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Kerry Collins, Published March 08 2009

Minnesota state wrestling tournament: Evenson makes history for Pelican; WCA's Long wins individual title

ST. PAUL – McKale Evenson dominated his competition at the state wrestling tournament.

Controlling his emotions after becoming Pelican Rapids’ first state champ? He lost that battle quickly.

Evenson scored a 9-3 decision over Wabasha-Kellogg’s Hoss Roemer at Xcel Energy Center to claim Class 1A’s 215-pound state title – the first in Vikings history.

“There’s always going to be someone who is first, and that was a big motivator for me,” a tearful Evenson said. “I’ll be on top of that list forever now, and hopefully a bunch will come after me.”

Evenson’s performance in the final was as dominant as his previous rounds. He got a takedown early in the match and was in control the rest of the way.

“When I would shoot, most of the time I got him,” Evenson said.

Evenson gave a lot of credit to his teammates, as the Vikings qualified five individuals. Tyler Wilson made it to the 171-pound semifinals and placed sixth.

“None of this is possible without those guys pushing you,” Evenson said. “All of that stuff paid off. I really wanted this.”

WCA’s Long takes title at 140

Wrestling in his first state title match, West Central Area’s Jake Long didn’t get nervous. He got in control quickly.

Long scored a takedown and a three-point nearfall as time expired in the first period to set up a 10-6 decision over Medford’s Zach Kanzenbach for the Class 1A title at 140.

“It was a great feeling to get up early like that,” Long said. “After that, I knew I just had to stay in good position and I would be a state champ.”

Long finishes his season 42-1. The lone loss of his junior year came against Dawson-Boyd-LPV’s Ryan Swenson – who won the Class 2A state title at 135.

He is the school’s second state champion. Brady Schneeberger won the 130-pound title for WCA in 2006.

Now Long said he was going to focus on becoming the Knights’ first wrestler with multiple titles.

“I want to be a two-time champ now,” Long said. “I’ve already gotten one, but it will be harder to get the second one.

“I just want to keep getting better.”

Novak, Campion come up short

New York Mills’ Jordan Novak and Fergus Falls’ Josh Campion both lost in their title matches on Saturday.

Novak came up short on an 11-9 decision to Paynesville’s Jon Kerzmann at 135 in Class 1A, while Campion was pinned by Princeton’s Billy Frank in the Class 2A heavyweight final.

Takedowns

Former Moorhead wrestler Justin LaValle won his second consecutive Class 3A 130-pound title for Apple Valley. …Frazee took fifth place in the Class 1A team tournament, beating Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial 42-25 in the consolation title match. … Moorhead’s Mark Wychor finished sixth at 215 in Class 3A. … In Class 1A, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton’s Tayler Yliniemi was fifth at 189, and Shawn Johnson was sixth for the Rebels at 145.

Championship matches

Class 2A

285

Frank, Princeton, pin Campion, Fergus Falls, 4:59.

Class 1A

135

Kerzman, Paynesville Area, dec. J. Novak, New York Mills, 11-9.

140

Long, West Central Area, dec. Kanzenbach, Medford, 10-6.

215

Evenson, Pelican Rapids, dec. Roemer, Wabasha-Kellogg, 9-3.


Readers can reach Forum reporter

Kerry Collins at (701) 241-5548.

Collins’ blogs can be found

at www.areavoices.com