ST. PAUL - Brandon Mutz had nothing to lose, but the odds were against him.
The Brainerd Warrior's opponent for the Class 3A state championship at 119 pounds was top-ranked and unbeaten Destin McCauley. The Apple Valley freshman was state champion at 103 in 2006 and state champion at 112 in 2007.
Mutz, who was unranked, tried everything against McCauley, who pinned the Warrior junior at 5:00 in the individual state finals Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center.
Brainerd 119-pounder Brandon Mutz (right) lost to Apple Valley's Destin McCauley Saturday in their championship match at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
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Was there anything Mutz would have done differently?
"I would have tried to shoot more," he said. "I didn't shoot very much."
Mutz finished an astounding state tournament run, and season, with a 28-4 record.
Warriors co-head coach Jim Kath said Mutz will benefit from the experience.
"McCauley's an elite wrestler in the country," Kath said. "Brandon had a great tournament. Just the opportunity to get out there in the state finals ... He did everything he could possibly do. He didn't go out there and back down."
The unheralded Mutz came out of nowhere to reach the finals. He was the Section 8-3A runner-up, but reeled off three victories at state before running into McCauley.
"More than anything he can learn he had an opportunity this weekend to make some things happen," Kath said. "He went for it and got himself to the state finals. He's a kid that wasn't even rated coming into the state tournament. From that standpoint he had a great weekend."
Lingwall captures fifth
Fourth-ranked Nick Lingwall finished his season and career with a victory, beating unranked James Loch of Minneapolis South 6-4 for fifth place at 130.
"At least I finished with a win, that's all I really wanted," Lingwall said.
He led 4-1 after one period, 4-2 after two.
Class 3A individuals
Highlights: Brainerd's Brandon Mutz finished second at 119 and Nick Lingwall was fifth at 130.
"He came out right away, pushing me hard and shooting fast," Lingwall said. "I used my duck under. I tried a few shots, but I couldn't get in deep enough, so I did a duck under and got him with that.
"The second takedown I just got him off-balance and overpowered him. I ran him over pretty much."
Lingwall finished his senior season 38-4, winning three of five matches at state.
"He finished well," Warriors co-head coach Mike Boran said. "It was tough after losing that semifinal match (Friday). He didn't have his best matches after that, but he regrouped.
"Nick came back today ready to wrestle against a very good kid. He outhustled him at the beginning and hung on to win. "Nick's a great kid, a great wrestler. We're going to miss him."
Lingwall hopes to wrestle at St. Cloud State University next season and may major in biology.
119: Destin McCauley (Apple Valley) pinned Brandon Mutz (Brd) 5:00
3A fifth place
130: Nick Lingwall (Brd) dec. James Loch (Mpls South) 6-4
MIKE BIALKA may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 855-5861.
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