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Kevin Schnepf, Published February 21 2010

North Dakota State High School Class B wrestling notebook: Bahm pulls off biggest tourney upset

Wrestling what his coach called one of the smartest matches he has ever seen, Carrington’s Chris Bahm pulled off the biggest upset of the North Dakota state wrestling tournament Saturday at the Fargodome.

In front of an estimated 6,000 fans, Bahm knocked off unbeaten and three-time state champion Michael Nord of Lisbon 10-5 to win the Class B 145-pound championship. It was Nord’s first loss in 42 matches this season while Bahm finished his senior season with a 30-2 record.

“This is unbelievable,” said Bahm, who won last year’s 140-pound state title. “He’s such a great wrestler. I think he’ll learn more from this and just push himself that much harder next year.”

Nord, a junior, won the 103-pound state title in 2007, the 119-pound title in 2008 and the 135-pound title last year. He was bidding to become the 14th North Dakota high school wrestler to win a fourth state title. Had he won, he had a chance next year to become only the fourth North Dakota wrestler to win five state titles.

“Nord is such a phenomenal wrestler,” said Carrington coach Mark Pazdernik. “Even if we were up 10-0, it wasn’t safe. The only time we felt safe was when the scoreboard time read zero.”

Bahm built a 6-3 lead in the second period. He expanded that to 10-4 with less than a minute left of the match.

“I knew I had to beat him on my feet,” Bahm said. “I’m not the greatest rider and he’s a great rider. I just had to wait for him to make a mistake and not make a mistake myself.”

“I honestly don’t know if I have ever seen a smarter match,” Pazdernik said of Bahm’s performance – one that gave Bahm’s younger brother, Kyle, a boost for his 152-pound title match.

Kyle, a junior, produced his first state title by pinning Valley City’s Brandon Larson with 14 seconds left of the match.

“That was definitely a big boost,” Kyle said of his brother’s upset over Nord. “My brother only has one state title on me now. I have to get another one next year.”

Kyle finished the season with a 34-3 record – one of those losses a major decision setback earlier this season to Larson.

“That just shows how much he has improved throughout the season,” said Pazdernik, who has coached the two brothers since third grade.

“I love my brother,” Chris said. “I don’t think he gets enough credit. He’s going to be a better wrestler than me someday.”

Both were pretty good Saturday.

Takedowns

In a rematch of the Region 1 103-pound championship, Lisbon sophomore Jacob Aberle defeated LaMoure freshman Brent Hebl 8-3 for his first state title. “He wrestled really well this match,” said Aberle, who beat Hebl last week 18-4. “I just tried to wrestle my match and get my shots.” …. South Border freshman Blake Bosch, who won last year’s 103-pound state title, lost his 112-pound title match to New Salem sophomore Cody Neumiller 11-8. … After placing in three previous state tournaments, Carrington senior Jacob Laber captured his first state title with a 6-3 win over Hettinger sophomore Sean Elkins in the 130-pound class. “Amazing,” said Laber, whose only loss in 31 matches was to Watford City’s Brady Lund. “I wanted this bad.” …. Hillsboro senior Tanner Boeddeker jumped from 145 pounds to 171 without a hitch. He won the 171-pound title with a 6-1 win over Michael Bonn of Rolla-St. John. “It was a very good move,” said Boeddeker, who placed third at 145 last year. “I felt a lot more comfortable not having to cut so much weight this year.” … South Border junior Devin Olson became the fourth Class B wrestler to finish unbeaten. Olson won the 215-pound title with a 6-5 win over Central Cass junior Zach Odden to finish with a 35-0 record. … New Salem’s Nate Seeger was named the Class B senior wrestler of the year. His coach, Mike Pazdernik, was named the Class B coach of the year.


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