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Tom Mix, Published January 22 2013

West Fargo's Lehmann sets ND pins record

WEST FARGO – Nothing can swing the momentum in a wrestling dual more than a pin.

Pins equal six points, and no high school wrestler in the state of North Dakota is better at picking up six than West Fargo senior Preston Lehmann.

Lehmann – a North Dakota State wrestling commit – broke the state’s all-time career pins record on Saturday when he pinned Williston’s Bret Sandberg 1 minute, 54 seconds into the first period.

The pin put Lehmann – who is listed No. 6 nationally in the InterMat Wrestling high school rankings at 182 pounds – at 166 career pins. That total breaks the mark of 165 set by Dickinson’s Marc Mellmer from 1998-2003.

“It is a great accomplishment,” Lehmann said. “I didn’t even know I was that close to the pins record until one of the parents on the team told me. I had no idea about it. Hopefully I can make it a little harder to beat.”

Lehmann, a two-time state champion, has posted 26 pins this season and is 34-0. He also owns the state’s single-season pins record with 42 during his junior season.

“It is an unbelievable accomplishment,” West Fargo head coach Kayle Dangerud said. “He has always been a good pinner. If there are 10 or 15 seconds left in a period or a match, he always digs deep and finds a way to get the pin. … When he gets guys on their backs, he doesn’t let them get back up.”

Lehmann, who has 204 career wins, transferred to West Fargo as a freshman from Fargo North, where he picked up a total of 30 pins during his seventh-and eighth-grade seasons.

The threat of a pin is always there when wrestling Lehmann.

One of his more memorable pins came as a sophomore when he pinned Webster, S.D., standout Logan Storley at the Lee Wolf Memorial Tournament in Aberdeen, S.D.

Down 15-2 against the eventual six-time South Dakota state champion Storley, Lehmann scored a quick takedown and seconds later the pin. Storley is now a sophomore at Minnesota and was an All-America wrestler for the Gophers as a freshman.

“I just stay aggressive,” Lehmann said of getting pins. “I stay on the guy and wear him down. … I’m aggressive out there and look to dominate my opponents.

“I just go out there looking to win every match, and if I get the pin, I get the pin.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562