Ostby and Smith make state
Luverne–The Section 3AA wrestling tournament took place at Luverne High School last Friday and Saturday, Feb. 21-22, and the Morris Area / Hancock / Chokio-Alberta Tigers had two wrestlers fight their way to the Class AA State Tournament.
Sophomore Travis Ostby was runner up at 132 pounds and senior Myles Smith was runner up at 145 pounds. Smith had to fight off at true second challenge, but prevailed with hard fought win. The top two wrestlers go to state. Jordan Thooft was in the hunt, but wound up with a fourth place finish. The Tigers had seven wrestlers place in the tournament. Ostby and Smith wrestled in the state tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 28-March 1.
The Tigers knew that in order to get to state, you need to wrestle your best and to probably beat somebody you haven’t before. Ostby and Smith really came into form in the last few weeks of the season.
Ostby was seeded No. 3 at 132 pounds with the No. 2 seed being a foe that he hadn’t found an answer for yet this year. In the opening round, Ostby received a bye. In the quarterfinals, Ostby pinned Christopher Krenz of Fairmont / Martin County West. Then he faced Spencer Suflow of United (Dawson Boyd / Lac Qui Parle Valley / Montevideo). In the conference tournament, Suflow defeated Ostby 21-7. In the Tigers dual with United, Suflow pinned Ostby in the second period. This time it was different. Ostby, from the very start, showed confidence and power. He took Suflow down immediately and then they traded a couple of points back and forth. Then Ostby kicked things into high gear and he put Suflow to his back and at the 3:24 mark in the second period and pinned him. In the championship, he met another foe that he didn’t fare well with this year and it turned out about the same. He was pinned by Logan Axford from Tracy-Milroy-Balaton / Westbrook-Walnut Grove in 2:27. Suflow took third place and there was not true second match.
Smith was also No. 3 seed. In the opening round, he pinned Cooper Olson of Tracy in 1:20. In the quarterfinals, he narrowly squeaked by Cody Michelson of Worthington winning a 13-11 decision in overtime. In the semifinals, Smith picked up the pace again and defeated the No. 2 seed Elijah Gronewold of Fairmont 8-3 to get into the finals. In the finals, he was pinned by No. 1 seed Dylan Johnson of Quad County in 2:59. Solomon Nielsen of Luverne took third place and since Smith had not wrestled him yet, Nielsen was given a true second match. Smith defeated Nielsen 14-5 to earn a trip to state.
The Tigers had two other wrestlers in the semifinals. Jordan Thooft was the No. 3 seed at 170 pounds and received a bye in the first round. In the quarters, he defeated River Zvorak of Tracy by a fall in 1:19. In the semis, Thooft lost to Joe Weeding of United by a decision 9-3. In the consolation round, he defeated Harley Luhmann of Fairmont by a fall in 1:48. In the third place match, Sam Hoppe of New Ulm took Thooft by a narrow 6-4 decision. Thooft didn’t have had a chance for a true second match since Weeding took second and they had already wrestled.
At 285 pounds, Jacob Sperr upset the No. 4 seed Trevor Wietzema of Worthington with a pin in 5:02 in the quarterfinals. Sperr then lost to the No. 1 seed and eventual champion Jake Lehmann of United by a pin in 1:12. In the consolation round, he lost by a fall in overtime to Lane Anderson of Tracy. In the fifth place match, Sperr lost to Adrian Moscoffian of Fairmont by a fall in 2:48.
Finishes for the Tigers
(Key: weight, wrestler, place, record)
106: Matt Munsterman 6th, 2-3; 113: Clint Messner 0-2; 120 Jared Rohloff 1-2; 132 Travis Ostby 2nd, 2-1; 138: Trenton Nelson 2-2; 145: Myles Smith 2nd, 4-1; 152: Max Feuchtenberger 0-2; 160: Steven Koehl 1-2; 170 Jordan Thooft 4th, 2-2; 182: Aaron Nelson 5th, 2-2; 195: Matt Vinson 6th, 1-3; 285: Jacob Sperr 6th, 1-3