec., 8-0, VanderWoude

126: Biehn, J, pin, 4:08, E. Beyer

132: Jepson, F, dec., 8-3, Rossow

138: Skillings, F, technical fall, Bakalyra

145: Sorenson, F, technical fall, Peterson

152: P. Moore, J, pin, 1:13, Starry

160: Norland, J, pin, 1:06, Streeper

170: Baker, J, pin, 2:41, Bachmann

182: K. Moore, J, pin, 0:50, Hedlund

195: Van Den Eykel, F, dec. 5-2, Ziemer

220: Tirevold, J, dec., 4-1, Brand

285: Malstrom F, dec. 13-3, Horn

Chris Murphy

Chris Murphy is a sports reporter for the Forum. He's covered high school and college sports in Chicago, North Dakota and Minnesota since 2009 and, for some reason, has been given awards for doing so.

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