Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus Road Crew wrestlers Anthony Philipson, Justin Mackenthun and Jared Adkins each won one of three matches in individual competition at the Class AA state tournament on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 27 and March 1, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Philipson (106 pounds) and Mackenthun (182) lost their opening matches before splitting a pair of matches in the wrestleback round. Adkins (heavyweight) won his opening match before losing in the quarterfinals and in the wrestlebacks.
Philipson (who finishes with a 34-4 record) lost his opening match 11-9 against AJ Bethea of Hibbing. Bethea got the first takedown and Philipson played catch up. It was an even match with the wrestlers exchanging takedowns and escapes. Bethea ended up getting four takedowns to Anthony’s three. With 13 seconds remaining Philipson let AJ up in order to get a two-point takedown, but Bethea fought it off and won.
“Anthony defeated Bethea at the Big Bear,” said Road Crew head coach Travis Hoffarth, “but this is state. Just being here means you are among the best and anything can happen. “
Bethea, who eventually finished fifth, won his next match to guarantee another match for Philpson, who then defeated Hser Eh Pwae of Worthington 5-2.
Trailing 2-0 after the second period, Philipson got a reversal and three near-fall points for the win. Philipson then lost 4-2 against Jake Gliva of Simley who had a 38-9 season record. Two takedowns by Gliva outscored a pair of escapes for Philipson, who ends his career as one of the career team leaders with 140 wins, and was a three-time state entrant.
Mackenthun (32-6) was making his debut as an individual qualifier, and opened with a 7-5 loss to Jackson Striggow of Orono, who is 39-7. Striggow got the first takedown, but Mackenthun escaped. In the third period Striggow gave up a point for stalling, but came back with a takedown to win. Striggow, who finished fifth, won his next match so allow Mackenthun to continue wrestling.
Mackenthun defeated Gonnon Jordahl of Hutchinson 9-4 as he scored seven points in the second period with a reversal, three near-fall points and two for a takedown. Mackenthun then lost 7-4 against to Brian Bertram of Byron.
Adkins (26-9) opened with a 3-2 win over Sam Anderson of Totino Grace, who he had defeated the previous day in team competition in triple overtime.
Adkins advanced to defeat Jake Lehmann (42-7) of Dawson Boyd/Montevideo 8-1. Adkins got a reversal and three near-fall points in the second period. Adkins then lost 5-1 to Blake Mauss (36-7) of Caledonia.
More than 100 family and fans welcomed the Road Crew home from the state tournament on Sunday, March 2, at the Pequot Lakes Athletic Center.
Marc Helmrichs, Pequot Lakes’ activities director, welcomed the crowd and then stated how he appreciated the effort of the team and the coaches. Helmrichs told the wrestlers that they should bring the hard work ethic and dedication they showed in wrestling into their adult lives. He also stated that he had received e-mails from other schools stating how well our fans and team behaved.
Hoffarth acknowledged the impact the nine seniors had on the team and showed the younger wrestlers how they can have an impact on the program and set a goal to go onto state.
“The seniors feed off of each other and worked together,” he said.
Senior Triston Rubner thanked the coaches and their parents while Mackenthun said the experience showed that the two schools, who are rivals in other sports, could work together and reach state.
Class AA state individual
106: First round: A.J. Berthea (Hibbing) dec. Anthony Philipson (Road Crew) 11-9; Wrestlebacks: Philipson dec. Hser Eh Pwae (Worthington) 5-2, Jake Gliva (Simley) dec. Philipson 4-2
182: First round: Jackson Striggow (Orono) dec. Justin Mackenthun (Road Crew) 7-5. Wrestlebacks: Mackenthun dec. Gannon Jordahl (Hutchinson) 9-4, Brian Bertram (Byron) dec. Mackenthun 7-4
285: First round: Jared Adkins (Road Crew) dec. Sam Anderson (Totino Grace) 3-2. Quarterfinals: Jake Lehmann (Dawson Boyd/Montiviedo) dec. Adkins 8-1. Wrestlebacks: Blake Mauss (Caledonia) dec. Adkins 5-2