Apple Valley makes statement in Rochester

Andrew Hipps, InterMatWrestle Senior Editor, Twitter: @InterMat

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ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Apple Valley, Minn., ranked fourth nationally in the Fab 50, made a statement at the Minnesota Christmas Tournament on Saturday night in Rochester, Minn., winning the team title by 94 points over No. 8 Simley, at an event that included four nationally ranked teams.

Apple Valley's Mark Hall defeated Simley's Jake Short in the finals at 145 pounds (Photo/Jeff Beshey, The Guillotine)Five Eagle wrestlers captured titles: Seth Gross (120), Dayton Racer (138), Mark Hall (145), Mason Manville (152), and Brandon Kingsley (160).

Gross, a Cadet National freestyle champion, registered an 8-3 victory over nationally ranked Kyle Gliva of Simley in the finals. Gross was taken down early in the match and trailed 2-0, but came back to pick up a takedown in each of the three periods, without surrendering another one, to take the victory.

Racer, a freshman, was dominant at 138 pounds, going 5-0 with two pins and outscoring his other three opponents by a combined score of 24-2. In the finals Racer won by technical fall, 15-0, over Cadet National folkstyle All-American Lincoln Mallinger of St. Michael-Albertville.

Hall, the nation's No. 1 junior high wrestler, claimed his second Minnesota Christmas Tournament title in as many years with a 3-0 shutout victory over Simley's Jake Short, a Junior National folkstyle champion and Junior National freestyle runner-up. Hall led 1-0 in the third after Short chose to give up the escape. With 40 seconds left, Hall scored a takedown off a lighting quick duckunder to go up 3-0, which is how the match would end.

Manville, the nation's No. 4 junior high wrestler, put together a very impressive weekend, beating Junior National folkstyle champion Nick Wanzek of Simley, 8-5, in the semifinals, before winning 4-2 over state champion Gabe Fogary of Scott West in the finals. Manville led 4-0 in the third period of his finals match before giving up a late reversal, but it was too little too late for Fogarty.

Kingsley, a three-time state champion and one of the nation's top seniors, was untested throughout the weekend, going 5-0 with four pins and a technical falls. His victory in the finals came by pin over Darick Vancura of Jackson Country Central.

Gross, Hall, and Kingsley were all InterMat JJ Classic champions this year, while Manville placed third.

Forest Lake's Ben Morgan defeated Apple Valley's Dakota Trom at 132 pounds in a battle of future Big Ten wrestlers (Photo/Jeff Beshey, The Guillotine)Forest Lake's Ben Morgan was named Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament after beating Apple Valley's Dakota Trom, 5-3, to claim the title at 132 pounds in a battle of future Big Ten wrestlers. (Morgan has signed with Nebraska; Trom with Minnesota.) Morgan used two nearfall points in the second period and a reversal in the third period to pace him to the victory.

St. Michael Albertville, ranked 39th nationally, crowned two champions, Tommy Thorn (113) and Cole Sladek (126), which helped the Knights to a third-place finish, 16.5 points behind runner-up Simley.

Thorn's victory in the finals came over InterMat JJ Classic runner-up Jordan Shearer of West Fargo, 9-3. Thorn, a Cadet National freestyle champion, picked up an early takedown and whipped Shearer to his back to go up 4-0 and never looked back.

Sladek, a Cadet National freestyle All-American, topped state champion Pedro DeLao of Simley, 10-6, in the finals. Sladek registered two takedowns in the first and third periods and controlled the bout from the onset.

Kasson Mantorville's Broc Berge took the title at 195 pounds (Photo/Jeff Beshey, The Guillotine)Kasson-Mantorville's Broc Berge (195) and Scott West's Michael Kroells (220), both returning state champions, repeated as Minnesota Christmas Tournament champions.

Berge was dominant all weekend, going 5-0 with four pins and a technical fall victory, 20-5, over Apple Valley's Paul Cheney in the finals at 195 pounds.

Kroells, an InterMat JJ Classic champion, had four pins and an 8-0 major decision victory in the finals over Nick Edling of St. Michael-Albertville. Kroells, who is ranked fourth nationally at 220 pounds, signed with the University of Minnesota.

Spirit Lake Park's Doug Miner, a state champion last year, improved upon his third-place finish last year to take the title at 106 pounds, pinning seventh-grader Brady Berge of Kasson-Mantorville using a cradle in the finals. Berge is the nation's fifth-ranked junior high wrestler.

Jackson County's Cooper Moore won the 170-pound weight class that included three nationally ranked wrestlers. Moore, who signed with Northern Iowa, proved to be too much for Anoka's Kyle Begin in the finals, coming away with a 10-3 victory. Begin defeated nationally ranked Ben Sullivan of Apple Valley, 10-4, in the semifinals.

Individual Champions (Photo/Jeff Beshey, The Guillotine)Simley's lone champion was Micah Barnes at 182 pounds. Barnes, a Junior National freestyle All-American, edged West Fargo's Preston Lehmann, 7-6, in a battle of nationally ranked wrestlers.

Kasson-Mantorville's Sam Stoll, a Cadet National double champion, claimed the heavyweight title by blanking Coon Rapids' Tanner Lowe, 7-0, in the finals.

Finals Results:
106: Doug Miner (Spirit Lake Park) pinned Brady Berge (Kasson-Mantorville), 3:41
113: No. 11 Tommy Thorn (St. Michael-Albertville) dec. Jordan Shearer (West Fargo), 9-3
120: Seth Gross (Apple Valley) dec. No. 18 Kyle Gliva (Simley), 8-3
126: Cole Sladek (St. Michael-Albertville) dec. Pedro DeLao (Simley), 10-6
132: No. 12 Ben Morgan (Forest Lake) dec. No. 11 Dakota Trom (Apple Valley), 5-3
138: Dayton Racer (Apple Valley) tech. fall Lincoln Mallinger (St. Michael-Albertville), 15-0
145: No. 9 Mark Hall (Apple Valley) dec. No. 3 Jake Short (Simley), 3-0
152: Mason Manville (Apple Valley) dec. Gabe Fogarty (Scott West), 4-2
160: No. 5 Brandon Kingsley (Apple Valley) pinned Darick Vancura (Jackson County Central), 3:38
170: No. 14 Cooper Moore (Jackson County Central) dec. No. 11 Kyle Begin (Anoka), 10-3
182: No. 9 Micah Barnes (Simley) dec. No. 20 Preston Lehmann (West Fargo), 7-6
195: Broc Berge (Kasson-Mantorville) tech. fall Paul Cheney (Apple Valley), 20-5
220: No. 4 Michael Kroells (Scott West) maj. dec. Nick Edling (St. Michael-Albertville), 8-0
285: No. 10 Sam Stoll (Kasson-Mantorville) dec. No. 15 Tanner Lowe (Coon Rapids), 7-0

Team Standings (Top 10):
1. No. 4 Apple Valley 291.5
2. No. 8 Simley 197.5
3. No. 39 St. Michael-Albertville 181
4. Scott West 177
5. No. 42 Kasson-Mantorville 148.5
6. West Fargo 127
7. Forest Lake 125.5
8. Albert Lea 121.5
9. Cambridge-Isanti 117.5
10. Jackson County Central 108