The Morris Area/Hancock/Chokio-Alberta wrestling team participated in The Big Bear Tournament in Cass Lake last weekend.
The Big Bear is one of the biggest and most prestigious tournaments in Minnesota and is known for its tough competition with some of the top teams and wrestlers in the state.
The Tigers had a great showing last year with a 14th-place finish and three place winners and this year was even better. The Tigers placed 12th out of 35 teams and had five place winners including senior Connor Metzger who placed third. Also placing for the Tigers were freshman Travis Ostby taking fifth, junior Dillan Johnson finishing eighth, senior Evan Nelson in fifth place, and senior Joel Harrison in fifth place.
The Hutchinson Tigers won the team title with 213 points. Willmar was second with 164.5 points and the Tigers placed 12th with 108 points.
Seniors Connor Metzger and Evan Nelson also reached milestones recording their 60th career wins.
Metzger started his third-place run at 170 pounds with a pin over Austin Stangel of Crosby-Ironton in 2:31. In the quarter finals he lost to the eventual champion, Nathanael Holecek of Thief River Falls by a 15-5 major decision. In the consolation wrestlebacks he defeated Joe Snado of Champlin Park by pin in 2:34. He then pinned John Westman of Badger-Greenbush-Middle River in 1:24. In the consolation semi-finals he pinned Dylan Hultunen of United North Central in 1:15. He captured third place with a 7-4 decision over Jordan Heldman of Staples-Motley.
Travis Ostby placed fifth. He defeated Justin Gordon of Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale by a 12-3 major decision in the opening round. He then pinned Brett Jerome of Roseau in 4:22 in the second round. In the quarter-finals he lost to Nolan Booge of Pelican Rapids 8-4. In the consolation bracket he pinned Tae Malone of Thief River Falls in 2:35. He then pinned Tristan Jacques of Big Lake in 1:41. In the consolation semi-finals he lost to Riley Drew of Hutchinson by fall in 4:36. In the fifth-place match he avenged a loss to Booge of Pelican Rapids by pinning him in 41 seconds.
Nelson also placed fifth. He pinned Jeremy Duckstad of West Marshall in 33 seconds. He then lost to Aaron Trunt of Nashwauk-Keewatin by a 4-2 decision. In the consolation bracket he first defeated Kyle Michalek of Blackduck/Cass Lake-Bena by a 10-5 decision. He then won a 5-1 decision over Kyler Votava of Barnesville. In the consolation quarter-finals, he defeated Sam Waln of Wadena-Deer Creek 8-6 in overtime. In the consolation semi-finals he was defeated by Nate Mittag of Willmar by a 7-6 decision. He captured fifth place via a default by Logan Crosby of Bemidji.
Johnson placed eighth. After an opening round loss to Jace Loge of Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus by a 6-2 decision, Johnson defeated Robert Treuer of Bemidji by a 4-1 decision. He then defeated Eli Gunderson of Willmar by decision 8-1. In the next round he pinned Dakota Gulikson of Badger-Greenbush-Middle River in a time of 2:59. He won by a 4-2 decision over Ben Marx of Fosston-Bagley. In the consolation quarter-finals he lost again to Jace Loge, this time by a 13-5 major decision. In the seventh-place match he lost to Rylee Anderson of Barnesville by a 7-2 decision.
Harrison placed fifth. Harrison pinned T.J. Waskosky of West Central Area in 57 seconds. He then pinned David Larson of Robinsdale Cooper in 1:36. In the quarter-finals he lost by fall to Jordan Murphy of Fosston-Bagley in 2:41. In the consolation round Harrison defeated Tyshaun Brown of Thief River Falls by decision 7-1. He then won a 3-1 decision over Dalton Baker of Bertha-Hewitt-Verdale. In the consolation semi-finals he was pinned by Kyle Johnson of Barnesville in 2:53. This set up a rematch of his quarter-finals loss to Jordan Murphy where Harrison finished ahead with a 7-3 decision.
Other wrestlers in the tournament for the Tigers:
106: Matt Munsterman went 1-2 with 1 pin
113: Mitchell Ascheman went 3-2 with 2 pins
132: Phillip Messner went 1-2 with 1 pin
145: Myles Smith went 1-2 with 1 pin
152: Jordan Thooft went 1-2 with 1 pin
160: Seth Nelson went 1-2 with 1 pin
182: Aaron Nelson went 1-2
195: Alec Gausman went 2-2