Juniors Owen Carlson and Connor Tulenchik of the Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus Road Crew advanced to the Class 2A state championship round following state preliminary and Section 8-2A wrestling action Saturday, March 20, in Foley.
Carlson (126 pounds) and Tulenchik (170) each finished 3-0 and placed first in their weight classes at the competition that also included Section 7-2A. They advance to the state championship round at 2 p.m. Friday, March 26, at St. Michael-Albertville High School.
Carlson, 37-2 overall, earned the fifth seed at state and will face No. 4 seed Nolan Reiter of Big Lake.
“Reiter won the last meeting, which was the semifinal round of last year’s Big Bear tournament,” Road Crew coach Travis Hoffarth said of the Cass Lake event. “Everyone is tough at this stage. We also know everyone is 0-0 at state. Owen will be ready, he has had a special focus all season.”
Tulenchik, 38-1, is the top seed and will face No. 8 Keegan Lemke of Glencoe/Lester Prairie.
“Connor has his eyes on a return trip to the finals,” Hoffarth said. “He also knows he can't look past anyone. Each kid remaining at this point is seasoned, and will capitalize on a mistake.”
Easton Miller (113) and Riley Peters (285) also competed. Miller, a sophomore, lost his true-second match in the state preliminaries while Peters finished sixth. Miller finishes 28-13 while Peters ends 25-11.
Parker Zutter (106), Korey Kinyon (138), Chance Abraham (152) and Corbin Knapp (195) also wrestled on Saturday.
“This season we have had so many great accomplishments,” Hoffarth said. “We are happy with our effort at the state preliminary. We had eight kids represent our program honorably. It becomes extremely competitive when you put the top four kids from two sections together to form an eight-man bracket. A lot of good wrestlers didn't reach that level.”
Section 8-2A/state quarterfinal results:
113 - 3rd place - Easton Miller (Road Crew) dec. over Anthony Nelson (Mora) 8-3
126 - 1st place - Owen Carlson (Road Crew) dec. over Ethan Ballweber (Princeton) 4-3
170 - 1st place - Connor Tulenchik (Road Crew) dec. over Blaine Henderson (Detroit Lakes) 6-3