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Glenn Pursley, Published July 15 2013

Minnesota fares well at Greco-Roman finals

FARGO – Team Minnesota was represented well at the Greco-Roman finals of the USA Wrestling Junior and Cadet National Tournament, taking home a pair of titles in the process.

Mitchell McKee and Lance Benick won titles Monday at the Fargodome to help Minnesota take second place with 50 points.

Keegan Moore, Logan Kass and Alexander Crowe were runners-up in their finals match.

“It feels awesome,” Minnesota coach Gary Auer said. “Fargo is the national championships, and that’s what we work for all year.”

McKee was the first to earn a title for Minnesota. He wrestled against Adam Flatt of Lawrenceville, Ga., and the match didn’t last long.

McKee was able to take down Flatt for two points with 2 minutes, 35 seconds left in the first round. He added six more points in the next 30 seconds from three consecutive rolls to win the 113-pound title by technical fall 8-0.

“I knew I wanted to go out there aggressive and score early so I wouldn’t have to worry about it later, but I guess I got to end it quick,” said McKee, who is from Kimball, Minn. “It’s great. You get all those happy feelings you got last year and you get to come and get all those feelings again.”

Last year, McKee won the Greco-Roman title at 100 pounds.

Benick of Forest Lake, Minn., won his title at 220 pounds in similar fashion to end Minnesota’s day on a high note.

Wrestling against Jordan Wood of Pennsylvania, Benick got an early takedown in 13 seconds and quickly rolled his opponent to go up 3-0. With 1:04 left, he got his second takedown to win 7-0 by technical fall.

“I just took it to him,” said Benick with a smile. “I stayed aggressive and stuck with my plan. I scored early and got ahead.”

Up next for Benick is the Cadet World Wrestling Championships in Serbia next month.

Logan Kass wrestled a close match against Josh Bird of Wisconsin. He held a 4-3 lead after the first period, but gave up six points in the second to lose 15-7.

Team Illinois took first place with 86 points and dominated the mats during the finals. Out of the seven wrestlers that made it to the finals, Louie Hayes, Austin Gomez and Gabriel Townsell took home titles.

Hayes won his title match 7-0 against Minnesota’s Alexander Crowe at 88 pounds.

“Our guys work really hard on Greco,” Illinois coach Bryan Medlin said. “They put in a lot of effort and want to be here, this is the culmination of the summer. For the most part, this is pretty much it.

“No one calls it the national championships for a reason, it’s called Fargo. This place has history. Most of the coaches here have wrested at this tournament. It’s a great atmosphere and you can feel that. If you moved it, I don’t think we’d get that.”

88: 1, Louise Hayes (Illinois), tech. fall Alexander Crowe (Minnesota) 7-0. 3, Brayden Schwalbe (Montana), tech. fall Dylan Koontz (Wisconsin) 9-1. 5, Sawyer Degen (Montana), def. Cade Olivas (California) ID. 7, Brady Koontz (Wisconsin), tech. fall Tyler Lawley (Oklahoma) 10-3

94: 1, Austin Gomez (Illinois), fall Randon Miranda (California) 2:24. 3, Brent Jones (Minnesota), tech. fall Jeremy Nygard (Washington) 7-0. 5, Kaden Gfeller (Oklahoma), dec. Jakob Campbell (Pennsylvania) 4-3. 7, Dominic Lajoie (Michigan), fall Brett Smith (California) 2:57

100: 1, Joey Prata (Virginia), tech. fall Danny Vega (Arizona) 7-0. 3, Matthew Schmitt (Missouri), dec. Jimmy Pawelski (Illinois) 6-1. 5, Paul FItterer (Minnesota), tech. fall Nolan Baker (Illinois) 7-0. 7, Joshua Venia (Ohio), tech. fall Greg Shack (Alaska) 10-2.

106: 1, Dalton Fix (Oklahoma), fall Dylan Duncan (Illinois) 4:31. 3, Quentin Hovis (Arizona), tech. fall Michael Murphy (Tennessee) 8-0. 5, Jaron Chavez (Idaho), tech. fall Drew West (Iowa) 7-0. 7, Dalton Young (Washington), dec. Will Egli (Indiana) 5-3.

113: 1, Mitchell McKee (Minnesota), tech. fall Adam Flatt (Georgia) 8-0. 3, Eric Hong (Pennsylvania), fall C.J. Red (Indiana) 1:37. 5, Kanen Storr (Michigan), dec. Trayton Libolt (Oregon) 5-4. 7, Ted Rico (Arizona), tech. fall Joshua Kramer (Arizona) 8-0.

