ST. PAUL -- Something had to budge when Ted Wilczek of Little Falls wrestled Jayson Ness of Bloomington Kennedy for the 125-pound Class 3A individual state title Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center.
Ness, unbeaten and ranked No. 1, and Wilczek, ranked ninth, each had pinned their three previous opponents on their way to the state final. Ness, state champion at 112 two years ago, took Wilczek down and scored a near fall before pinning him at 56 seconds to capture the title.
"Four pins to three, I guess we're down one," Flyers coach Mike Hendrickson said.
"That kid's an animal, no doubt about it, and we knew it going in," Hendrickson added. "We had a game plan but he just torched us. Uff-dah. I wish it could have gone the distance because Ted's got some skills, no doubt about it."
Wilczek, a junior, has one more opportunity to become only the third champion in Flyers wrestling history. He finished 38-3.
"I had 25 pins," Wilczek said, "and I'm two wins away from 100."
Class 3A individuals
Highlights: Little Falls' Ted Wilczek (125) was runner-up. Brainerd's Kyle Dukowitz (145) and Troy Biermaier (135) of Little Falls were sixth.
Brainerd's Kyle Dukowitz (145) and Little Falls' Troy Biermaier (135) finished sixth. The unranked Biermaier lost to seventh-ranked P.J. Mack of Coon Rapids 10-1.
Dukowitz lost 7-3 to Matt Brauer of Burnsville. Dukowitz finished his senior season 38-9.
"It would have been great to be able to get a medal down here," Dukowitz said. "I would have liked to have done a little bit better but I still think I wrestled pretty tough."
Brauer was ranked fourth in the state. Dukowitz's last opponent in Friday's wrestlebacks, Andy Leisen of Rochester Mayo, was ranked fifth.
"They were pretty good and real big too," Dukowitz said. "I was definitely sucking some weight."
Warriors coach Bob Brakke knew what Dukowitz was up against when he met Brauer.
"Brauer's just a block," Brakke said. "He's hard to score on.
"Kyle had a great season. Obviously, he wanted to win to finish it but not everybody gets to do that. He went out there and went for it. I was glad of that. It wasn't like he was not trying or not going for it."
CLASS 3A FINALS
125 -- Championship-Jayson Ness (Bloomington Kennedy) pinned Ted Wilczek (LF) :56, Wilczek finishes 38-3
135 -- Fifth place- P.J. Mack (Coon Rapids) dec. Troy Biermaier (LF) 10-1, Biermaier finishes 35-11
145 -- Fifth place-Matt Brauer (Burnsville) dec. Kyle Dukowitz (Brd) 7-3, Dukowitz finishes 38-9
MIKE BIALKA can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 855-5861.
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