Reiss 4th at state
Blake Reiss, the lone senior among the five Minneota wrestlers qualifying for the Class A State Individual Wrestling Tournament this weekend at Xcel Energy Center, came home with the fourth-place medal in the 145-pound class. “I feel pretty satisfied with how I finished the tournament,” Reiss said. “After I lost that second match, I wanted to work my way back to the placing rounds and I’m really glad I made it back to the third and fourth place match.”
Reiss (39-10) won four of six matches in his weight class. “Six matches in two days definitely takes a toll on the body,” Reiss said. “I’d say I prepare for all those matches because of our practices throughout the season that helped condition me and get me into shape. I definitely would not have finished the year how I did without them.” “Blake had an outstanding tournament; he definitely left it all on the mat,” said Coach Matt Myrvik.
“This sport is unbelievably tough to place in, and for him to finish on the podium is a credit to all the hard work and commitment he has put into this sport.” Reiss will also be an All-State recipient for Class A at 145 pounds. In his opening match, Reiss won a 14-8 decision over Aidan Ruddy of Breckenridge, then lost 11-2 to Trey Fairbanks of Deer River in the quarterfinals.
Reiss then came back in wrestlebacks and defeated Hunter Knutson of Crookston 14-5, Rece Voigt of Grand Meadow/Leroy-Ostrander 5-3, and Gabe Geiser of New York Mills 5-3 to earn a spot in the third-place match, where he lost an 8-4 decision to Canon Swenson of Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa.
“Those two 5-3 matches were tough matches against good kids,” Reiss said. “For both of those matches, I went 0-0 after the first period and managed to turn them both for a three-count in the second period.
These turns helped me hang on for the wins. I just outlasted them and outworked them in both matches, which helped me win.” Zack Fier (29-14), a freshman, and Kade Lozinski (31-12), a sophomore, each won their opening matches at 126 and 132 pounds, respectively, but lost their quarterfinal matches and finished the tournament 2-2, but did not place. Fier lost to eventual state champion Trevor Janssen of Blackduck-Cass Lake-Bena 10-2 in his quarterfinal match, and also fell in wrestlebacks to eventual third-place winner John Paul Fitzpatrick of Crosby-Ironton.
Lozinksi succumbed to eventual state runner-up Landon Gode of Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Browerville in his quarterfinal match. Jonah Gruenes (38-10), a sophomore, lost his first match to state champion Mason Gode of Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Browerville, and went 1-1 in wrestlebacks to finish 1-2. He also did not place.
Eric Carrasco (37-5), a junior, lost his opening match 10-7 to Ty Peterson of Blue Earth Area, but was eliminated from wrestlebacks when Peterson lost his quarterfinal match.
“As coaches, we could not be more proud of the effort our wrestlers put on the mat during the state tournament,” Myrvik said. “When you get to that level, experience is key and we had three returning state entrants from the year before in Blake, Eric and Kade; along with two first-time state participants in Zack and Jonah. The five Minneota wrestlers finished the tournament with a combined 9-9 record. “Eric just wrestled a little tight in that first match,” said Myrvik.
“He had opportunities to win that match, but was not able to pull it off. He had such a great season and has a lot to be proud of. “Zack, Kade and Jonah all wrestled themselves into the round before placing. All had very good tournaments and we have seen them grow so much this year, and we look for great things from them in the future.” 113 pounds
ERIC CARRASCO (37-5) First round: Lost 7-10 decision to Ty Peterson, Blue Earth Area. 126 pounds
ZACK FIER (29-14) First round: won 4-2 decision over Tyler Jensen, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa. Quarterfinals: Lost 2-10 decision to Trevor Janssen, Blackduck-Cass Lake-Bena. Wrestlebacks: Won 8-1 decision over Brien Poser, Ottertail Central. Wrestlebacks: Was pinned by John Paul Fitzpatrick, Crosby-Ironton, 2:52. 132 pounds
KADE LOZINSKI (31-12) First round: Won 10-4 decision over Seth Isola, Frazee. Quarterfinals: Was pinned by Landon Gode, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Browerville, :45. Wrestlebacks: Won 4-1 decision over Lucas Winfield, Grand Meadow/Leroy-Ostrander. Wrestlebacks: Lost 1-12 decision to Alex Nelson, Kimball Area. 138 pounds JONAH GRUENES (38-10) First round: Lost 0-9 decision to Mason Gode, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Browerville. Wrestlebacks: Won 10-0 decision over Hunter Hitchen, Fertile-Beltrami. Wrestlebacks: Lost 1-2 decision to Lincoln Carpenter, Sibley East. 145 pounds BLAKE REISS (39-10) First round: Won 14-8 decision over Aidan Ruddy, Breckenridge. Quarterfinals: Lost 2-11 decision to Trey Fairbanks, Deer River. Wrestlebacks: Won 14-5 decision to Hunter Knutson, Crookston. Wrestlebacks: Won 5-3 decision over Rece Voigt, Grand Meadow/Leroy-Ostrander. Consolation semifinals: Won 5-3 decision over Gabe Geiser, New York Mills. Third place: Lost 4-8 decision to Conor Swenson, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa.
Team Scores: CLASS A (Quarterfinals) Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City 51, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale/Parkers Prairie 18 Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove 59, Royalton-Upsala 19 Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Browerville 44, Badger/Greenbush-Middle River 25 Blue Earth Area 34, Grand Meadow/Leroy-Ostrander 32 (Semifinals) Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City 40, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove 25 Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Browerville 39, Blue Earth Area 18 (Consolation) Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale/Parkers Prairie 50, Royalton-Upsala 21 Badger-Greenbush-Middle River 39, Grand Meadow/Leroy-Ostrander 36 (Fifth Place) Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale/Parkers Prairie 47, Badger-Greenbush-Middle River 27 (Third Place) Blue Earth Area 36, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove 26 (Championship) Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Parkers Prairie 30, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City 27 CLASS AA (Fifth Place) Hutchinson 43, South St. Paul 20 (Third Place) Detroit Lakes 26, Foley 25 (Championship) Simley 48, Martin County West 10 CLASS AAA (Fifth Place) Waconia 36, Forest Lake 28 (Third Place) St. Michael-Albertville 50, Owatonna 19 (Championship) Shakopee 34, Stillwater 21