Wrestling: Bombers take third at home inviteThe Cannon Falls/Randolph wrestling team put forth a well-rounded effort in its home individual invitational Saturday, finishing third out of 13 teams.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
The Cannon Falls/Randolph wrestling team put forth a well-rounded effort in the 16th annual Cannon Falls Invitational Saturday, finishing third out of 13 teams.
The Bombers had 10 wrestlers place in the tournament, including two champions and two runners-up in their respective weight classes. Sophomore Paul Fitterer and junior Clay Broze won their titles at 106 pounds and 220 pounds, respectively, for Cannon Falls/Randolph. The unranked Bombers garnered 168.50 points while seventh-ranked (3A) Shakopee took first place with 216 points, one point ahead of eighth-ranked (3A) Hastings in second place.
“The four guys we had in finals did a good job today,” Bombers head coach Dudley Flodeen said. “As a team, we wrestled a little sluggish. … We haven’t done much competition-wise since the middle of December.”
Fitterer, ranked second in Class 2A at 106 pounds, showed little rust in winning the 106 pound individual title. He had a bye in the first round, defeated Hastings’ TJ Pottinger by 20-5 technical fall in his second round match, bested Ben Adamson, of Byron, by 6-2 decision in the quarterfinals and won a 2-1 decision against Benilde-St. Margaret’s Jake Allar, ranked fourth in Class 2A, in the championship match. Fitterer used one reversal in the second period of his match against Allar and held on to get the victory.
“I just got in good position and capitalized on it,” Fitterer said. “It’s always good to win in front of your home crowd but it’s just another tournament. It’s nice to do things you expect to do.”
Ninth-grader Ryan Epps picked up a second place finish at 113 pounds for the Bombers, senior Tyler Wilson took fourth at 120 pounds, junior Keston Lopez finished third at 126 pounds and junior Connor Rohr was fifth at 132 pounds.
At 138 pounds, senior Roman Wundrow wrestled for first place against 10th-ranked (3A) Owen Webster, of Shakopee, but dropped a 7-1 decision to take second.
Cannon Falls/Randolph got consecutive place winners as junior Sterling Carlson took sixth at 152 pounds and junior Derek Johnson finished fourth at 160 pounds in a close 13-9 decision loss against Lake Crystal-Welcome/Memorial’s Davantay Corey.
Senior Justin Miest took control of his match at 170 pounds against Ari Hamitz, of Lake Crystal-Welcome/Memorial, securing a pinfall for the Bombers in 1 minute, 15 seconds for third place.
Broze’s run to the title at 220 pounds included a first round bye and a 5-3 decision in the second round over Tom Lodermeier, of Hastings. In the third round, Broze, ranked fifth in Class 2A, pinned St. Charles’ Caleb Small in 3:30 to set up the final match against Kimball’s Tim Konz, ranked sixth in Class A at 220 pounds.
The two wrestled to a 1-1 tie at the end of three periods and were headed for another scoreless overtime period when Broze tried a risky headlock in the final seconds. The move worked as Broze scored the takedown and a 3-1 victory.
“I tried to wait until the end of the period,” Broze said. “I tried to keep it close and not do anything stupid. It feels good, he was a tough kid.”
Much of Cannon Falls/Randolph’s success Saturday can be attributed to a deep lineup, a luxury not as readily available in past years.
“It was nice to get points from everyone,” said Flodeen. “This was a pretty tough tournament. We might take a loss somewhere but we’ll get it back. That’s something we haven’t had in awhile; the potential to win a match at any weight.”
Next up, the Bombers travel to Tri-City United Jan. 12. The competition Saturday was a good test but Flodeen hopes it was just the beginning of the progression for Cannon Falls/Randolph.
“All I really care is we keep getting better,” he said. “Sections is where we want to peak.”