120: 1, Gabriel Townsell (Illinois), tech. fall Chris Debien (Tennessee) 7-0. 3, Jaron Jensen (Utah), tech. fall Ethan Karsten (Missouri) 8-0. 5, Drake Foster (Idaho), fall Sage Coy (Indiana) :47. 7, Nicholas Casella (New York), dec. Raul Nevarez (Idaho) 13-8.

126: 1, Zahid Valencia (California), tech. fall Hayden Hidlay (Pennsylvania) 12-4. 3, Jaden Enriquez (California), tech. fall Armand Molina (California) 11-3. 5, Devin Bahr (Wisconsin) tech. fall Richard Montoya (New Mexico) 7-0. 7, Marty Margolis (Maryland), tech. fall Aaron Grigsby (Arkansas) 17-10.

132: Josh Bird (Wisconsin), tech. fall Logan Kass (Minnesota) 15-7. 3, Riley Beard (Illinois), tech. fall Fritz Schierl (Wisconsin) 8-0. 5, Lucas Oritz (Pennsylvania), tech fall Conner Noonan (Oregon) 8-0. 7, Rodolfo Guillen (Georgia), fall Ben Homickle 1:50.

138: 1, Larry Early (Illinois), dec. Patricio Lugo (Florida) dec. 6-2. 3, Nathan Cervantes (California), tech. fall Dominick Demas (Ohio) 7-0. 5, Jake Adcock (Georgia), tech. fall Hayden Bates (Oregon) 7-0. 7, Chase Lemons (Idaho), fall Liam Corbett (Hawaii) 2:04.

145: 1, Mason Manville (New Jersey), dec. Joey Gunther (Illinois) 2-1. 3, Ryan Klemp (Idaho), tech. fall Austin Kraisser (Maryland) 10-3. 5, Dalton Ray (Pennsylvania), fall Isaac Bertalotto (California) 2:32. 7, Chandler Michael (Oregon), def. James Handwerk (Ohio) ID.

152: 1, Nick Reenan (Texas), dec. Jesse Porter (New York) 9-6. 3, Taylor Owens (Idaho), dec. Taylor Lujan (Georgia) 2-1. 5, Christian Almony (Maryland), tech. fall Dominic Delaurentis (Pennsylvania) 8-0. 7, Colby Winnett (Oregon), dec. C.J. McKinnis (Oregon) 4-1.

160: 1, Mark Hall (Colorado), tech. fall Vicente Guerrero (Arizona) 7-0. 3, Kamal Bey (Illinois), tech. fall Spencer Heywood (Utah) 8-0. 5, Lane Lettich (Oklahoma), fall Dean Drugac (New Jersey) :18. 7, Elijah Kerr Brown (Georgia), tech. fall Eric Schultz (Illinois) 8-0.

170: Beau Brekse (Wisconsin), tech. fall Keegan Moore (Minnesota) 8-0. 3, Brandon Haas (Iowa), fall Bridger Barker (Arizona) 1:04. 5, Brandon Fleishcmann (Wisconsin), tech. fall Corey Hazel (Pennsylvania) 8-1. 7, Dru Worker (Illinois), dec. Dustin Gray (Missouri) 6-5.

182: 1, Hunter Ritter (Maryland), dec. Roberto Rivera (Georgia) 4-4. 3, Andrew Marsden (Illinois), tech. fall Andrew Fenton (Ohio) 10-0. 5, Jeremiah Imonode (Arizona), tech. fall Trevor Eicher (Washington) 9-2. 7, Michael Bruno (Illinois), fall Blake Smith (Arizona) 1:06.

195: 1, Samuel Colbray (Oregon), fall Randy Scott (Indiana) 1:33. 3, Tevis Bartlett (Wyoming), tech. fall Emilio Fowler (Kansas) 9-1. 5, Frankie Carrasco (New Mexico), dec. Isaac Florell (Minnesota) 4-2. 7, Jacob Cavins (Indiana), def. Bailey Faust (Ohio) ID.

220: 1, Lance Bencik (Minnesota), tech. fall Jordan Wood (Pennsylvania) 7-0. 3, James Bethel (New York), tech. fall Shane Coombs (Colorado) 7-0. 5, Kyler Childers (Oklahoma), tech. fall Garyn Huntley (New York) 7-0. 7, James Ford (Ohio), tech. fall Romeo McKnight 16-9.

285: 1, Jacob Marnin (Iowa), tech. fall Antonio James (Illinois) 7-0. 3, Dante Jiovenetta (Florida), fall Shawn Streck (Indiana) 1:20. 5, Hunter Toppel (Wisconsin), fall Cale Bonner (Ohio) 1:09. 7, Kevin Vough (Ohio), dec. Adam Lemke-Bell (Illinois) 8-6.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Glenn Pursley at (701) 241-5549