For two seniors, returning to the top of the podium is priority No. 1 this weekend.
Two-time state champion Hayden Zillmer and former state champion Clint Poster will begin their quest to claim another state title 9 a.m. Friday during the Class 1A state individual tournament.
Crosby-Ironton’s Zillmer won the 112-pound title last year and the 103 title as a sophomore. He enters his fourth state tournament as the top-ranked 130-pounder with a 39-1 record. He will face freshman Chad Johnson (15-12) of Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton in the opening round.
“Hayden is at the top of his game right now,” said C-I head coach Champ Hesch. “He is very confident and he’s on fire. He’s talking about scoring a lot of points this weekend.”
Poster won his 103-pound state title during a 37-0 eighth-grade year. The five-time state tournament wrestler is undefeated again heading into the 140-pound bracket as the top-ranked wrestler.
Pierz’s all-time wins and pins leader will face New Richland’s Jacob Staloch. The junior owns a 26-12 record.
“Clint got a pretty good draw,” said Pierz head coach Simon Waltman. “He’s in a spot that is pretty good for him. That was nice to see. You never know when you get down there because one kid’s record doesn’t mean he’s not a good wrestler.
“Clint knows what it’s all about. He’s on a mission.”
Poster’s teammate Sean Huls was third last year at 160. He enters his fourth state tournament with a 29-5 record and is ranked sixth. He will face seventh-ranked Michael Kramer (35-7) of Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City in the opening round.
“His goal is to improve on last year’s place and that means he wants to wrestle in the finals,” said Waltman. “He has wrestled really well in the second half of the season. He’s really turned it on and he’s been wrestling as well as he ever has. We’re pretty excited to see what he can do.”
The Brainerd Warriors will have four wrestlers representing their program Friday.
Eighth-ranked Mack Glasby will battle Lakeville South’s Austin Britnell in the opening round of Class 3A’s 145-pound bracket. Glasby owns a 29-5 record. Britnell enters with a 30-10 record.
“Mack starts out with a tough kid and a tough side of the bracket,” said Brainerd co-head coach Jim Kath. “If he wins his first match he’ll likely face the kid who is ranked just ahead of him from Mounds View. It’s a tough weight bracket, but Mack is right in there with all the other guys.”
Dan Babineau (24-12) will begin his first state tournament against Devin Wolf (30-5) of Irondale in the 119-pound bracket.
Nate Adams enters his first state tournament with a 17-8 record and will face fifth-ranked Trey Hable of Albert Lea (32-9).
“Dan had a great section tournament,” said Kath. “We’ll see how he reacts once he gets down there. He has a decent enough chance to win some matches and go pretty far.
“Nate has been wrestling well of late. He’s peaking at the right time of year.”
Tyler Kohlmeier enters his second state tournament with a 27-5 record. The senior will face Mound-Westonka’s Nate Schermerhorn (28-11) at 171.
“Last year’s experience will be huge for Tyler,” Kath said. “He is a kid who understands the weight of each match. We really need him to start wrestling well because after that first match he will end up facing the defending state champion of that weight class. We really believe he can gain all-state honors and medal for us.”
119: Dan Babineau (soph, Brainerd, 24-12) vs. Devin Wolf (junior, Irondale, 30-5)
145: Mack Glasby (senior, Brainerd, 29-5) vs. Austin Britnell (soph, Lakeville South, 30-10)
152: Nate Adams (junior, Brainerd, 17-8) vs. Trey Hable (junior, Albert Lea, 32-9)
171: Tyler Kohlmeier (senior, Brainerd, 27-5) vs. Nate Schermerhorn (senior, Mound-Westonka, 28-11)
103: Triston Rubner (fresh, Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus, 25-9) vs. Anthony Luft (fresh, Worthington, 32-3)
135: Dillon Kifer (junior, Little Falls, 36-5) vs. Zach Campbell (senior, Tracy-Milroy, 38-4)
152: Peter Harrison (junior, PL/PRB, 36-3) vs. Tim Ostby (junior, Morris Area, 30-9)
152: Brent Lisson (soph, Staples-Motley, 35-6) vs. Eric Twohey (senior, Stewartville, 30-9)
160: Christian Harrison (senior, PL/PRB, 34-2) vs. Chris Gallus (senior, Delano, 23-10)
171: Blake Petrich (junior, S-M, 34-7) vs. Andrew Madson (soph, Dassel-Cokato, 27-9)
189: Chandler Trout (senior, S-M, 38-3) vs. Cody Hazelett (junior, Simley, 24-18)
103: Caleb Voss (soph, Crosby-Ironton, 14-14) vs. Conrad Kondos (fresh, Breckenridge, 26-9)
112: Jarod Novak (7th grade, Aitkin, 29-7) vs. Quinten Berres (8th, Kimball, 39-2)
119: Brandon Sullivan (fresh, Pierz, 26-13) vs. Jesse Jaeger (senior, Maple River, 32-5)
125: Brett Brausen (senior, Prz, 30-9) vs. Tanner Ellenberg (senior, Frazee, 38-3)
130: Hayden Zillmer (senior, C-I, 39-1) vs. Chad Johnson (fresh, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 15-12)
130: Brian Wold (soph, Ait, 22-11) vs. Jordan Theede (fresh, Lewiston-Altura/Rushford-Peterson, 22-2)
140: Clint Poster (senior, Prz, 38-0) vs. Jacob Staloch (junior, New Richland, 26-12)
140: Jared Wegscheid (senior, Wadena-Deer Creek, 32-5) vs. Larry Bomstad (fresh, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, 38-1)
145: Jordan Chouanard (junior, Ait, 33-2) vs. Blake Bergeron (fresh, Crookston, 28-13)
152: Nathan Tomala (junior, Prz, 23-6) vs. Bryan Andrews (junior, Martin County West, 14-5)
160: Sean Huls (senior, Prz, 29-5) vs. Michael Kramer (senior, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, 35-7)
171: Nick Lochner (soph, Prz, 10-10) vs. Josh Willaert (senior, LeSueur-Henderson, 36-2)
189: Andrew Bast (senior, Ait, 26-11) vs. Juan Gomez (senior, Chatfield, 34-2)
215: Tony Reurink (soph, W-DC, 34-8) vs. Andrew Plumski (senior, Royalton, 30-3)
285: Colin Turchin (Junior, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale, 18-1) vs. Payten Crosby (senior, Martin County West, 15-3)
285: Dylan Anderson (senior, W-DC, 25-11) vs. Josh Van Overbecke (junior, Minneota, 38-2)
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5856.