A trio of Owatonna wrestlers made it through the rugged individual state preliminaries for Sections 1 and 2 to reach the state meet Thursday, March 25. The finals event at St. Michael-Albertville will feature eight-man brackets in the pandemic-altered format for this year's Minnesota State High School League tournament.

Top-rated Landen Johnson (junior, 24-1) won the 160-pound bracket Saturday at Farmington High School. Owatonna's all-time leader in career pins went the distance in each of his three matches to give an indication of the level of competition. Johnson beat Peyton Hermann of Lakeville South 3-0, No. 6 ranked Sam Treml of Shakopee 10-0 and No. 7 Colton Sund of Prior Lake 3-1 to earn the return trip to state.

Between Sections 1 and 2, seven teams are ranked by The Guillotine. Seven of the 14 weight classes have a wrestler from one of these sections as top ranked in the state.

Matt Seykora (senior, 5-3) scored a quick win by pin over Frank Giesen of New Prague in 20 seconds in the quarterfinals. His sudden-victory in overtime 9-7 over Nathan Langer from Eastview would prove beneficial. Seykora lost to Jadon Hellerud of Shakopee in the finals 11-5. Langer came through the wrestle-back bracket. But Seykora earned the state trip thanks to his win in the semifinals.

Seykora's regular season was limited due to an injury suffered during the football season. He was ranked for much of the abbreviated wrestling season, only falling out of the poll due to his late start on the mat this winter. Seykora will play college baseball at Division II Southwest Minnesota State.

Cael Robb (sophomore, 24-2) was forced to compete in a true-second match. After a quarterfinal pin in 3:04 over Tyler Laudenbach of Apple Valley, he beat Beau Murphy of Northfield 6-0 in the semis. Robb lost to No. 1 ranked Jore Volk from Lakeville North in the finals and had to battle No. 9 AJ Smith of Shakopee for a state trip. Robb, who is third-ranked, scored a decisive 8-0 win to move on.

Jacob Reinardy (junior 23-4) just missed out. After an opening round win Saturday 11-4, he lost to eventual champ No. 2 rated Joey Novak of New Prague. Reinardy came back with a 3-2 win over Owen Murphy from Northfield and a 3-1 win over Chase Vought of Farmington. Rienardy's fortune ran out with a 6-2 loss to Brice Bishof from Lakeville South in the true-second bout.

The Huskies had nine wrestlers make it to Saturday after the opening round on Thursday.

  • Trey Hiatt (7th grade, 14-11) lost to eventual champ Alan Koehler of Prior Lake to start his day. But bounced back with a win by pin before being eliminated.
  • Jack Sorenson (8th grade, 0-2) lost to eventual champ Blake West of Shakopee and went 0-2.
  • Kanin Hable (No. 5 ranked, junior, 16-5) lost in the first round, won a wrestle back over No. 9 Joey Flores of Albert Lea Area by major decision, and lost to No. 4 Chase Murphy from Northfield.
  • Andrew Nirk (junior (14-11) won his first match, lost to the eventual champ in the semifinals and lost a close decision in wrestle backs.
  • Abe Stockwell (junior, 14-9) lost to No. 4 Evan Anderson from New Prague, pinned Mambu Sonie from Burnsville, then lost to Connor Meixell from Eastview.

Thursday at St. Michael-Albertville starts with team competition at 9 am. Shakopee will face Anoka while Stillwater battles St. Michael-Albertville. Individual action begins at 2 pm. Review the tournament information guide from the high school league.

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