Wrestling against the best competition the Tigers will see all season, Joshua Norder, Cole Wellner and Jacob Steiger all survived their battles and won medals at the Lee Wolf Invitational in Aberdeen on Saturday.
Norder used a pair of pins to earn a fifth-place finish at 195 pounds. All four of his matches were against Class A wrestlers. He took fifth by pinning JC Andes of Mandan at the 1:21 mark. Norder was pinned by Gunner Ristau in the first round, came back to pin Kamaron Christensen of Huron, but was pinned by Dillon Stoebner of Aberdeen Central trying to wrestle back for the third-place match.
“Last year he went 0-2 at Lee Wolf,” said coach Nathan Ford. “This year he went out, won a couple matches and got some hardware in his last Lee Wolf. For him to go out and get those wins was big.”
Cole Wellner took sixth place at 220 pounds. The freshman had to fight through six matches to garner his medal. He pinned Samson Flakus of Aberdeen Central in the first round, but was pinned by tourney champion Marshall Baldwin of Canton in the second round. He got back to the medal rounds with pins over Hunter Harvey of Bismarck Century and Ruger Forester of Chamberlain. His tourney ended with losses to Preston Norrid of Winner Area and Tristan Cardona of Huron.
“Cole went out there with a winning attitude and it paid off,” said Ford. “He looked good this weekend.”
Steiger finished seventh at 132 pounds with both losses coming against ranked Class A wrestlers.
After drawing a bye, Steiger lost an 8-4 match to Beau Beavers of Sioux Falls O’Gorman. He beat Hunter Rucktaeschel of Webster Area 15-6, but lost another 8-4 battle, this time to Eli Leonhardt of Sioux Falls Roosevelt. In the seventh-place match, Steiger put Braden Senger of Aberdeen Central to his back and won by pin.
Ford said Steiger was in what was easily the toughest weight division in the tournament.
“This was a lot tougher than state will be,” said Ford. “He wrestled well, but those A guys, they’re used to wrestling good opponents. In B, you get a lot of guys who are filling weight classes so you don’t get as many good opponents.”
While the rest of the team had brief 0-2 appearances in the tourney, Ford felt they all went out and made their opponents work hard for wins and they all gained valuable experiences they can use in the future.
The Tigers look for conference titles this weekend, competing in the Big Dakota Conference Tournament in Ft. Pierre on Saturday.
The BDC has evolved into a big tournament the last few years. The Tigers will not only compete against Big Dakota Conference foes, Stanley County, Chamberlain, Cheyenne-Eagle Butte/Dupree, McLaughlin, Miller/Highmore-Harrold, Todd County and Winner Area, but also against Faith, Groton Area, Harding County, Kimball/White Lake/Platte-Geddes, Little Wound, Lyman, Marion/Freeman, Parkston, Pine Ridge, Potter County, Redfield Area, Sully Buttes, Sunshine Bible Academy and Wessington Springs/Woonsocket/Wolsey-Wessington.
Lee Wolf Invitational
Team Scores: Canton 237, Watertown 232.5, Bismarck Century, N.D., 152, Winner Area 137.5, Chamberlain 116.5, Aberdeen Central 112.5, Huron 107.5, Sioux Falls Roosevelt 91.5, Jamestown, N.D., 90.5, Bismarck Legacy, N.D., 68.5, Clark/Willow Lake 61, Sioux Falls O’Gorman 59, Mandan, N.D., 39, Mobridge-Pollock 31, Webster Area 28, Potter County 23.
106: Taylon Carmody (7-4): was pinned by Evan Fleck, Mandan, 3:52; was pinned by Maxton Brozik, Winner Area, 2:56.
113: Wyatt Wientjes (10-12): was pinned by Neal Bohrer, Bismarck Century, :28; was pinned by Cole Ochsner, Huron, 1:33.
120: Remmington Ford (10-17): was pinned by Jude Sargent, Winner Area, 5:19; was defeated by Will Radke, Huron, 7-2.
132: Jacob Steiger (33-5): was defeated by Beau Beavers, Sioux Falls O’Gorman, 8-4; defeated Hunter Rucktaeschel, Webster Area, 15-6 major decision; was defeated by Eli Leonardt, Sioux Falls Roosevelt, 8-4; pinned Braden Senger, Aberdeen Central, 4:09.
145: Kamron Pearman (17-13): was pinned by Ben Weigum, Bismarck Century, 1:33; was defeated by Braydon Steuck, Aberdeen Central, 7-3.
160: Trent Two Hearts (7-20): was pinned by Gage Burke, Clark/Willow Lake, 2:55; was pinned by Cruiz Vaughn, Sioux Falls Roosevelt, 3:48.
182: Jesse Bearsheart (8-12): was pinned Jayden Hartford, Watertown, :29; was defeated by Sam Loecker, Sioux Falls O’Gorman, 10-3.
195: Joshua Norder (17-13): was pinned by Gunner Ristau, Chamberlain, 5:45; pinned Kamaron Christensen, Huron, 4:16; was pinned by Dillon Stoebner, Aberdeen Central, 1:23; pinned JC Andes, Mandan, 1:21.
220: Cole Wellner (15-13): pinned Samson Flakus, Aberdeen Central, 1:01; was pinned by Marshall Baldwin, Canton, 1:11; pinned Hunter Harvey, Bismarck Century, :46; pinned Ruger Forester, Chamberlain, :1:17; was pinned by Preston Norrid, Winner Area, :58; was pinned by Tristan Cardona, Huron, 2:35.