Ranked #1 at 106 pounds all season, Scott West freshman Matt Randolph advanced out of the Section 2AA-3AA State Prelims last Saturday, March 20, at Redwood Valley and will continue into the state quarterfinals Friday, March 26, at St. Michael-Albertville.
The individual competition starts at 2 p.m.
Randolph (28-1) will wrestle third-ranked Gavin Peterson (29-3) of Cannon Falls in his opening match. He will face fifth-ranked Brandon Morvari (23-3) of Simley or Kaden Nicolas (31-3) from Becker in his second match.
The opposite side of the bracket includes fourth-ranked Jack Nelson (29-0) from Mound-Westonka, Chandler Mickelson (27-5) from Perham, Mason McGrane (27-8) of Alexandria, and Parker Kamm (32-4) from New Ulm.
Randolph disposed of Ryan Cutler (Fairmont) by a 15-0 technical fall in Saturday’s opening round, then defeated Daniel Gunlogson 7-1 in the semifinals.
The championship featured the state’s top two wrestlers, as Randolph defeated #2 ranked Carter Brandt of Redwood Valley 6-2.
Brandt lost to New Ulm’s Kamm in the true second match.
Randolph has not wrestled Peterson this season.
“Matt may not be the most imposing looking young man, but when kids are done wrestling him, they wonder what just hit them,” said Coach Jerold Stauffacher.
Five other Panthers also earned state tournament bids but were eliminated at the State Prelims.
Zach Tracy (120), Tory Pumper (126), Landon Church (132), Luke Fogarty (160), and Carson Schoenbauer (285) were state tournament qualifiers.
Fifth-ranked Tracy (28-3) fell in his true second match to second-ranked Mason Gehloff of Waseca, 6-3. He advanced with a 7-0 victory over Riley Cowell of Luverne before falling 4-2 to second-ranked Ty Bisek of New London-Spicer.
Tracy pinned Zach Balma of Tri-City United in 58 seconds, then bested seventh-ranked Jesse Potts of Fairmont 3-1 before falling to Gehloff.
Pumper (24-6) dropped a 10-3 decision to #10 Luke Ruter from New London-Spicer before scoring an 8-2 win over Johan Hamberger of Watertown-Mayer/Mayer Lutheran and a pin fall of Zander Clausen. Pumper was pinned in his rematch with Ruter in 2:46.
Church (23-6) was defeated by #8 Kain Sanders of Fairmont 8-4 and rebounded with a 12-0 win over Treyton Card. Fifth-ranked Dylan Louwagie of Marshall eliminated Church via a 6-0 decision.
Seventh-ranked Luke Fogarty (21-6) defeated Jaden Hennings of Worthington by an 8-3 score and advanced to the final with a 4-3 victory over Kole Guth of St. Peter. After a 2-0 loss to #6 Clete Scherer of Delano, Fogarty was defeated 14-4 by fourth-ranked Blake Jagodzinske of Fairmont.
Schoenbauer (9-10) won his opening match 5-0 over Keiton Walerius of Marshall before falling 9-3 to Jaden Drill (New Ulm) and losing by fall to Nathan Pettis of St. Peter. Schoenbauer is a freshman.
Isaac Williams (113) and Ashton Holbrook (145) also advanced to the super section. Williams (3-3), a seventh-grader, dropped his first two bouts.
Holbrook fell by technical fall to #2 ranked Connor Simmons of Fairmont but rebounded with a pin over Braydon Ripke of Luverne.
Third-ranked Carson Tschudi of Delano suffered an injury, allowing Holbrook to advance via injury default, where he lost to Bryce Burkett of WM/ML in the fifth place match.