ST. PAUL - The competition is always good at the Class AA State Wrestling Tournament, but it was especially tough for the Dawson-Boyd/Lac Qui Parle/Montevideo wrestling team that lost its first two matches to be eliminated before the finals.
United had tough draw in its quarterfinal match and lost 46-12 to Simley, the No. 1 seed and top ranked team in the state. United got three wins, including a pin from Jake Lehmann in the 285-pound match.
"The kids battled against Simley. I was happy with the way they wrestled," Ross Jurgenson said. "They've got a great team."
It didn't get easier in the consolation semifinal because United had to face Totino-Grace, the No. 3 ranked team in state. That dual was closer, but it ended in a 36-34 loss.
"The boys came out against Totino and wrestled hard, but we got pinned five times and you can't do that," Jurgenson said. "They know that, but they got caught. Totino has a nice team."
Pins were the major difference in the dual. Both teams won seven matches, but Totino's five pins outscore United, which had three pins.
United took an early lead with five wins in the first seven matches. Jordan Bothun (120 pounds) and Spencer Sulflow (132) both won pins to help put the team go ahead 22-9. The Eagles won two matches to cut the lead down to four, but a pin from Joe Weeding at 170 pounds put United back up 28-18.
That is where the Eagles swooped in with three straight pins, all in the first rounds, to go ahead 36-28 and lock up the win.
Lehmann scored an overtime pin in the heavyweight match to give United its final points, but it fell two points short.
The season is not over yet for eight of United's wrestlers who will be competing in the individual tournament Friday and Saturday.
"They've got to regroup, dig in and we'll turn them loose tomorrow," Jurgenson said.
United's state individual wrestlers are Jordan Bothun (120), Bailey Eickhoff (126), Logan Knoshal (138), Keith Abraham (152), Mason Kwilinski (160), Joe Weeding (170), David Nelson (220) and Jake Lehmann (285).
Simley 46, United 12
106: Jake Gliva (S) pinned Peyton Mortenson, 0:31; 113: Anthony Jackson (S) major decision Donald Bothun, 19-9; 120: Greg Kerkvleit (S) decision Jordan Bothun, 8-5; 126: Cortez Arredondo (S) decision Bailey Eickhoff, 5-0; 132: Kyle Nordstrom (S) decision Spencer Sulflow, 8-3; 138: Logan Knoshal (U) decision Zach Spychalla, 5-0; 145: Rodolfo DeLao (S) pinned Mitchell Kwilinski, 5:08; 152: Mack Short (S) pinned Mason Kwilinski, 4:14; 160: Mikie Kubes (S) decision Keith Abraham, 11-9; 170: Joe Weeding (U) decision over Josh Schmidt, 12-6; 182: Trom Peterson (S) decision Anthony Quigley, 8-4; 195: Chris Bauman (S) decision Markus Kranz, 6-2; 220: Jack Ryan (S) pinned David Nelson, 3:00; 285: Jake Lehmann (U) pinned Rahshad Nixon, 0:30.
Totino-Grace 36, United 34
106: Peyton Mortenson (U) decision Michael Menth, 9-3; 113: Jaxon Sommers (TG) pinned Donald Bothun, 5:07; 120: Jordan Bothun (U) pinned Michael Kellett, 1:34; 126: Christian Bahl (TG) decision Baily Eickhoff, 5-1; 132: Spencer Sulflow (U) pinned Carter Walch. 1:22; 138: Logan Knoshal (U) decision Gayflor Flomo, 9-1; 145: Mitchell Kwilinski (U) decision Pierce Rothenbacher, 4-2; 152: Walker Thiele (TG) pinned Mason Kwilinski, 4:57; 160: Jared Florell (TG) decision Keith Abraham, 11-6; 170: Joe Weeding (U) pinned Will Rog, 2:32; 182: Isaac Florell (TG) pinned Anthony Quigley, 1:15; 195: Lance Benick (TG) pinned Markus Kranz, 0:50; 220: Aaron Kusch (TG) pinned David Nelson, 0:47; 285: Jake Lehmann (U) pinned Sam Anderson, 6:28, OT.