The Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus Road Crew wrestling team finished 10th at the Paul Bunyan Invitational at Brainerd High School on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 13-14.
The Road Crew, who was scheduled to host Crosby-Ironton and Royalton on Tuesday, Dec. 17, will have a makeup match against Walker-Hackensack-Akeley and Deer River on Thursday, Dec. 19, at Pine River-Backus.
“This was some of the best competition I have experienced,” said Road Crew head coach Travis Hoffarth of the Paul Bunyan Invitational. “Seven of the teams went to state last year and six are currently rated in the state. Many of these wrestlers and some of the teams will be going to state.”
Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City easily won the tournament with 230 points while Foley was second with 155. The Road Crew, which compiled 83 points, wrestled without three regulars because of college testing.
One Road Crew senior, Triston Rubner, won his second Bunyan Invitational title. Rubner, who is unbeaten and ranked ninth in the state, won his first match 6-1 against Logan Lunde of Foley. His next victory was a 7-2 win over No. 6 ranked Austin Skillings from Frazee. In the championship, Rubner edged senior Kenny Marlos of Moorhead.
“Triston went in and controlled the match,” Hoffarth said of Rubner, who handed Marlos his first loss of the season.
Senior Justin Mackenthun finished third at 182. He won his first contest 2-0 then wrestled against Kody VonDenEykel of Frazee, and lost 7-3 in overtime. Mackenthun defeated Cody Berghuis 6-5, and pinned Joe Grove at 2:37. In the third-place match, Mackenthun defeated VonDenEykel 4-2 with a reversal and two near-fall points VonDenEykel’s two escape points.
Ozzy Miller finished fourth at 170 pounds. He won his first match 6-2, but then lost 7-5. He came back to defeat Tyler Madsen of Becker 8-1. Miller was defeated by Sam Grove of Moorhead in the third-place match.
Nick Gravdahl, who entered the tournament 5-0, finished fifth at 152 pounds. He won his first contest by default, won his second with a pin at 3:37, but then lost to Carter Nielsen of Foley. Gravdahl lost to Cody Ferris of Becker, and then defeaedt Joe Olinger of Chisago Lakes 11-2 in the fifth-place match.
Spencer Richards finished seventh at 120. He split his first two matches, and then lost to a Brainerd wrestler before losing the seventh-place match by a major decision.
“Spencer has been wrestling some top wreslers, both at Wadena and in Brainerd,” Hoffarth said.
Joe Harrison, who won his first match with a pin at 5:25, eventually placed eighth after losing the seventh-place match at 160. Wrestlers not placing for the Road Crew were Darion Anderson, Evan Gravdahl, Jace Leabo, Chris Foster and Cadel Roeder.
Team scores: 1-Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City 230, 2-Foley 155, 3-Pierz 149, 4-Little Falls 137, 5-Frazee 132, 6-Moorhead 131, 7-Chisago Lakes 112.5, 8-Mound-Westonka 111, 9-Bemidji 90, 10-Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus 83, 11-Grand Rapids 76, 12-Sauk Rapids 63, 13-Royalton 57.5, 14-Brainerd 55, 15-Becker 49, 16-Armstrong 35.
Road Crew results:
• 120: 7th place: AJ Schmidt (ACGC) major dec. Spencer Richards (PL/PR-B) 12-0.
• 138: Championship: Triston Rubner (PL/PR-B) dec. Kenny Mark (Moorhead) 4-3
• 152: 5th place: Nick Gravdahl (PL/PR-B) major dec. Joe Olinger (CL) 11-2
• 160: 7th place: Gannon Strain (Bemidji) dec. Joe Harrison (PL/PR-B) 4-1
• 170: 3rd place: Samuel Grove (Moorhead) pinned Ozzy Miller (PL/PR-B) :28.
• 182: 3rd place: Justin Mackenthun (PL/PR-B) dec. Kody VanDenEykel (Frazee) 4-2