LOCKING UP IN THE HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH is Nick Miska of Ortonville, left, and Walker Nienaber of Holdingford at the Section 5A Tournament at New London-Spicer Saturday, Feb. 25. Miska lost the match, but still qualified for the State Tournament this weekend at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. He will wrestle Nick Forner of Norwood Young America Friday morning, March 3.

   Cloos, Miska advance to State Wrestling Tournament

The Ortonville wrestling team traveled to New London-Spicer last weekend for the Section 5A Individual Wrestling Tournament.  The Mat Men had 11 fine young men compete for a chance to a trip to St. Paul.  The top two wrestlers in each weight class go on.

Deaven Boots, Thomas Eustice, Adam Strei, Danny Eastman, Dustin Veen, Mike Roach, Benjamin Eustice, Colin Hartman, Elijah Cloos, James Erickson and Nick Miska all competed for the Trojans and represented our school.  Everyone wrestled well during the tournament.  After two hard days of wrestling, two Trojans will represent Ortonville in the state tournament this weekend.

Four of our wrestlers competed hard on Friday, but could not find a way to win and were eliminated.  On Saturday, seven were still in contention when the day started.  In the first-round Adam Strei at 120, Dustin Veen at 138 and Mike Roach at 145 lost the match that would have put them into the placing rounds and ended their season. 


At 132, Danny Eastman wrestled the fourth-seeded Jonathan Tostensen from KMS in the quarter-finals and lost by fall in 2:57. This put him in the wrestle backs for Saturday.  In his first match of the day, he looked like a man on a mission. He wrestled Dylan Kampsen of BBE. Eastman got the first takedown near the middle of the first period and after giving up an escape had the lead going into the second period. Kampsen took down in the second and gained an escape. Eastman got a nice takedown, but was able to keep Kampsen down to go up 4-2. In the third period, Danny broke open a close match with an escape. He then got a takedown and put Kampsen on his back for a three-point near fall and a 10–2 win that put him in the medal round. In Eastman’s next match he took on James Welle of Holdingford.  The winner of this match would wrestle for third and a possible true-second match while the loser would wrestle for fifth. After a scoreless first period, Welle took down and escaped right away.  Danny got the takedown and the lead.  Welle escaped again and Danny was able to get another takedown and take a 4–2 lead into the third period. Eastman went on to win the match, 5-4. 

Eastman would have to wrestle Jonathan Tostenson for third place. In this match, Danny really gave a great effort. He was able to go six minutes with someone who has pinned him twice. He scored points and did many good things in the match. While Danny did not win the match, he did wrestle well and placed fourth in a tough weight class.   

Dustin Veen picked up the first win of the tournament for the Trojans at 138 against Adam Larson of Minnewaska.  Dustin did a nice job getting the first takedown and a three point near fall to start the match.  After giving up a reversal he gained a reversal to take 7-2 lead into the second period.  In the second period, Veen took up and was able to turn Larson to his back and got the fall in 2:36 to advance to the quarterfinals. In his second match, he lost to Nathan Thein of NLS by fall in 2:44. Thein would eventually take third in the tournament.  On Saturday morning, Dustin took on Nick Gabrielson of Paynesville. Veen was not able to get much going and Gabrielson got the fall in 4:15.

At 152, Benjamin Eustice started the tournament as the fourth seed. In his first round, he wrestled Cade Barrett of NLS. Barrett got the first takedown to start the match. Eustice was able to hit his role and put Barrett on his back and get the fall in 1:53 to advance to the semi-finals. In the semi-finals, he had to take on number one seeded Colton Waldvogel of Osakis.  This was a barn burner of a match with Eustice making Waldvogel earn every point.  Waldvogel is very good on his feet and Eustice could not stop a takedown in the first period. Benjamin hung in but lost to the eventual champion in a good match. This put Eustice in the placing round. In the match that decided if Eustice would wrestle for third or fifth, he wrestled Thomas Pesta from LPGE-Browerville.  In the first period Pesta got the first takedown, but near the end of the period, Eustice reversed him to tie the score.  In the second period, Eustice took down and near the middle of the period got a reversal and the lead. Pesta came right back with a reversal to tie the score as time ran out.  In the third period, Pesta choose down and gained an escape midway through the period. It looked like Eustice would get the takedown to win, but Pesta countered and got the two points and the win 7–4. In the fifth-place match, Eustice wrested Garth Utsch of Paynesville. In the first period, Benjamin got a nice takedown and did a nice job of keeping Utsch from scoring.  In the second period, Eustice took down and hit his role for a reversal but could not get any back points. Utsch escaped and hit a throw that gave him a takedown and a two-point near fall for the lead at 5–4. With time running out Eustice took a shot and got the takedown. In overtime, Eustice wasted no time going after Utsch. He was able to get on top with his head and hips and won the match 8–6 and placed for the second year in a row at the section tournament.

