Wrestling: Dawson McGee qualifies for state tournament
The Nevis senior earns runner-up honors at the Section 7A meet.
STAPLES – After just missing earning a trip to the state Class A wrestling tournament by placing third at 120 pounds last season, Walker-Hackensack-Akeley/Nevis’ Dawson McGee was determined to qualify for state to cap off his senior season.
The Nevis senior fulfilled that goal by claiming runner-up honors at 126 pounds at the Section 7A individual tournament on Friday, Feb. 24.
McGee, who qualified for state at 106 as a freshman and at 113 as a sophomore, entered the section tournament as the No. 3 seed. McGee advanced to the championship match with a 9-0 major decision over Mille Lacs’ Creedon Spengler and a pin in 4:42 over Ogilvie’s Deegan Birkaker, the No. 2 seed.
In the title match, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Browerville’s Gavin Albers posted a 12-4 major decision over McGee. Albers was the No. 1 seed and rated No. 4 in the state poll while McGee was rated No. 5.
When Royalton-Upsala’s Lane Olson edged Birkaker in the third-place match, McGee had to face Olson in a true-second match. McGee prevailed 5-0 to advance to state.
McGee will carry a 40-4 record into his third and final state appearance. The state tournament begins on Friday (March 3) and concludes on Saturday (March 4) at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
“It was great to have Dawson qualify this season. He has really been working hard and wrestling very well this season,” said WHAN head coach Colby Marich. “We thought Dawson had a very good chance at making it, but understand that on that day it is who shows up and puts it on the mat. Dawson did exactly that. He pinned the No. 2 seed in the semis and then lost to the No. 1 seed in the finals. I am very excited to see him continue his great season at the state tournament. I believe if he wrestles like he can, he stands a great shot of bringing home a state medal.”