United North Central’s Ethan Hendrickson concluded his second trip to the state Class A wrestling tournament with a second-place finish at 113 pounds.
The Menahga sophomore posted a 16-1 technical fall win in 4:58 over Deer River eighth grader Jayce Ross in his first match before defeating Blue Earth Area’s Ty Peterson 9-4 in the quarterfinals during the opening rounds at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Friday, Feb. 28. In the win over Ross, Hendrickson used a takedown in the first period for a 2-0 lead before an escape, a takedown and a nearfall made it 10-1 after the second period. A pair of nearfalls in the third period ended that match. Against Peterson, Hendrickson opened with a takedown before a reversal by the Blue Earth Area junior tied the match at 2-2 after the first period. An escape and a takedown gave Hendrickson a 5-3 lead after the second period before Hendrickson followed an escape by Peterson with a takedown and a nearfall to advance to the semifinals.
Hendrickson earned a trip to the championship match with a dramatic 6-5 win over Chatfield senior Cael Bartels in the semifinals on Saturday, Feb. 29. A takedown and a nearfall gave Bartels a 5-0 lead before Hendrickson escaped to end the first period down 5-1. An escape in the second period closed the gap to 5-2 before Hendrickson rallied with a takedown with 42 seconds to go and a nearfall.
In the championship match, top-ranked Derek Steele of Sibley East took a 2-0 lead with a first-period takedown. After a scoreless second period, an escape by the Sibley East junior made it 3-0 before Hendrickson responded with a takedown with 1:01 to go to cut the margin to 3-2. Steele’s escape with 54 seconds remaining concluded the scoring and prevented Hendrickson from winning the state title.
Hendrickson ended the season with a 28-3 record while Steele, who was the runner-up at 113 last season, ended with a 48-2 record. The runner-up finish marked Hendrickson’s second state medal. Hendrickson finished sixth at 106 pounds last season.
United North Central’s Hank Tellers lost both his matches in his state debut at 145 pounds.
Tellers was pinned by New York MIlls eighth grader Gabe Geiser in 5:55 in the first round before being eliminated with a 16-1 technical fall loss to Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa senior Canon Swanson (the top seed) in the consolation bracket. Tellers ended his freshman season with a 15-20 record.
Nevis’ Dawson McGee also lost his first-round match in his state debut at 106 pounds. St. Clair-Mankato Loyola eighth grader Eli Kruse used takedowns in the first and second periods to offset a reversal by McGee in the second period for a 4-2 minor decision. McGee was denied a second match when Kruse was edged by Howard Lake-Waverly-Winstead seventh grader Caleb Boese 2-1 in the quarterfinals. McGee ended his freshman season with a 32-14 record.