Collin Jensen wins state wrestling title

By Jay Davis

Collin Jensen completed the perfect season when he defeated Tanner Ovre of Canton 12-6 to win the 220-pound title at the State B Wrestling Tournament in Rapid City on Saturday.

The 12-6 win over Ovre and a state title is the culmination of a long and hard-earned career for Jensen. Wrestling for the varsity since his eighth grade year, Jensen went from placing in districts, to making it to state, to placing third in state, and capping his school record 168-win career with the state championship.

“Collin is a prime example of hard work paying off,” said coach Spencer Novotny. “He put in the hours lifting weights and working out, all the while maintaining his schoolwork. He’s a student-athlete to a T.”

While Ovre did score six points in the title tilt, the match was never in jeopardy for Jensen. In fact, four of Ovre’s six points came directly from Jensen continuing to try to do more when the match was already decidedly in his favor. Ovre recorded two reversals, which Jensen quickly disposed of and returned the favor.

“When we wrestled Ovre at the Lee Wolf, we learned some things,” said Novotny of Jensen’s 6-2 win on Jan. 28. “When we got reversed, it was boom and we were back on top again.”

Jensen’s first three opponents did not fare well at all. Jensen opened his state meet with a 29-second pin over Reis Rittel of Miller/Highmore-Harrold. Next up came Thad Johnson of Tri-Valley, who entered the state tournament at 38-1 with his only loss to Ovre in the regional championship. Johnson left the mat with two losses after Jensen ripped him apart for a 17-2 technical fall. Dyllan Knutson of Webster was made quick work of in the semifinals. Jensen pinned Knutson with three seconds left in the first period.

Novotny said one of the most impressive things about Jensen’s season was his ability to stay focused even though he was the big prey and everyone out there was hunting for the chance to take him down.

“The longer you go undefeated, the more kids want to beat you,” said Novotny. “Collin stayed focused. He had the right mindset all season long.”

The other four wrestlers who competed at state had identical weekends as all three lost then won then lost.

“That was a tough round of wrestlebacks,” said Novotny. “It’s tough for a coach to have to watch them fall one match short of placing.”

Lucas Martin was pinned by Blasé Vanacek of Bon Homme in the opener at 160 pounds. He fought back for a 7-0 win over Daniel Summers of Kingsbury County, but lost a heartbreaker 4-3 match to Kyle Scofield of Flandreau in the second-round wrestlebacks.

“Lucas was probably the most coachable kid on the team,” said Novotny. “Anything you asked him to do, he just did it.”

Teddy Lopez drew number one seed Tanner Broughton of Canton in the first round at 182 pounds and was pinned. He got a pin of his own over Tyson DeGroot of Sioux Valley in the first round of wrestlebacks, but could not advance as he was pinned by Brady Reiff of Parkston in the next round.

“It’s the best Teddy’s wrestled all year,” said Novotny. “He’s already ready for next year.”

Brady Spiry was ever so close in his two losses at 195 pounds. Spiry dropped a 3-1 decision to Nathan Gruis of Tri-Valley in the first round. He came back to pin Tony Hillmer of Miller/Highmore-Harrold in the next round, but fell just short in a 4-3 loss to Chase Monson of Clark-Willow Lake in the second-round wrestlebacks.

“He needed to win that first match,” said Novotny. “He took care of business against the Miller kid. Brady is close to being a top wrestler.”

Camerin Davis lost an 8-3 match to Evan Smith of Lyman in the first round. He turned around for a pin over Riley Broadwine of Tri-Valley in the first-round wrestlebacks, but got caught and pinned by Cole Schuelke of Clark-Willow Lake in the next round.

“Even though Camerin lost to the Lyman kid, he wrestled well,” said Novotny. “He peaked at exactly the right time and did some of his best wrestling at state.”

The departing seniors leave the programs with these career records: Jensen, 168-62; Martin, 99-60; and Davis, 66-67. Fellow senior, Sutton Sandquist, who did not qualify for state, finishes his career at 128-144.

“As a team it was a disappointing tournament for us,” said Novotny. “We had some goals we wanted to accomplish. But we’re bringing back a lot of good kids next year.”


160: Lucas Martin (48-11): was pinned by Blasé Vanacek, Bon Homme, 1:31; defeated Daniel Summers, Kingsbury County, 7-0; was defeated by Kyle Scofield, Flandreau, 4-3.

182: Teddy Lopez (24-20): was pinned by Tanner Broughton, Canton, 1:22; pinned Tyson DeGroot, Sioux Valley, 2:20; was pinned by Brady Reiff, Parkston, :49.

195: Brady Spiry (27-17): was defeated by Nathan Gruis, Tri-Valley, 3-1; pinned Tony Hillmer, Miller/Highmore-Harrold, 2:21; was defeated by Chase Monson, Clark-Willow Lake, 4-3.

220: Collin Jensen (45-0): pinned Reis Rittel, Miller/Highmore-Harrold, :29; defeated Thad Johnson, Tri-Valley, technical fall 17-2; pinned Dyllan Knudson, Webster Area, 1:57; defeated Tanner Ovre, Canton, 12-6.

285: Camerin Davis (19-23): was defeated by Evan Smith, Lyman, 8-3; pinned Riley Broadwine, Tri-Valley, 4:37; was pinned by Cole Schuelke, Clark-Willow Lake, :26.

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