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JHS wrestling sends 10 to state

Jamestown's Joel Bowman works over Blaize Burtness of Bismarck Legacy on Feb. 1 at Jerry Meyer Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Jamestown High School wrestling accomplished its goal Saturday, Feb. 9, at the West Region tournament held north of Belcourt on the Turtle Mountain Community College campus.

The Blue Jays finished third overall as a team and will send 10 wrestlers to the Class A state wrestling tournament Feb. 14-16 at the Fargodome. The third-place finish was the highest in 16 years and a goal coach Larry Eslick set before the postseason.

The grapplers heading to state include: Aden Braun (106 pounds), Joel Bowman (113), Ethan Bowman (126), Colton Mewes (138), Noah Braun (145), Johnny Browning (160), Coty Huebner (170), Aaron Mack (182), Samuel Krebs (195) and Paul Vandal (220).

"It was awesome. We were hoping for a couple more, but it was a great team effort," Eslick said. "We had a couple guys wrestle above their seed. It was a good finish to this week after surging over the last few."

The Braun brothers, Aden and Noah, both placed first in their respective weight classes.

Fifth-ranked Noah Braun upset No. 4 Matthew Rader of Bismarck Century (4-3 decision) and top-ranked Trevon McClanahan (8-7) to make the 145-pound finale. Braun went on to dominate No. 2 William Kleinknecht in a 9-4 decision

"He was the highlight and the natural team leader that we have," Eslick said. "After a frustrating 2017-18, he wanted to make a statement to be one of the top wrestlers in the state. With that finish, he has a legitimate shot at being the No. 1 overall seed. He wrestled his best tournament and it's a nice result for him."

Second-ranked Aden Braun scored a pair of pins and a major decision en route to the 106 first-place match. But Bismarck High's Christian Tanefeu couldn't compete for first place after being hurt by an illegal arm trap in the semifinals.

"It's not the way you want to win the WDA tournament through injury," Eslick said. "He was slammed with an arm trap and that's illegal. Sounds like he (Tanefeu) is OK and ready for state."

Ethan Bowman, last year's 2017-18 state champion at 120 pounds, lost his first match of the day by disqualification after wearing a illegal leg sleeve. Bowman rifled off four straight victories, however, to place third at 126.

"I didn't notice it till it was too late, since I was at another match," Eslick explained. "You have 1 minute, 30 seconds to take it off and he didn't take it off in time. I've never seen him wear one before.

"But he's going to be ready for state and hopefully win another state championship."

Mandan's Jacob Boehm avenged his loss to Vandal with a 6-2 victory in the first-place match.

"Paul Vandal was seeded first and made it to the finals," Eslick said. "He had the Mandan kid beat at home and this time took second. I think we can readjust and be ready for the state tournament."

The only setback from Saturday was Mewes' back injury flaring up before the third-place match. Mewes took fourth after having to forfeit by injury to Turtle Mountain's Tate Laducer.

"He's been suffering through a back injury and that flared up again," Eslick said. "It's a nagging injury, but he'll be ready to go for state."

Jamestown's Joel Bowman and Dickinson's Henry Nelson were forced to tie for third place, since no wrestler can compete in over five matches. The same situation happened in Browning's fifth-place match as the junior tied Minot's Jordin Lennon at 160.

"The other kid that stood out was Joel Bowman, who beat three kids ahead of him," Eslick said. "He had a nice tournament and improved every week."

Eslick said his goal for state is place in the top four as a team.

"The East has some good teams, but I don't think they have the firepower," Eslick said. "It's exciting and we haven't been in that situation in 20 years.

"You want to peak at the state tournament and we're starting to do that."

West Region tournament

Team scores

1. Dickinson 185; 2. Bismarck High 181.5; 3. Jamestown 158.5; 4. Mandan 137; 5. Minot 134; 6. Bismarck Century 119; 7. Turtle Mountain 111; 8. Williston 81; 9. Bismarck Legacy 71; 10. Bismarck St. Mary's 58.5; 11. Watford City 50.

Blue Jay results

Grady Anderson (106): Champ. Round 1 - L.J. Araujo (Bismarck High) pinned Anderson, 0:19; Cons. Round 1 - Anderson dec. over Evan Fleck (Mandan), 4-1; Cons. Round 2 - Izaak Boekelman (Watford City) pinned Anderson, 2:33.

Aden Braun (106): Champ. Round 1 - Braun pinned Gabe Mortensen (Minot), 3:16; Quarterfinal - Braun maj. dec. over Izaak Boekelman (Watford City), 8-0; Semifinal - Braun pinned Ethan Dennis (Watford City), 1:44; 1st place - Braun won by injury over Christian Tanefeu (Bismarck High).

