MINNEAPOLIS -- Just hearing the phrase "cracked sternum" would be enough to make most people cringe.
Crosby-Ironton Rangers senior J.R. Ferrier suffered that injury in the Section 8AA final last season and it ruined his chances of a state wrestling appearance.
But wasn't near enough to keep him down.
Ferrier bounced back in dramatic fashion Thursday at this year's state tournament, winning both of his matches at 152 pounds and advancing to the semifinals Friday.
In the quarterfinals Ferrier defeated undefeated and second-ranked Ryan Flaherty of Big Lake 5-2. He also disposed of Brandon LaRue of LaCrescent in the first round 6-2.
"It says a lot about his character," said Crosby-Ironton coach Dave Peterson. "A lot of kids would have quit so that wouldn't happen again. He set his goal to get down here and he has put that behind him."
Ferrier, unranked and 27-3 on the year, recorded two takedowns -- one in the first period and one in the third -- to beat Flaherty, who was 22-0.
"I just pushed myself," Ferrier said. "I just did the best I could and that's all I can say. He likes upper body-type stuff. So I tried to sweep and duck under because he's going to be trying to get under you."
Flaherty scored his only two points on two escapes.
The Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines had six individuals in the event and four -- Leland Brincefield at 119 pounds, Peter Hayes at 125, Pat Kramer at 135 and Luke Trout at 160 -- have advanced to the semifinals.
Hayes, only a freshman, beat Todd Russell of Stewartville 1-0 in the quarterfinals.
"He was a tough kid," said Hayes, who qualified for state for the first time this year. "I wrestled conservative and played it safe. I like to win by bigger margins because then I feel safe. But when it's 1-0 in the third period, then you play it safe so you don't make a big mistake."
Hayes was 26-6 last season and is now 34-1 this year. He attributes much of his success to the University of Minnesota Team Wrestling Camp, which he and his teammates attended this summer.
"I could've taken him down," Hayes said. "I could've tried to make a bigger score, but then you take the chance of screwing up and I'd rather just advance."
Brincefield claimed his win a little more convincingly, slowly racking up points and finally defeating Phil McMullen of River Valley 8-2. The Wolverines' 112-pound sophomore also pinned his first-round opponent Noel Kutz of Dassel-Cokato in only 56 seconds.
"I watched McMullen in the first match and he was real aggressive," said Brincefield, who was fifth last year. "I had to take him out of that and wrestle my kind of match. I didn't let him do his shots."
Class AA area results
103 -- Matt Becker (St. Michael-Albertville) def. Nathan Berry (Wadena-Deer Creek) 4-2
112 -- Leland Brincefield (W-DC) pinned Noel Kutz (Dassel-Cokato) :56; Mark Twardy (Litchfield) def. Chris Tibbetts (Aitkin) 17-5; Brincefield def. Phil McMullen (River Valley) 8-2
125 -- Peter Hayes (W-DC) def. Josh Jorgensen (Waconia/Mayer Lutheran) 5-0; Austin Scarset (Red Rock Central/Westbrook-Walnut Grove) def. Tyler Bendson (Staples-Motley) 15-1; Hayes def. Todd Russell (Stewartville) 1-0
130 -- Ben Keen (Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus) pinned Josh Bunting (Redwood Valley) 5:20; Ryan King (Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander) def. Keen 4-2
135 -- Pat Kramer (W-DC) pinned John Brunn (Monticello) 5:41; Kramer def. T.J. Anderson (Dassel-Cokato) 6-4
145 -- Tony Johnson (S-M) def. Jeradan Otto (Roseau) 5-4; Tyler Eustice (Blue Earth) def. Johnson 16-8
152 -- J.R. Ferrier (Crosby-Ironton) def. Brandon LaRue (LaCrescent) 6-2; Ferrier def. Ryan Flaherty (Big Lake) 5-2
160 -- Luke Trout (W-DC) def. Keith Peterson (Walker-Hackensack-Akeley) 9-7, OT; Zack Skattum (Luverne/Hills-Beaver Creek/Ellsworth) def. Luke Abraham (PL/PR-B) 8-5; Trout def. Jacob Lucas (Scott West) 12-1
171 -- Zach Bruns (Marshall) def. Matt Lowers (W-DC) 7-0
Hwt. -- Nate Kuisle (Stewartville) pinned Josh Bresnahan (PL/PR-B) 3:07.
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