Crookston wrestling has a whopping five individuals competing at the MSHSL State Wrestling Tournament in St. Paul this weekend, its most since 2011.
In the first day of competition Friday, Zach Brown (Jr.) once again qualified for the semifinals by winning his two matches, and Ethan Boll (Fr.) remained in contention for a podium spot, while Ethan Bowman (Fr.), Carter Coauette (8) and Hunter Knutson (Fr.) were all eliminated from their first state appearance.
Brown, ranked sixth in the state at 120 pounds, went to St. Paul looking to improve on a fourth-place finish at 113 pounds last season. Brown dominated his first round match against James Jacobsen of Grand Meadow-Leroy-Ostrander, winning by 16-2 major decision, and took down Maple River’s Boden Simon by 5-1 decision in the quarterfinals.
Brown (34-9) will take on Caledonia’s Brandon Ross (33-5) in the semifinals. In Friday’s quarterfinal, Ross defeated the No. 1 seed, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove’s Ayden Horner.
Later Saturday, the winner of that bout will take on either Drayden Morton (25-3) of Sibley East (25-3) or Kelvin Andrade-Ponce (37-4) of Atwater-Cosmos-Grove CIty for the state championship.
182-pounder Boll beat sixth-ranked Carter Holtz of Kimball Area in his first match, 5-3, before falling to ninth-ranked Thomas Dineen of Benson in a close, 8-6 battle. In wrestlebacks, Boll beat Lake Crystal-Welcome Memorial’s Avery Northquest by an 11-2 major decision.
On Saturday, Boll (38-6) will take on eighth-ranked Aidan Willard (38-3) of Trinity School at River Ridge in an elimination match.
At 106 pounds, Coauette lost in his only match on Friday, falling to sixth-ranked Braden Anaya of Adrian after being pinned at 4:30. Anaya lost his second-round match, meaning Coauette would not earn a wrestleback match and ending his season with a 28-11 record.
Bowman, at 113 pounds, faced top-seeded and top-ranked Derek Steele of Sibley East in the first round, suffering a 13-0 major decision. After Steele won his quarterfinal, Bowman got a wrestleback match against Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa’s Ryan Jensen, falling in a close match by 5-4 decision. Bowman’s season ended at 35-13.
Knutson won the Section 8A individual title at 145 pounds, but had his work cut out for him to build off of it with a first-round draw of second-seeded and undefeated Trey Fairbanks of Deer River. Fairbanks recorded a fall at 1:46, sending Knutson to wrestlebacks to take on Minneota’s Blake Reiss. Knutson lost to Reiss by 14-5 decision, ending his campaign at 22-22.
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