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Kevin Schnepf, Published February 20 2010

ND CLASS B STATE WRESTLING NOTES: Bahm, Nord set for title matchup

Carrington’s Chris Bahm knew what he was getting into when he moved up a weight class for his final year of high school wrestling.

“Three defending champions in one weight class,” Bahm said. “That’s crazy.”

Bahm, the defending Class B champion at 140 pounds, will wrestle for a 145-pound championship today at the North Dakota state tournament being held in the Fargodome. He will go against three-time defending champion Michael Nord of Lisbon.

“He’s a great wrestler … he’s not a three-time state champion for nothing,” said Bahm, who admits he was a little reluctant moving up to 145 this season. “But I ended up loving every minute of it … nothing to complain about. I like competition.”

He will get it from Nord, who in 2007 was a state champion at 103, in 2008 a state champ at 119 and last year a state champ at 135. Nord, whose closest match this season was an 8-4 win against a wrestler from Fergus Falls, Minn., will take a 41-0 record against Bahm – whose only two losses have come against Class A’s Brock Davidson of Devils Lake.

Nord and Bahm were hoping to wrestle each other in the East-West Classic in New Salem earlier this season. But Bahm was sidelined with sickness.

“I was hoping for that,” said Nord, who admits feeling a lot more pressure being undefeated. “There’s a big target on my back. So I just have to be prepared for every match.”

Nord rolled into the finals with a 6-0 semifinal win over Minot Ryan’s Anthony Lafontaine. Bahm posted an 8-0 semifinal win over Hettinger’s Garett Slater – who Thursday upset Napoleon’s Sheldon Dewald, last year’s state champ at 130.

South Border duo deal with the pressure

South Border’s Devin Olson and Blake Bosch have coped just fine in dealing with the pressure of being top seeds for a state tournament.

Olson will take a 34-0 record into today’s 215-pound championship while Bosch, last year’s state champ at 103, will take a 33-2 record into today’s 112-pound championship.

“There’s a lot of pressure,” Bosch said. “You want to do your best. You don’t want to mess up in front of all these fans.”

Bosch will wrestle for his second straight state title against New Salem’s Cody Neumiller – who handed Bosch one of his losses earlier this season.

“I can’t come out timid,” Bosch said.

In his 215-pound championship match today, Olson will face Valley City’s Zach Odden. Olson has beaten Odden twice this season, 7-4 and 15-6.

“It will just be another hard-fought match,” said Olson, who placed fourth last year at 189. “I just wanted to get to the finals. I just knew if I worked hard enough, anything would be possible.”

Oakes eyes another team championship

Oakes put six of a possible seven wrestlers into today’s championship matches, putting the Tornadoes a big step closer to their second straight individual team championship.

But don’t count out Carrington, who put three of a possible five wrestlers into the championship round.

“We would have to have a phenomenal performance in the wrestlebacks to have a chance,” said Carrington coach Mark Pazdernik. “But, I’m not counting us out.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kevin Schnepf at (701) 241-5549