Elijah Cloos wrestled the best tournament of his life. He came into the tournament as the second seed. He started the tournament against Cameron Schmitz of Paynesville.  Cloos did a great job of controlling the tempo and got the first takedown to take a two-point lead into the second period. In the second he took down and hit is roll. He brought his hips up at just the right time and put Schmitz on his back and got the fall in 2:39 and advanced to the semi-finals. In this match, Cloos had to wrestle Dalton Guzier of BBE who he was fortunate to beat by two points earlier in the year.  We expected this to be a tough match but Elijah just took it to Guzier in every period.  Cloos finished the scoring with a takedown to get a 10–1 win and a place in the section finals. 

In the finals, Cloos would face one of the toughest wrestlers in the state in Brandon Dahl of KMS. Elijah went into this match with a great plan of keeping the score close and finding a way to score in the third period to get the win. In the first period, he did a great job of stopping Dahl’s takedown and came close to getting a takedown himself.  The period ended with a  0-0 tie.  Dahl took down in the second and Cloos did an exceptional job of riding him out for two minutes. In the third Cloos was right in the position we wanted, no score and his choice. He took down and was able to hit his roll and got the reversal and a two-point lead. Dahl escaped to cut the lead to one.  Dahl had a deep shot and was lifting Cloos.  Elijah locked his ankles together and was called for a technical violation to tie the score. On the restart, Dahl was able to get a takedown and the lead.  Cloos escaped right away and went after Dahl with time running out.  He was not able to secure a takedown and came up one point short. Cloos gave the match his best shot and came up a little short. He had to wrestle a true second match against Cole Westland of Royalton. In this match Cloos took control. In the second after giving up an escape he got a takedown and a three-point near fall. In the third he took down and got his reversal and put Westland on his back and got the fall in 4:35 to take second place and advance to the state tournament next weekend. Elijah will wrestle Morgen Moreno from Hayfield in the first round on Friday morning.

HWT Nick Miska entered the tournament as the second seed. He had a bye into the semi-finals due to having only six HWTs in the tournament. In the semi-finals, he wrestled Ross Grussing of Benson. This was a close match that could have gone either way.  There were no points in the first period.  Miska took down and was able to get an escape.  Nick took a shot and slipped and Grussing landed on top for a takedown.  Miska was able to get an escape to tie the score. He went after Grussing and got him to stumble backward and as he fell Nick landed on him for the go-ahead takedown. Grussing took down and Miska was able to keep him on the mat and prevent him from scoring any points to get a 4–2 win and a place in the finals.  The win put him against Walker Nienaber of Holdingford.  This was a tough kid who had beaten us twice this year. Nick did awesome in the first period of not giving up any points, but could not score any either.  In the second Nick took down and was not able to score. The score was 0-0 going into the third period. Nienaber took down and Nick did a good job of keeping him down for about half of the period. There was a flurry near the edge of the mat. Miska looked like he was going to put Nienaber on his back but slipped and gave up the reversal.  He was caught on his back and pinned in 5:05. The right kid won third plaee so Nick placed second and will advance to the state tournament next weekend.  He will wrestle Nick Forner of NYA in the first round on Friday morning. 

The team would like to thank all the fans that come to New London to see all the action. A big thank you to the Ortonville Fire Department, Big Stone City Fire Department, Ortonville Police Department, Big Stone City Police Department, and the Minnesota Highway Patrol for the escort through Big Stone City and Ortonville when we got back to town.  It was awesome to have all the support for the wrestling team. 

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