ST. PAUL - Dustin Campbell was one of the most surprised wrestlers in the Class 2A individual prelims Wednesday night at the Xcel Energy Center.
He, not second-ranked Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus Road Crew teammate Nic Harrison, advanced to the quarterfinals as he pinned Cloquet's Simon Thill at 145 pounds.
"I wasn't really expecting this at all," Campbell said after he improved his record to 30-11.
Campbell had wrestled Thill in a regular-season tournament, losing 4-2.
"I just went out there and hoped I could do as well as I could, and I got lucky," Campbell said.
Dustin Campbell of Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus wrestled with Becker's Kevin O'Brien in the 145-pound opener. Campbell pinned O'Brien. Photo/John Pedersen
The victory didn't surprise Road Crew coach Tom Demars.
"He's really been wrestling pretty well, at sections and today again," Demars said. "That was a kid he lost to earlier in the year but it was a close match. With the way he's been wrestling we knew he would have a pretty good shot."
Harrison, ranked second at 130, lost 5-3 to unranked Connor Anderson (Simley). It was only the fourth loss in 36 matches for Harrison this season.
"Anything can happen down here but we thought Nic had a pretty good shot at moving on," Demars said. "I know he's disappointed, as well as we are. Now it's in someone else's hands, whether he can have a chance to come back or not."
Campbell was the only area 2A individual who won. Teammate Zach Humphrey lost by decision at 125.
Highlights: Dustin Campbell of PL/PR-B was the only area wrestler to win his opener.
Next: Class 2A individual quarterfinals, 10 a.m. Thursday, Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul.
All three Little Falls Flyers suffered defeats, including 10th-ranked Steve McMahan at 160.
"We went 0-3, we thought we would be 3-0, that's the way it is," Flyers coach Mike Hendrickson said.
Tenth-ranked McMahan lost by major decision, Dillon Kifer lost by fall at 119 and Cody Bue lost by fall at 152.
"McMahan, unfortunately, is sickly today, he's coughing and wheezing," Hendrickson said. "I said, 'Well, no excuses, and he said, 'Right, coach,' He didn't wrestle very well against a strong kid, physically strong. It was a bad matchup for him.
Kifer, an eighth-grader, lost to eighth-ranked Tommy Glenn (Simley).
"He had a wonderful section tournament," Hendrickson said. "Three kids in his (section) weight class were returning state entrants and he knocked out two of them. To get down here as an eighth-grader is huge." Bue lost to ninth-ranked Wade Gobin of Cannon Falls-Randolph.
"Bue had a great section tournament," Hendrickson said. "He beat the No. 1 seed in the semis, and got in the finals. He ran into another buzzsaw today. He got in there deep on a double leg and the guy just hipped him right to his back. It was really tight. There wasn't a lot of fight to it, unfortunately."
Class 2A prelims
119: Tommy Glenn (Simley) pinned Dillon Kifer (LF) 5:16
125: Justin Reinsma (Fulda-Murray County) dec. Zach Humphrey (PLPRB) 6-2
130: Connor Anderson (Simley) dec. Nic Harrison (PLPRB) 5-3
145: Dustin Campbell (PLPRB) pinned Simon Thill (Cloquet) 2:48
152: Wade Gobin (Cannon Falls-Randolph) pinned Cody Bue (LF) :43
160: Brett Crecelius (Marshall-Lakeview) maj. dec. Steve McMahan (LF) 12-2
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