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Carlson caps career with a second-place finish at state

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     United North Central’s Taylor Carlson reached the championship match, teammate Dylan Huttunen won two matches and Park Rapids’ Justin Dravis won one match at the state Class A wrestling tournament.

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     Carlson, who was rated No. 3 at 220 pounds, pinned Norwood-Young America’s Steeven Smith in 5:17 and edged Prairie Valley’s Logan Nibbe 1-0 during Friday’s opening rounds in the 285-pound division at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul to advance to Saturday’s finals.

     After topping Dover-Eyota’s Tanner Welsh 2-1 in Saturday’s semifinals, Carlson was denied a state title with a 9-5 loss to Wabasso/Red Rock Central’s Alex Schroepfer in the finals.

     Schroepfer was the No. 1-ranked wrestler at 285 and ended the season with a 41-0 record. Carlson closed out his senior season with a 34-3 mark.

     Huttunen opened Friday’s state tournament with a 5-2 decision over Chatfield’s Cody Bly, who was rated No. 5 at 170 pounds. Huttunen was thrown into the wrestlebacks with an 8-4 loss to Blackduck/Cass Lake-Bena’s Daven Staples in the quarterfinals.

     During Saturday’s wrestlebacks, Huttunen stayed alive with a 4-1 decision over Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale’s Nick Bennett before being eliminated with an 11-3 loss to Trinity School’s Sam Swanson. Huttunen closed out his senior season with a 33-10 record. Jackson County Central’s Keegan Moore, who entered as the No. 1-ranked wrestler at this weight, capped off a 48-0 season by pinning Minnewaska Area’s Ryan Stottler in 5:16 in the title match.

     Dravis made his state debut by defeating No. 7-ranked Noah Greenfield of Maple River 3-2 before dropping an 8-6 overtime decision to Wadena-Deer Creek’s Devin Barthel in the quarterfinals.

     During Saturday’s wrestlebacks, Dravis was eliminated with a 3-2 loss to Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg’s Nicholas Meyer. Dravis capped off his freshman season with a 31-11 record. Top-ranked Larry Bomstad of Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City capped off a 49-0 season by pinning No. 6 Kolton Eischens of Pierz in 2:28 in the championship match.

     United North Central’s Tristan Palmer lost his first match to No. 4 Vince Johnson of Windom 8-3 and was eliminated with a 14-4 loss to No. 6 Jake Denn of Madelia in the wrestlebacks at 195. Palmer capped off his senior season with a 27-7 record. Top-ranked Nathan Rose of Sibley East defeated Johnson 11-3 in the championship match to cap off a 45-1 season.

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