Nationally ranked teams, wrestlers battle in Minnesota

West Fargo's Jordan Shearer is the top seed at 126 pounds (Photo/Jeff Beshey, The Guillotine)

Come mid-December every year, the Minnesota Christmas Tournament serves as a rigorous early season examination within the Gopher State. Four nationally ranked teams and 13 ranked wrestlers will be part of the excellent field that convenes upon the UCR Regional Sports Center on the campus of Rochester Community & Technical College.

Leading the field is No. 4 Apple Valley, Minn., No. 5 St. Michael-Albertville, Minn., No. 14 Simley, Minn., and No. 18 Kasson-Mantorville, Minn. This tournament field features all the top ten in Minnesota Class 3A per The Guillotine -- Apple Valley and St. Michael-Albertville leading that division in the rankings; four of the top five teams in Class 2A -- Simley and Kasson-Mantorville the top two in that division; Jackson County Central, the top-ranked Class 1A (small-school) team; West Fargo and Bismarck, the best two teams in North Dakota; and Lancaster, the top ranked team in Wisconsin Division III (small-school).

Wrestling starts this afternoon (Dec. 14) at 2 p.m. CT. Saturday morning wrestling starts at 9:30 a.m. CT with the quarterfinals, semifinals and all of consolation wrestling also in that session, with the medal matches for first through eighth place slated for a 4:30 p.m. CT start.

Weight-by-Weight Breakdown:

106: Leading the way here is the top seed Kael Knowlen (Bismarck, N.D.), fourth last year in the state tournament at 113 pounds and third in Junior Greco-Roman at 106 pounds. State qualifiers Aaron Dick (St. Michael-Albertville, Minn.) and Cortez Arredondo (Simley, Minn.) are the second and fourth seeds.

113: 2011 Cadet Triple Crown winner Gannon Volk (Apple Valley, Minn.) is the top seed in this weight class. Seeded second is Mitch McKee (St. Michael-Albertville), a state runner-up last year as an eighth grader who is ranked No. 17 at 106 pounds. State qualifier Garrett Wangsness (Albert Lea, Minn.) is the third seed, Cadet Triple Crown winner Hunter Marko (Amery, Wis.) is the fourth seed

120: A pair of nationally ranked two-time state champions leads the way in this weight class, No. 2 Tommy Thorn (St. Michael-Albertville, Minn.) and Doug Miner (Spirit Lake Park, Iowa). Two-time state runner-up Jared Johnshoy (Prior Lake, Minn.) is the third seed, and state champion Maolu Woiwor (Apple Valley, Minn.) is the fourth seed. Two additional state runners-up, Trevor Westerlund (Albert Lea, Minn.) and Cole Martin (Lancaster, Wis.) are the five and six seeds; while two-time state placer Nick O'Brien (Wayzata, Minn.) is the seventh seed.

126: The top seed in this weight class is three-time state champion Jordan Shearer (West Fargo, N.D.). Freshman Griffin Parriott (New Prague, Minn.), a state runner-up in eighth grade last year and a placer at the Preseason Nationals last month, is the No. 2 seed. Two-time state finalist, and 2010 state champion, Nate Thomas (Kasson-Mantorville, Minn.) is the third seed, state fourth-place finishers James Pleski (Forest Lake, Minn.) and Zach Siegle (Scott West, Minn.) are seeded fourth and fifth, while state third placers Kyle Mezara (Lancaster, Wis.) and Tanner Mills (St. Michael-Albertville, Minn.) are sixth and seventh seeds respectively.

Keep in mind that even with the absence of two-time state champion Seth Gross (Apple Valley, Minn.), a two-time Cadet National freestyle champion ranked No. 12 nationally at 126 pounds, both the 126 and 132 weight classes possess excellent depth.

132: Two-time state champion, and three-time state finalist Kyle Gliva (Simley, Minn.) is the top seed in this weight class. Seeded second here is eighth grader Brady Berge (Kasson-Mantorville, Minn.), who was a state champion last year at 106 pounds. Two-time state placer Mark Voss (St. Michael-Albertville), who was a state runner-up last year, is the third seed in this weight. Voss is also a two-time JJ Classic placewinner, finishing fifth in 2011 and runner-up this year. State fifth-place finishers Luke Rowh (Hastings, Minn.) and Elliott Jurries (Jackson County Central, Minn.) are the fourth and fifth seeds.

138: State champion Colton Laganiere (Kasson-Mantorville, Minn.) is the top seed in this weight class. Seeded second here is three-time state placer Cole Sladek (St. Michael-Albertville, Minn.). 2011 state champion Brett Stolarczyk (Stewartville, Minn.) is the third seed. State placer Weston Droegmuller (Wayzata, Minn.) is the fourth seed. Also to note are state runner-up Kolin Kragnes (West Fargo, N.D.) and 2010 state placer Wayne Voss (Simley, Minn.), the sixth and eighth seeds.

