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Area grapplers aiming to pin down state berths
The biggest day outside of the state tournament is approaching for the three Bulletin-area high school wrestling teams. They will converge on Champlin Park High School on Saturday for the Section 5AAA individual tournament.
There will be 28 berths on the line as the top two finishers in each of 14 weight classes will advance to the Xcel Energy Center for the state tournament next week.
Irondale’s Eriq Smith appears to be the best bet from the area teams to reach state. A senior heavyweight, Smith was ranked seventh in his weight class in Class AAA last week by the Guillotine, an online amateur wrestling publication. He is the only ranked heavyweight from Section 5AAA.
Smith made his first state appearance last year after winning the section heavyweight championship.
None of the three Bulletin-area high school wrestling teams was able to make much noise at the Section 5AAA team tournament on Saturday at Maple Grove High School. All three lost their opening match and were eliminated.
Irondale was the eighth seed and lost its first-round match to ninth-seeded Park Center 60-22. Mounds View was seeded fourth and lost 37-25 to fifth-seeded Osseo in the quarterfinals. Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony Village was the seventh seed and fell 60-9 to second-seeded Centennial in the quarterfinals.
None of the matches were particularly close. Mounds View’s 12-point loss to Osseo was the second-closest contest of the tournament, behind only third-seeded Maple Grove’s 10-point victory over top-seeded Rogers in the championship final.
Brian Meyers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.