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Storm makes strides in Kiffmeyer Duals

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SRR tops Cougars with team effort


       The annual Kiffmeyer Duals can present some razor-thin victory margins as teams battle to the bitter end for St. Cloud supremacy.
    For the Sauk-Rapids Rice Storm wrestling team, however, razor-thin does not accurately describe their second-round win over Lakeville South.
    Hunter Farnick picked up six points in a win by fall at heavyweight as the Storm defeated the Cougars 37-36 and finished sixth in the eight-team tournament Jan. 11 at Tech High School in St. Cloud.
    “We had a very strong performance by a lot of our wrestlers to win that dual,” said Cole Wilson, SRR wrestling head coach. “It takes a whole bench of guys bringing the energy to carry out a win in that fashion.”
    Winning against the resilient Cougars was an admirable feat; the Storm needed to recover in the final match of the dual to seize victory after taking a significant lead early. SRR dominated early classes with Alex Diederich and Jared Spohn picking up five points each with technical fall wins.
    Sean Christopherson, wrestling in the 113 pound weight class, toppled Nick Thomas by fall at two minutes, 56 seconds, giving the Storm an early 11-0 advantage as its bench’s energy continued to lift its fellow wrestlers.
    “We need to continue to work on bringing the energy into every match,” Wilson said. “To be successful, our bench needs to be there for whomever is out on the mat.”
    The Cougars, behind a huge tide-turning 8-5 decision win from No. 10 Ryan Cripe in the 138 pound weight class, put together a sharp comeback effort, turning a 25-point deficit into a two-point lead.
    Cole Ackerman’s win by fall at 0:20 gave the Storm the lead once again, and Farnick secured the one-point escape with a timely triumph by fall at 2:13.
    The win was a coordinated bounce-back effort as the Storm kicked off its Kiffmeyer appearance with a 61-12 stumble to the New Prague Trojans who went on to win the entire event. Farnick shut down No. 9 Evan Anderson by fall at 1:01 to conclude the one-sided first-round match on a positive note.
    “Rankings can be very arbitrary and our guys know that,” Wilson said. “They’re aware of how they need to go out and compete at a high level, regardless of who is across the mat.”
    SRR concluded a mixed bag of a tournament with a 48-28 loss to host Tech-Apollo. Andrew Wollak picked up his first win of the day, besting Brett Kayfes by fall at 1:58, while Spohn and Sawyer Simmons compiled back-to-back wins by fall.
    After a laborious stretch of difficult road matchups, SRR hosts its first home match of the season, facing the Tech-Apollo cooperative once more at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School in Sauk Rapids.
    “It’s always exciting to compete in your own gym,” Wilson said. “We don’t get many home events. We have great support from our parents and fans, but it will be nice to put on a show for the home crowd.”
    106: Diederich went 2-1. He lost by technical fall, won by technical fall and won by forfeit. 113: Christopherson went 1-1. He won by fall at 2:56 and lost by fall at 1:42. 120: Brayden Ness went 1-2. He lost by fall at 1:39, won by forfeit and lost by fall at 3:50. 126: Spohn went 2-1. He lost in an 8-4 decision, won by technical fall and won by fall at 0:29. 132: Simmons went 2-1. He lost in a 14-8 decision, won in an 8-5 decision and won by fall at 2:01. 138: Wollak went 1-2. He lost in an 11-0 major decision, lost in an 8-5 decision and won by fall at 1:59. 145: Dante Haywood went 0-3. He lost in a 10-2 major decision, lost by fall at 4:54 and lost in a 5-4 decision. 152: Graham Doherty went 0-3. He lost by fall at 2:24, lost by fall at 0:47 and lost by fall at 4:35. 160: Aiden Kortuem went 0-2. He lost by fall at 1:34 and lost by fall at 1:06. 170: Ackerman went 2-1. He won by fall at 0:16, won by fall at 0:20 and lost in a 9-5 decision. 182: Matt Krepp went 0-3. He lost by fall at 1:49, lost by fall at 2:14 and lost by fall at 3:11. 195: Aden Rollins went 0-2. He lost by fall at 1:16 and lost in a 2-1 decision. 220: Dane Dingmann went 0-3. He lost by fall at 1:15, lost by fall at 3:48 and lost by fall at 1:10. 285: Farnick went 3-0. He won by fall at 1:01, won by fall at 2:13 and won in a 16-2 major decision.
Willmar 51, 
Sauk Rapids-Rice 18
    The Willmar Cardinals have been a staple of the Minnesota State High School League Wrestling Tournament for almost a decade.
    Their potent presence on the mat was once again evident in a 51-18 dual match win over the Storm Jan. 9 at Willmar High School in Willmar.
    The Cardinals got off to a vivacious start, winning the first three matches as the Storm’s Diederich and Ness fell in 14-7 and 7-2 decisions, respectively.
    Seniors Spohn and Farnick earned wins by fall, with the former taking down Marco Sanchez at 0:16 and the latter grinding out a competitive win by fall over Peter Coverdell at 2:09.
    After Spohn’s impressive victory, however, the Cardinals reestablished themselves, keyed by solid performers such as Class AAA’s No. 9-ranked Josh Miley and No. 7 Kaden Streed in the 145 pound weight class and 195 pound weight class, respectively.
    Willmar fired off six consecutive weight class wins before Krepp picked up a triumph by forfeit.
    Streed took down Rollins by fall at 1:24 as Willmar continues to threaten the top 10 in the Class AAA team rankings.
    106: Diederich lost in a 14-7 decision. 113: Christopherson lost by fall at 5:24. 120: Ness lost in a 7-2 decision. 126: Spohn won by fall at 0:16. 132: Simmons lost in a 5-0 decision. 138: Wollak lost in a 2-1 decision. 145: Sauk Rapids-Rice forfeited. 152: Doherty lost by fall at 1:04. 160: Kortuem lost by fall at 1:46. 170: Ackerman lost in a 10-8 decision. 182: Krepp won by forfeit. 195: Rollins lost by fall at 2:58. 220: Dingmann lost by fall at 1:24. 285: Farnick won by fall at 2:09. read more