Five Blue Jays remain in state-title contention
Jamestown High School has five of 10 wrestlers still in the running for a Class A state wrestling title at the Fargodome.
The Blue Jays' Aden Braun (106 pounds), Joel Bowman (113), Ethan Bowman (126), Noah Braun (145) and Paul Vandal (220) all won their first two opening matches Thursday. Colton Mewes (138), Johnny Browning (160), Coty Huebner (170), Aaron Mack (182) and Samuel Krebs (195) will compete in today's consolation play.
As a team, Jamestown sits third in individual points with 59.5. Bismarck High (89.5) and Dickinson (67) sit in first and second place, respectively. Friday's consolation round begins at 11 a.m., while the semifinals start at 5 p.m.
"It was a great day. Getting pins is huge for bonus points," said Blue Jay coach Larry Eslick. "I'm really proud of of how the kids wrestled today. It's all a heck of an accomplishment and we want to finish strong."
Joel Bowman continued his solid improvement throughout the season Thursday.
The freshman won by an 8-2 decision over West Fargo's Cole Irwin in the first round and pinned Dickinson's Henry Nelson in the quarterfinals. Bowman was pinned by Nelson at the West Region tournament on Feb. 9.
Bowman takes on top-seeded Kelby Armstrong out of Minot in the semifinals.
"He just had to wrestle with him (Nelson) and stay out of the cradle," Eslick said. "Joel attacked him and pinned him near the end of the match. The confidence is just building."
Vandal pinned Grand Forks Red River's Parker Nelson and Dickinson's Kameron Clark at 1:05 and 2:39, respectively.
Vandal takes on Mandan's Jacob Boehm in a rubber match. The senior defeated Boehm after an injury on Jan. 25, while Boehm won 6-2 at WDAs.
"We've never seen that kid from Dickinson before, but Paul took control and powered him to his back," Eslick said. "He's on a mission like many of these guys."
Last year's 120-pound state champion Ethan Bowman is still alive at 126 after scoring a tech fall and a pin in opening-round action. Meanwhile, Noah Braun advanced with a pair of decision victories, while Aden Braun also moved on.
Eslick said one of the biggest heartbreaks of the day was Mewes losing in a 6-5 ultimate tiebreak in the quarterfinals. A ultimate tiebreak is when the grappler on bottom must escape or reverse, while the wrestler on top must ride out 30 seconds.
"The kid got the escape and rode us out for the first 30 seconds," Eslick said. "It was a match Colton should've won and gave up two points in regulation.
"It's just a learning experience for an eighth-grader. But with that said, he'll be fine on the back side of the bracket."
Mack and Krebs also fell in the quarterfinals, while Browning and Huebner lost in the opening match.
Eslick said he's hoping for an exciting semifinal round today.
"We're excited for some big semifinal wins. We want five of these guys in the state finals and that's what we're going to try," Eslick said. "We have a good shot and all these kids are laser focused."
Aden Braun (106): Champ. Round 1 - Braun maj. dec. over Izaak Boekelman (Watford City), 12-4; Quarterfinals - Braun pinned Ashise Gurung (Fargo South), 0:27.
Joel Bowman (113): Champ. Round 1 - Bowman dec. over Cole Irwin (West Fargo), 8-2; Quarterfinals - Bowman pinned Henry Nelson (Dickinson), 5:35.
Ethan Bowman (126): Champ. Round 1 - Bowman tech fall over David Schulze (Minot), 19-3; Quarterfinals - Bowman pinned Josh Isassi (G.F. Central), 2:34.
Colton Mewes (138): Champ. Round 1 - Mewes pinned Joseph Sundine (G.F. Red River), 1:12; Quarterfinals - Troy Berg (Dickinson) won by ultimate tiebreaker over Mewes, 6-5.
Noah Braun (145): Braun dec. over Draken Stugelmeyer (Bismarck Legacy), 5-1; Quarterfinals - Braun dec. over Ben Nagel (Bismarck High) 5-1.
Johnny Browning (160): Champ. Round 1 - Comstock Krenz (Williston) pinned Browning, 4:42;
Coty Huebner (170): Champ. Round 1 - Nolen Demery (Turtle Mountain) dec. over Huebner, 7-0.
Aaron Mack (182): Champ. Round 1 - Mack pinned James Barnhardt (Mandan), 2:33; Quarterfinals - Tanner Jarrett (Dickinson) dec. over Mack, 5-1.
Samuel Krebs (195): Champ. Round 1 - Krebs pinned Houston Visto (West Fargo), 3:18; Quarterfinals - Shane Kennedy (West Fargo Sheyenne) dec. over Krebs, 6-1.
Paul Vandal (220): Champ. Round 1 - Vandal pinned Parker Nelson (G.F. Red River), 1:05; Quarterfinals - Vandal pinned Kameron Clark (Dickinson), 2:39.