Vikings send four to state

Three individual section titles for NB wrestlers

Senior Seamus Hunter takes down an  opponent  during the Section 7AA tournament at  North Branch  last week.

Senior Seamus Hunter takes down an
opponent
during the Section 7AA tournament at
North Branch
last week. Photos by Kat Ladwig

The Section 7AA wrestling meet was a successful showing for the North Branch wrestling team, which earned three sections champions and will be sending four individuals to the state tournament.

Senior Reid Johnson was the first Viking grappler to earn a state bid at 132 pounds by taking second place at the section showing. Johnson comes in to the state tournament as the No. 7 wrestler in his weight class and will face No. 10 Logan Axford of Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove.

Senior Aaron Senne captured the section title at 145 pounds, bringing his overall record to 30-6. Senne squares off against junior Seoulec Gunvalson of Benilde-St. Margaret’s.

Tristan Labelle improved his record to 24-10 by capturing first last week. The senior is set to face No. 5 Brian Bertram of Byron in the opening round of the state tournament.

Senior Tristan Labelle grabs the leg of his competitor.

Senior Tristan Labelle grabs the leg of his competitor.

No. 2 Seamus Hunter is the final Viking wrestler set to represent North Branch at the state tournament. The heavyweight will take on Logan Zeske (29-12) of Redwood Valley/Cedar Mountain in the first round. If Hunter advances, he could take on top-ranked Sam Stoll of Kasson-Mantorville in round two.

Junior Kody Strohmeyer placed sixth at the section tournament at 120 pounds. Junior Alex Bigley also took sixth place at 170 pounds.

Six other Viking wrestlers placed eighth on the day: ninth-grader Ryan Senne (106 pounds), eighth-grader Aaron Robillard (113 pounds), senior Alex Fitcha (138 pounds), junior Camerson Sampson (152 pounds), junior Austin MacDonald (160 pounds) and sophomore Mitchell Anderson (220 pounds).

Head coach James Hoard (left) and his coaching staff call for two points during Labelle’s match.  Photos by Kat Ladwig

Head coach James Hoard (left) and his coaching staff call for two points during Labelle’s match.
Photos by Kat Ladwig

North Branch went 1-15 in duals this season. The Vikings recorded two top-three finishes this season by taking third at the Grand Rapids tournament and at their home tournament in January. The state-bound North Branch wrestlers compete in the opening round at 11 a.m. at the Xcel Energy Center on Friday, Feb. 28.

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