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Wrestling: Eagles runners-up at West Central Tournament

BARRETT -- The New York Mills wrestling team finished runners-up out of a dozen teams at the West Central Area Grant County Tournament over the weekend.

Noah Pesola was the Eagles' only champion. He swept all his matches taking the 182-pound title needing only two matches to do so after receiving two byes. Pesola pinned Ben Barragan of Pelican Rapids at 2:33 in the semifinals and won a 5-2 decision over Fergus Falls' Gus Makovsky for the title.

Class A No. 1-ranked at 120 pounds, Shane Novak, was 3-1 on the day losing in the final to Abbott Aho, of Fergus Falls in a tight match 5-4. Both wrestlers are holders of 150 career wins. Novak got his at last season's state tournament en route to the 113-pound title. Aho started he season out this year with win 150. For his efforts, Aho was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler. Aho is ranked No. 3 in Class 2A.

Novak defeated Steven Araca of Ottertail Central by tech fall 18-2; pinned Keaton Long, of West Central Area, on his home mat at 1:06 and won by fall again in the semifinals pinning Jordan Bothun, of Dawson-Boyd/Lac qui Parle Valley at 2:34.

Jeremiah Harper, Novak's replacement this season at 113, also finished with a 3-1 record and runner-up. Harper defeated Fergus Falls Nathan Hillbrand by tech fall 18-1, Dillon Kriese of Alexandra in a 7-3 decision and won the semifinal match 4-0 over Ottertail Central's Sam Naddy. Border West's Cameron Sykora, ranked No. 1 in Class A, gave Harper his only defeat by technical fall 17-1 in the finals.

The Eagles had three wrestlers with third and fourth place finishes.

Tyler Ehnert went 3-1 to take third place at 132 pounds. No. 10-A 195-pounder Tyler Patron wrestled up at 220 finishing third with a 3-1 mark. No. 7-A Max Carlson won three of four matches for third at 285 pounds.

In fourth place finishes, Gunner Flynn went 2-2 at 160 pounds; Kacee Skoog was 3-2 at 152, as was Andrew Perala at 132 pounds.

Fergus Falls (2A) won the tournament with 206.5 points. The Eagles runners-up total was 165.

Full tournament brackets are linked to this story courtesy of

West Central Area Grant County Tournament

1. Fergus Falls 206.5

2. New York Mills 165.0

3. Alexandria 152.5

4. MAHACA 151.0

5. Dawson-Boyd/Lac qui Parle Valley 127.0

6. Border West 119.5

7. Pelican Rapids 107.0

8. West Central Area/Ashby/Evansville 75.0

9. Browerville 73.0

10. Ottertail Central 65.0

11. Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 58.0

12. Mille Lacs 55.0

Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

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