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Seven Bulletin-area high school wrestlers headed to state
All three Bulletin-area high schools will have competitors at this weekend’s state wrestling meet.
Mounds View leads the way with five entries while Irondale and St. Anthony Village are sending one each.
Irondale senior Eriq Smith, a heavyweight, is going to state for the second consecutive year after he won his second consecutive section title. Smith received a bye in the first round of the section tournament and then won his next two matches with second-period pins.
Mounds View senior Vincent Belsito also won a section title to earn his way to state. A 170-pounder, Belsito opened the tournament with a pin just 46 seconds into the match and then won a pair of 6-1 decisions to nail down the section crown.
Joining Belsito at state are teammates Tanner Day, Karl Keeler, Jack O’Brien and Jimmy Kaiser. All three secured their state berths via second-place finishes at sections. Day (113 pounds), O’Brien (138) and Kaiser (182) all took second and did not need to wrestle true-second matches. Keeler wasn’t as lucky.
Keeler, at 120 pounds, rolled through the first two rounds with wins of 15-0 and 9-0 but dropped a 4-3 decision in the final. Champlin Park’s Malik Byrd fought back from a first-round loss to finish third and since he hadn’t wrestled Keeler in the tournament, they squared off in the true-second match. Keeler made the most of the opportunity by beating Byrd 7-1 to get to state.
St. Anthony junior Tristan Wehmas, a member of the Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony Village co-op team, won his first two matches at 220 pounds before losing 5-1 in the final. He did not have to wrestle a true-second match.
The state tournament starts Thursday with the team portion and the individuals take over on Friday and Saturday.
Brian Meyers can be reached at email@example.com.