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Tom Mix, Published February 15 2013

Davies lands two wrestlers in individual finals

FARGO – A year ago, only one Fargo Davies wrestler qualified for the North Dakota Class A state individual finals.

The Eagles doubled that number on Friday when senior Cole Mehring (138 pounds) and junior Hunter Swensen (285 pounds) each picked up win in the semifinals at the North Dakota state wrestling tournament at the Fargodome.

The state individual finals begin at 3 p.m. today.

Swensen, who started wrestling for the Eagles last year, defeated Minot’s Nick Nesdahl by a 5-4 decision in the semifinals.

“It’s a big change,” Swensen said of being in the finals. “My first year in wrestling was last year. I started the year on the junior varsity, and at the end of the year I worked up to varsity, but lost almost every match.”

Swenson wrestles top-seeded Bryan Bjerk of Grand Forks Red River in the finals.

“We started teaching him about wrestling in gym class,” Davies head coach Keenan Spiess said. “He had a natural feel for it, so I asked him to come out for wrestling last year. He is a coachable kid, and for only wrestling for a year and half, he has really progressed fast.”

Mehring posted a 4-2 decision over Bismarck’s Forrest Pifer to earn his second straight trip to the finals.

“It is fun,” said Mehring, who won the 132-pound title last season. “I’ve had to take it one match at a time, make sure I didn’t look forward too fast and just have a blast in the moment.”

Fargo South’s Bell advances to 106-pound final

Fargo South junior Marlo Bell is headed to the 106-pound final for the second year in a row.

Bell, who is the top seed at 106, defeated Dickinson’s Jaret Lee 17-6 in a major decision to earn the return trip to the finals.

“I just kept shooting and kept going hard,” said Bell, who lost to Fargo North’s Tommy Walton in the 106 finals last season. “My goal is to win state and do it two years in a row.”

Bell holds a 31-5 record and will wrestle No. 2-seeded Taylor Nein of Bismarck in the finals.

West Fargo clinches historic mark

West Fargo qualified 17 wrestlers for the individual tournament, and all of those qualifiers will place in the top eight.

“We are proud of each and every guy,” West Fargo head coach Kayle Dangerud said. “We had an unseeded eighth grade heavyweight (Brandon Metz) that weighs 200 pounds become a state placer. We have a lot of pride in these guys.”

Teams have been able to qualify three non-scoring alternates to the state tournament since 2006, and no team has ever had all of its possible 17 wrestlers place.

The Packers advanced five wrestlers to the finals. Jordan Shearer (126), Trevor Kringlie (132), Weston Dobler (145), Shelby Shulz (160), and Preston Lehmann (182) all won their semifinal matches.

Kringlie, who is recovering from a broken left wrist suffered in December, defeated Bismarck’s Lane Kaseman by decision 7-3.

“It feels good coming off an injury,” Kringlie said. “I was able to score when I needed to and defend when I needed to.”

West Fargo is leading the team individual race with 176.5 points. Bismarck is close behind with 173 points.

Takedowns

Jamestown senior Zane Braun (36-0) pinned Adam Stein of Mandan in 2:37 to advance to the 152 final. … Fargo North senior Tommy Walton (46-3) scored an 8-0 major decision over West Fargo’s Juan Rodriguez to advance to the 120-pound final. … North’s Olaf Hanson defeated Minot’s Demetreus Roby of Minot 6-3 and advances to the 220-pound finals. … Valley City’s Zach Doty advanced to the 170-pund final with an 11-1 major decision over Landon Schmidt of Bismarck Century.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562