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Chris Murphy, Published February 19 2014

Apple Valley top-ranked transfer to miss state tournament for Border West

FARGO – Minnesota state champion and Apple Valley transfer Dayton Racer will not be wrestling at this year’s state tournament with Border West.

The manager for the Minnesota Class 1A, Section 6 individual tournament, Steve Techman, said seeding had been sent in and Border West did not include Racer.

“He was not included in seeding,” Techman said. “He can’t wrestle.”

Racer enrolled at Wheaton High School – which is part of the Border West co-op – on Feb. 10, after leaving Apple Valley.

Racer’s family accused parents of Apple Valley teammates, who they claimed were jealous of Racer’s success, for being the reason for him leaving Apple Valley. Accusations that parents were attempting to get Racer kicked off the team were reported by the Minneapolis Star Tribune to be the main reason for leaving Apple Valley.

As a sophomore last season, Racer won the Class 3A state title at 145 pounds and helped Apple Valley win its eighth consecutive team title. He finished second at the state tournament at 138 pounds as a freshman. This season, Racer was undefeated and ranked No. 1 at 152 pounds in Class 3A before leaving Apple Valley.

It was decided Friday that Racer would not wrestle with Border West in the team section championships. Tuesday, it became official he would not wrestle for Border West individually.

Racer tweeted Tuesday night: “Just gonna be watchin at state this year...it’s sad how evil someone can truly be.”

Frazee wrestling coach remains on paid leave

The Frazee-Vergas School Board had a closed-door meeting Tuesday to decide what would be done regarding Frazee wrestling coach and teacher John Barlund.

The board could not come to a decision and Barlund remains away from the school and the wrestling team, as he’s been since Feb. 5.

“John remains on administrative paid leave from both teaching and coaching,” Frazee-Vergas Superintendent Terry Karger said.

Karger would not comment further on the situation and did not have a timetable for when a decision could be made.

It’s not the best timing for Frazee’s wrestling team, as the Hornets are set to wrestle Feb. 27 as the No. 2 seed in the quarterfinals of the Class 1A state tournament.

According to a report by the Detroit Lakes Tribune – a Forum Communications Co. newspaper – a letter addressed to Barlund on the morning of Feb. 5 advised him not to speak to anyone about the investigation except legal or union representation, not to contact any potential witnesses and not to come on school property without Karger’s permission.

Barlund started as a physical education and math teacher in the district in 2005 and has remained there ever since.

Frazee is making its 21st trip to state. Barlund is 167-66 in his 12 years of coaching wrestling in Minnesota. With the Hornets, he has eight trips to state – counting this season – four runner-up finishes and one state championship in 2011.

“It’s still an unanswered question right now,” Frazee athletic director Nick Courneya said regarding whether or not Barlund would be back coaching before the state tournament. “Marty Aho is our acting head coach until further investigation or protocol from our administration.”

Courneya said there is no timetable for a decision on Barlund, nor could he comment on what the investigation was regarding.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548