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Several successful South Dakota high school wrestlers are testing themselves this weekend at the USAW National Freestyle Duals in Oklahoma.

The South Dakota team has 13 members, including several West River wrestlers. State champion Morgan Engbrecht of Sturgis and and state runner-up Nate Rotert of Spearfish lead the way. Other area wrestlers competing are Rapid City Central?s Kyle Pfeifle, Hill City?s Marshall Swanson and Spearfish?s Gene Trimble.

The rest of the South Dakota roster is Derek Eldeen and Zach Schuman of Tri-Valley, Rick Heiman, Levi Merrick and Lance Merrick of Alcester, Ben Fichter of O?Gorman, Lucas Martin of Mobridge and Taylor Harris of Harrisburg.

This is the fourth consecutive year that a South Dakota team will compete in the tournament. Thirty-two teams are set to compete, with South Dakota expected to wrestle between seven and 10 duals during Sunday and Monday

action.

?Wrestling freestyle makes the wrestlers more well-rounded, and any wrestling during the summer is a great thing,?

SDUSAW state chair Ray Ringstmeyer said. ?The wrestlers learn new techniques and they see some top-notch competition.

?This tournament is a real grinder and it is for the kids that really want to challenge themselves. Other tournaments can be more fun, but this is a good tournament.?

The team reported to Legends of Gold Training Center in Beresford on Tuesday, where it trained. Terry Pack and recently retired Howard and USAW Gold Level coach Kenny Ruml are leading this year?s squad.

Ringstmeyer said continuing to grow the freestyle team in South Dakota is key.

?It is really important because we lost a great senior class,? he said. ?Last year, we lost Seth Lange and Josh Keszler, and this year we lost Kris Klapprodt. This year is one where we kind of had to rebuild and reload.?

The Greco-Roman competition follows freestyle.

For Article by Jeff Budlong, Rapid City Journal