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Border West's Cameron Sykora wins 4th state title

Border West's Cameron Sykora won his fourth state championship in St. Paul Saturday. Michael Vosburg/Forum News Service.

ST. PAUL — In the tunnel of the Xcel Energy Center on Saturday, he waited.

Border West junior 120-pound wrestler Cameron Sykora sat with his back against the wall, knees up and his head resting on his arms. He was mouthing the mixture of rap and country music coming from his headphones. His knees shook up and down as if he was starting his engine.

He lifted his headphones to hear the announcer say, “It’s time to crown the 2014 state champions,” and he glared at the wall.

No one was stealing his crown.

It was No. 1 versus No. 2 in the Minnesota Class 1A state wrestling title match at 120 pounds, and Sykora showed why he was No. 1. He handed Wabasso-Red Rock Central’s Spencer Jenniges his first loss of the season with a 15-0 technical fall. It capped his second perfect season and his fourth state title.

“This one was a lot harder, being banged up,” said Sykora, who missed a couple weeks with a cracked collarbone in December. “I kept fighting, and I knew if I got healthy, I could beat anybody.”

The win pushed Sykora to 35-0 and 125-1 in his last three high school seasons. Only five wrestlers in Minnesota history have won five state titles. Sykora plans to take a week off and get to work on doing just that.

“It’s definitely one of my goals,” Sykora said. “Once you’re on top, kids want to knock you down, so you got to keep working.”

Before Sykora walked out to the mat to win his fourth title, Border West coach Paul Frisch said, “Don’t let him breathe.”

Allowing one point the entire tournament, Sykora didn’t let anyone breathe.

“I know I can beat anyone,” Sykora said. “When I wrestle at my best, I’m one of the best kids in the country.”

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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