Hunter takes heavyweight title
Despite taking eighth of eight teams at the Cambridge-Isanti Invite over the weekend, the North Branch wrestlers racked up some highlights.
Senior Seamus Hunter, ranked No. 10 in the state (Class AA) as of Dec. 13, stole the show on Saturday in the heavyweight class and moved up another spot in rankings to No. 9 after taking first in Cambridge.
Hunter got through the first round on a bye, then defeated Wes Mann of Grand Rapids by fall in the first period. Hunter then went on to win, 1-0, over James Weiss of Brainerd to claim the title.
Senior Alex Fitchka placed third in the tournament despite falling the first round to A.J. Jenks of Litte Falls in the 138-pound weight class. Fitchka wrestled back to defeat Jake Keller of Blaine by fall in the second period, then pinned Doug Fillbrant of Brainerd to earn a spot in the third-place matchup. The senior faced Jenks again, this time winning by decision, 4-2.
Senior Aaron Senne also captured third place at 145 pounds for the Vikings. Senne won by major decision in the first round, but lost to the eventual champion, Jose Rodriguez of Henry Sibley, in the semifinals. Senne pinned Sam Gibas of Elk River to earn a spot against the host team’s Reegan Lane to battle for third place. The Viking middleweight won by a 6-3 decision. Four North Branch wrestlers took fifth place, while two placed sixth.
The Bluejackets took first place at their home meet with 241 points, followed by Little Falls (188.5) and Elk River (148). North Branch tallied 94 points.
The Vikings are 0-7 in duals this season. Next, North Branch hosts Cambridge-Isanti, ranked fifth in state (Class AAA), at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9.