Glenn Pursley, Published July 17 2012
Team Minnesota continues dominance at USA Wrestling Tournament
“It’s crazy,” Oftendahl said of winning the tournament. “It’s a big experience, it feels amazing.”
Oftendahl’s first-place finish marks the fourth title won by Team Minnesota at the 2012 Junior and Cadet Championships. On Monday, Mason Manville, Mitchell McKee and Lance Benick all won titles in their weight class.
Vieyra and Oftendahl were locked in the center for 90 seconds of the two-minute first round until Vieyra managed to take down Oftendahl and expose his back to the mat and took period one 2-0. Oftendahl fought back to win the second round 1-0 after pushing out Vieyra to send the match to a third round.
Oftendahl learned from his success in the second round and something clicked. He knew how to win the title.
“Even though I lost the first period, I knew the match was mine,” Oftendahl said. “I got the push out in the second period and I realized if I did the same thing again I could get it again, so I just went for the exact same thing.”
Vieyra was ready this time and being in the clinch position, he was able to take control of Oftendahl and the match with time ticking away. But Oftendahl was able to fend off Vieyra and not allow the flip to take the match 1-2, 1-0, 1-0. Team Minnesota finished in fourth place in the Juniors with 37 points.
“It was really nerve-racking going into the start,” Oftendahl said. “As soon as the first period ended, I knew I could do it. Last year, I thought I should have got it. This year, I finally did.”
His road to the championship wasn’t an easy one, as he was up against Mitchell Rogaliner earlier in the tournament. Rogaliner has knocked him out of the tournament for the past three years.
Oftendahl was able to take care of Rogaliner in three periods and defeated Jordan Wigger in the semifinals to make it to the championship match.
“Once I beat (Rogaliner) I knew this tournament was mine,” said Oftendahl, who will be a senior at Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School in St. Louis Park, Minn.
Ryan Blees of Bismarck wrestled in the 145-pound Greco final against U.S. cadet world team member and three-time state champion Grant LaMont of Mapleton, Utah.
Blees, a junior from Bismarck High, took fourth place at last year’s championships in both Greco-Roman and Freestyle and won the North Dakota state title when he was a freshman and a sophomore. LaMont pinned Blees at 1:42 in the second period in the 145-pound title.
“It felt good right before, but it definitely didn’t end the way I wanted it to,” Blees said of the match. “He’s a tough kid. I’ve wrestled him a couple of times and never beat him, but I wrestled hard to get here and had some tough matches and I wrestled solid against them.
“It’s nice knowing you got up there but next year I’m definitely going to be working for a first place finish in that match.”
Blees shut out every wrestler he faced leading up to 2-0, 6-0 victory over Alex Abono of California in the semifinals to face LaMont in the championship match.
Junior Greco-Roman results
1st - Jabari Moody (Illinois) over J.J. McClelland (Wisconsin) dec. 1-0, 3-1
3rd - Austin Ryan (Illinois) over Shaun Ramey (Illinois) dec. 3-2, 1-0
1st - Nkosi Moody (Illinois) over Tommy Pawelski (Illinois) dec. 2-0, 0-3, 3-1
3rd - Kael Knowlen (North Dakota) over Joe Cisneros (California) dec. 0-2, 4-2, 4-1
1st - Jarred Oftendahl (Minnesota) over Javier Vieyra (Kansas) dec. 1-2, 1-0, 1-0
3rd - Jordan Wigger (South Carolina) over Johnson Mai (California) dec. 0-2, 2-0, 6-0
1st - Kevon Powell (Illinois) over Josh Newberg (Washington) dec. 6-0, 0-1, 1-0
3rd - Isaiah Varona (Florida) over Thierno Diallo (Maryland) tech. fall 6-0, 6-1
1st - Cory Clark (Iowa) over Joel Shump (Illinois) tech. fall 9-0, 6-0
3rd - Andrew Crone (Wisconsin) over Joey Palmer (Washington) dec. 2-2, 4-4
1st - Zane Richards (Illinois) over Tyson Dippery (Pennsylvania) dec. 1-0, 2-0
3rd - Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer (New York) over Sammy Jones (Louisiana) dec. 1-1, 2-0 5-1
1st - Hayden Tuma (Idaho) over Mitch Bengtson (Minnesota) dec. 1-0, 0-2, 2-0
3rd - Sahid Kargbo (Virginia) over Jake Marlin (Iowa) dec. 4-0, 3-0
1st - Grant LaMont (Utah) over Ryan Blees (North Dakota) fall 7-0, 1:42
3rd - Tyrel White (Pennsylvania) over Jared Johnshoy (Idaho) dec. 5-0, 1-0
1st - Oliver Pierce (Texas) over T.J. Fox (Ohio) dec. 7-0, 2-0
3rd - Yoanse Mejia (Florida) over Josh Halicke (Minnesota), dec. 1-0, 1-0
1st - Geordan Speiller (Florida) over Matt Gray (Wisconsin) dec. 6-0, 3-0
3rd - Barrett Stanghill (Montana) over Nick Becker (Wisconsin) dec. 2-0, 0-1, 2-0
1st - Alex Meyer (Iowa) over Justin Koethe (Iowa) fall 0-5, :56
3rd - Brett Pfarr (Minnesota) over Richard Robertson (Illinois) dec. 1-0, 2-0
1st - Sam Brooks (Illinois) over Kevin Beazley (Michigan) dec. 2-0, 1-0
3rd - Nolan Boyd (Oklahoma) over McZiggy Richards (New York) dec. 2-0, 1-0
1st - Ryan Solomon (Pennsylvania) over Alen Turcinhodzic (Pennsylvania) dec. 1-0, 3-0
3rd - Jeremy Sweany (California) over Cash Drylie (Kansas) dec. 1-3, 1-0, 7-0
1st - Kyle Snyder (Maryland) over Daniel Chaid (California) dec. 2-0, 1-1
3rd - J’Den Cox (Missouri) over Garret Ryan (Arizona) dec. 3-0, 4-0
1st - Adam Coon (Michigan) over Josh Marchok (Illinois) dec. 1-0, 8-0
3rd - Sam Stoll (Minnesota) over Joe Scanlan (Iowa) tech. fall 8-1, 6-0
Readers can reach Forum reporter Glenn Pursley at (701) 451-5549