Rush City senior Dylan Mielke and junior Dalton Mielke and North Branch freshman Austin Sonnek competed in the Class AA state wrestling tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on March 3-4.
The Mielke brothers are the first Tiger athletes to compete in a state competition in 2016-17.
Dalton Mielke advanced the farthest of the local trio. The 160-pounder met Perham senior Evan Guck in the round of 16. Guck took leads of 3-0 and 5-3, but each time Dalton battled back, finally forcing overtime. In the sudden-death period, Guck controlled one of Dalton’s legs, forcing him off-balance, but Dalton maintained enough footing to force a takedown that secured a victory.
Dalton was pinned by Nate Carlson of Annandale/Maple Lake in the quarterfinals. In an evening wrestleback match, Dalton defeated Quad County’s Miles Kattevold 5-4 to advance to the second day of competition.
In a consolation match that would guarantee a podium finish for the winner, Dalton was beaten by Evan Lawrence from Mahtomedi, ending his tournament run. Dalton finished the season with an overall record of 25-7.
Sonnek and Dylan Mielke were unable to score any victories in the tournament. In the first round at 132 pounds, Sonnek was felled by South St. Paul junior Antonio Cortez. At 145 pounds, Dylan Mielke was beaten 10-0 by Peter Nelson of St. Cloud Apollo.
Wrestlers defeated in the first round are only able to continue in the wrestlebacks if their first-round opponents go on to win again in the quarterfinals, though this scenario eventuated for both local competitors. Sonnek was subsequently eliminated with a 15-0 loss to Sam Tibbits of Litchfield, while Dylan Mielke was dropped 6-2 by Trevor Oberg of South St. Paul.
Sonnek finished the season with a record of 22-14, while Dylan Mielke came home at 21-11.