145: The nation's No. 1 ranked wrestler Jake Short (Simley, Minn.) leads the way in this weight class. Primary challengers to the three-time state champion in this weight class are two-time state placer Travis Holt (Cambridge-Isanti, Minn.), who is seeded second; Trenton Cornell (Lancaster, Wis.), a state runner-up seeded third; third in the state Lincoln Mallinger (St. Michael-Albertville, Minn.), who is seeded fourth; and state runner-up Weston Dobler (West Fargo, N.D.), who is seeded sixth.

152: Yet another national No. 1 ranked wrestler is present in this tournament, and that is two-time state champion Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), who is only a freshman. He leads the way in this weight class. Rounding out the top seeds in this weight class are state fourth placer Mack Short (Simley, Minn.), state third placer Andrew Fogarty (Scott West, Minn.), state runner-up Hartman Katz (Huron, S.D.), state fourth placer Luke Norland (Jackson County Central, Minn.), and state fifth placer Kyle Kragnes (West Fargo, N.D.)

160: Two-time state champion Ryan Blees (Bismarck, N.D.), a Preseason Nationals runner-up and Super 32 Challenge placer who is ranked No. 9 nationally, is the top seed and favorite in this weight class. Second seed here is state runner-up, JJ Classic champion, and Preseason Nationals champion Dayton Racer (Apple Valley, Minn.). Two-time state placer Cody Skog (Cambridge-Isanti, Minn.) is the third seed, former state champion Anjelo Shepherd (West Fargo, N.D.) the fourth seed, and state champion Ethan Soderstrom (Lancaster, Wis.) is the fifth seed.

170: Two-time state champion and Junior National freestyle runner-up Nick Wanzek (Simley, Minn.), who is ranked No. 4 nationally, is the top seed and favorite in this weight class. State champion Darick Vancura (Jackson County Central, Minn.) and 2010 state champion Daniel Woiwor (Apple Valley, Minn.) -- ranked No. 7 nationally at 160 -- are the second and third seeds. State fifth placer Tommy Longendyke (White Bear Lake, Minn.) and state fourth placer Jordan Joseph (St. Michael-Albertville, Minn.) are the fourth and fifth seeds, while state qualifier Korben Hansen (Kasson-Mantorville, Minn.) is the sixth seed.

182: Two-time state champion Preston Lehman (West Fargo, N.D.), who is ranked No. 7 nationally at 195 pounds, is the top seed and favorite in this weight class. State runner-up and FILA Cadet freestyle All-American Drew Kary (Bismarck, N.D.) is the two sed.

195: Two-time state champion Broc Berge (Kasson-Mantorville), a Junior National freestyle runner-up ranked No. 5 nationally, is the top seed and favorite in this weight class. However, nipping at his heels will be second seed Lance Benick (Totino Grace, Minn.), a state champion and Cadet Triple Crown winner who is ranked No. 15 nationally at 182 pounds. Seeded third is state runner-up Ricky Briggs (St. Michael-Albertville, Minn.).

220: State qualifier Paul Cheney (Apple Valley, Minn.) is the top seed in this weight class. Seeded second is state qualifier Michael Kessler (St. Michael-Albertville, Minn.). The third seed is Jackson Ryan (Simley, Minn.), a returning state qualifier.

285: A pair of nationally ranked wrestlers lead the way in this weight class, two-time state placer Sam Stoll (Kasson-Mantorville, Minn.) and state champion Michael Burckhardt (Coon Rapids, Minn.). Top seeded Stoll is ranked No. 4, while second seeded Burkhardt is No. 15 nationally. State champion Joe Schiller (Totino-Grace, Minn.) is the third seed.


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Widowmaker (1) about 5 years ago
How can Daniel Woiwor (Apple Valley, Minn.) be ranked No. 7 nationally at 160 when he will never wrestle that weight all year? Must be running from Blees or his own Teamate Racer,
AVwrestlingfan (1) about 5 years ago
You have no idea what you are talking about. He wrestled 170 because that's where his team needed him. It's a pretty common thing for good team players to do. Don't be so ignorant. Woiwor has never run from anyone.
Widowmaker (1) about 5 years ago
Benick whips Berg sends him Packing to IOWA
Widowmaker (1) about 5 years ago
Sam Stoll, Could be the next Great MN Gopher HWT? He creates his own Destiny. The "Vanilla Gorilla" Mocco left Iowa because of the "Banty Roster" Syndrome.