Seven Owatonna Wrestlers Get Set for State [Interviews]
The state high school individual wrestling tournament begins Friday. Seven OHS wrestlers are in the field. Four are returning place winners from 2015.
Owatonna junior Brandon Moen is making his fifth state appearance at Xcel Energy Center. He has finished third the past two seasons. He takes a 30-2 overall record into his Thursday opener against a top-10-ranked wrestler. Moen is the top seed at 195 pounds. His first trip to state as a seventh grader in 2012 was at 106 pounds.
2016 marks the fourth consecutive tournament for OHS junior Tanner Cole, who took fifth place last year. He captured the Section 1AAA title at 138 pounds by scoring a take down with just two seconds left. Cole (25-6) is seeded third at state, putting him on the opposite side of the bracket as unbeaten and top-ranked Mitchell McKee of St. Michael-Albertville.
Petyon Robb won the state title last year at 106 pounds. This season the OHS sophomore (25-3) is competing at 120 pounds and is one of two defending champions at the weight. Rhylee Molitor won the title at 113 a year ago and is the top seed. Robb is seeded third.
Cade King (24-4) captured sixth place as an eighth grader last year for Waseca. If he wins his first match Thursday, King would likely face the top seed in the second round at 132 pounds. Riley Becker (21-5) is in a similar situation where a win would probably mean a match against the top seed at 113 pounds for the freshman. It's Becker's first trip to state.
Junior Griffin Thorn (30-13) starts the tournament against the top seed in his weight class, facing top-ranked Lucas Jeske of STMA,, who carts a 40-1 record into the meet. Junior Bryce Goodwin (19-20) opens with a top-10-ranked wrestler at 145 pounds with the chance of seeing the second seed in the second round.
Individual wrestling in Class AAA starts at 11AM Friday with live coverage of all the Owatonna wrestlers on KRFO AM 1390. Class A competition starts at 1PM. Medford eighth-grader Willie Von Ruden makes his tournament debut at 120 pounds. NRHEG seniors Cordell Peterson and Wyatt Fitterer have each been at state before, but each is seeking his first medal. KRFO radio will also broadcast their matches from downtown St. Paul.