By Keith Harner and Colin Staab
Northfield had three champions Saturday, all ninth graders. The top ranked female wrestler in the state at 100 pounds, Caley Graber dominated her way through the competition. Graber had two pins and a technical fall in the finals to start things off for the Raiders. Caden Staab also had a fantastic day concluding on the championship mat. The 127 pounder had a similar path to the finals with back to back falls. Staab avenged his loss to Saint Croix Central’s Will Schmitt with a 6-1 decision in the finals. The final champion for Northfield was Zane Engels. Engels did not let being the third seed in his bracket limit him. He won by fall in back to back matches in 5:25 and 1:48 respectively. The 145 pound champion was victorious over Saint Croix Central’s Maverick Kostzak 7-2 in a back and forth match for all six minutes.
The high school wrestling team had a busy weekend hosting the Northfield Larry Severson Invite. Not only was it a weekend full of hosting, it was also a weekend of winning. The Raiders had nine out of 13 wrestlers placed including six medalists.
Keith Harner was the lone runner-up in the high school gymnasium. The 133 pounder won by fall in 2:54 over Luke Jolly of Burnsville. Next, Harner was victorious with a 3-1 decision against Plymouth, Wisconsin’s Landen Ramsey. The junior’s run was stopped short after he lost 11-2 to Saint Croix Central’s Teague Holzer.
Colin Staab was one of the two people who placed third at the tournament. The 172 pounder won his match by fall in the second period over Johnny Verdeja. Next, Staab lost to Landon Lehnertz of Dover-Eyota who is ranked third in Class A by fall. Staab won his next two matches by fall over Jordan Trejo of Plymouth, Wisconsin and Christian Cuppels of Mankato East. Colin Staab defeated Tyler Ruff of Lakeville North 8-3 to advance to the third place match. He defeated Weston Roberson of Lake City 11-3 to take third place.
Owen Murphy was the other wrestler who finished third place. Murphy defeated Alex Loes 5-0 to advance to the semifinals. He wrestled a tough match against Max Morgan of Mankato East as a result Murphy lost 3-1. He came back and defeated Andrew Wendt of Dover-Eyota 4-1 to advance to the third place match. Owen Murphy came out strong to defeat Alex Lea of Westfield 6-2 to finish third place.
Eighth grader Charlie Johnson took fifth place at 121 pounds. Johnson wrestled six matches on the day with two falls including one in his fifth place match. Johnson also won 12-2 over Andrew Ankeny from Rosemount. Iah Schwiech and Ryan Kuyper took home sixth place at 160 and 215 pounds.
In conclusion, the host team took home second place tallying 177.5 points finishing just behind Dover Eyota’s 182 points.
On Thursday Northfield will take on New Prague and Forest Lake in New Prague at 5 p.m.