Joel Bowman (113): Champ. Round 1 - Bowman pinned Claudia Prom-Schmidt (Williston), 4:51; Quarterfinal - Henry Nelson (Dickinson) pinned Bowman, 2:46; Cons. Round 2 - Bowman pinned Wyatt Hansen (Williston), 0:58; Cons. Round 3 - Bowman dec. over Ben Kleinknecht (Mandan), 6-3; Cons. Semi - Bowman dec. over Hayden Johnsrud (Bismarck Century), 2-1; 3rd Place Match - Bowman and Henry Nelson (Dickinson) tied.

Talor Huebner (120): Champ. Round 1 - Davian Rios (Minot) dec. over Huebner, 9-8; Cons. Round 1 - Zach Woodbury (Bismarck Century) dec. over Huebner, 7-5.

Jackson Walters (120): Champ. Round 1 - Reece Barnhardt (Bismarck St. Mary's) tech fall over Walters, 17-2; Cons. Round 1 - Walters received a bye; Cons. Round 2 - Tim Kadrmas (Bismarck Legacy) dec. over Walters, 6-0.

Ethan Bowman (126): Champ. Round 1 - Bowman received a bye; Quarterfinal - Cullen Murphy (Dickinson) won by disqualification over Bowman; Cons. Round 2 - Bowman tech fall over Nicholas Sewell (Williston), 18-1; Cons. Round 3 - Bowman pinned David Schulze (Minot), 2:10; Cons. Semi - Bowman pinned Jakob Blumhagen (Bismarck Legacy), 2:03; 3rd Place Match - Bowman pinned Logan Weiler (Bismarck St. Mary's), 0:58.

Dusty Harr (132): Champ. Round 1 - Ben Weigum (Bismarck Century) tech fall over Harr, 17-2; Cons. Round 1 - Harr received a bye; Cons. Round 2 - Samuel Goodman (Minot) pinned Harr, 2:19.

Colton Mewes (138): Champ. Round 1 - Mewes won by forfeit over Trey Polivka (Watford City); Quarterfinal - Mewes maj. dec. over Tate Laducer (Turtle Mountain), 9-1; Semifinal - Troy Berg (Dickinson) dec. over Mewes, 12-5; Cons. Semi - Mewes dec. over Konnor Nelson (Mandan), 9-4; 3rd Place Match - Laducer won by medical forfeit over Mewes.

Noah Braun (145): Champ. Round 1 - Braun received a bye; Quarterfinal - Braun dec. over Matthew Rader (Bismarck Century), 4-3; Semifinal - Braun dec. over Trevon McClaanahan (Minot), 8-7; 1st Place - Braun dec. over William Kleinknecht (Mandan), 9-4.

Johnny Browning (160): Champ. Round 1 - Browning pinned Cash Fladeland (Watford City), 0:30; Quarterfinal - Comstock Krenz (Williston) pinned Browning, 0:17; Cons. Round 2 - Browning pinned Austin Kessler (Jamestown), 4:16; Cons. Round 3 - Browning pinned Cullen Glatt (Bismarck High), 2:51; Cons. Semi - Kolten Reisenauer (Mandan) pinned Browning, 0:28; 5th Place Match - Browning and Jordin Lennon (Minot) tied.

Austin Kessler (160): Champ. Round 1 - Hunter Schwartzenberger (Watford City) pinned Kessler, 1:44; Cons. Round 1 - Kessler received a bye; Cons. Round 2 - Johnny Browning (Jamestown) pinned Kessler, 4:16.

Coty Huebner (170): Champ. Round 1 - Huebner pinned Jordan Shumacher (Bismarck High), 5:29; Quarterfinal - Beau Matson (Watford City) pinned Huebner, 0:25; Cons. Round 2 - Huebner received a bye; Cons. Round 3 - Ethan Brown (Williston) pinned Huebner, 4:36.

Aaron Mack (182): Champ. Round 1 - Mack received a bye; Quarterfinal - Mack dec. over Anthony Carranza (Bismarck Century), 6-1; Semifinal - Jacob Carmichael (Minot) dec. over Mack, 3-1; Cons. Semi - Levi LaFountain (Turtle Mountain) maj. dec. over Mack, 12-3.

Samuel Krebs (195): Champ. Round 1 - Krebs received a bye; Quarterfinal - Krebs dec. over Malikai Rivera (Bismarck Century), 7-6; Semifinal - Matthew Kaylor (Bismarck Legacy) pinned Krebs, 1:43; Cons. Semi - Krebs pinned Wyatt Raines (Dickinson), 2:15.

Paul Vandal (220): Champ. Round 1 - Vandal pinned Brayden Moran (Bismarck High), 1:33; Quarterfinal - Vandal pinned Chris Laducer (Turtle Mountain), 0:51; Semifinal - Paul Vandal maj. dec. over Preston Jones (Minot), 8-0; 1st Place - Jacob Boehm (Mandan) dec. over Vandal, 6-2.

Mitchell Johnson

Hometown: Enumclaw, WA; College: Central Washington University

(360) 918-1853
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