Redwood-River Valley shines at Section 3AA Individual Tournament as Harazin, Maddock capture titles
It was a banner weekend for the Redwood-River Valley wrestlers, as they advanced five individuals on to the Class AA state meet beginning Friday morning at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
“The Section tournament was the best most of our kids have wrestled all season,” said Co-Head Coach Paul Carlson. “We go into Sections every year wanting to place all of our weight classes and this year we had 13 weights filled out of 14 and 11 of those wrestlers placed.”
Senior Tayte Harazin captured the individual title at 152 pounds. Harazin (36-2), entered as the number one seed and would roll into the finals, including recording his 50th career pin in a good semifinal win over Cole Ranweiler of New Ulm Area. In the championship match he faced rival Miles Fitzgerald of Fairmont /MCW and would get a battle, eventually winning 9-7 for his first career Section 3AA crown. The fourth ranked wrestler in the state at 152 will open up the state meet with a match against Jon Smith of Mora (30-7) in the preliminaries and could meet up with Fitzgerald potentially in the quarterfinals.
Junior Chad Maddock (28-6) entered the tournament as the number two seed but faced a tough field that included number one seed Tanner Johnson (28-9) of Montevideo UNITED, Kyle Mullaney of Worthington (30-10) and Colby Wenninger of New Ulm Area (35-7). He would open in the semifinals against Wenninger and needed just 50 seconds to record a fall and advance to the championship. There, he met up with Mullaney, who had upset top-seeded Johnson 6-4. Mullaney, who had defeated Maddock in the Section team tournament, wouldn’t get that luxury this time as Maddock picked up a second period fall to claim the title. Maddock – ranked seventh in Class AA – will open state against Charles Barnett of Delano (30-11) in the preliminaries.
Junior Kaleb Haase (32-3) was the number one seed in the 220 pound weight class and rolled into the finals with an 8-0 major decision over Quintin Lehmann of Montevideo UNITED and then was in complete control of second-seed Nick McKenzie of NL/Spicer in the championship, but an illegal move led to his disqualification in the waning moments of the third period. He would have to settle for second place. Haase – the top ranked wrestler at 220 pounds in Class AA – will face Bodee Zens of Milaca-Faith Christian (23-9) in the preliminaries and could meet up with McKenzie again in the quarterfinals.
James Ploeger (26-7) was the third seed at 182 pounds, but after a first round fall, he stunned number two seed Keaton Haas of Montevideo UNITED with a third period fall to advance to the championship match. There, he would drop a 5-0 decision to top-seed Zach Stahl (24-3) of Marshall but did not have to wrestle a true-second. He will open up state against Kolin Baier (33-5) of Mankato East who is ranked seventh in the state.
Senior Omar Arredondo (27-15) became the fifth Badger to qualify for state with a second place finish at 138 pounds. Arredondo – who surpassed 100 career victories this season – was a 13-0 major winner in his first match and then survived a thriller in the semifinals, topping second-seed Noah Jensen (32-12) of Marshall with a five-point move in overtime to advance to the championship. There, he would lose to number one seed Trevon Johnson (35-8) of Monte UNITED by fall and was forced to wrestle a true-second. In the true-second match, he would gut out yet another nail-biter 7-6 over Blake Jagodzinske of Fairmont/MCW to advance. He will open up state against Carter Entinger (34-3) of Watertown/Mayer/ML who is ranked fifth in the state.
At 106 pounds, sophomore Carter Brandt (21-17) wrestled a solid tournament finishing fourth overall. He reached the semifinals where he lost a tough 5-3 decision to number two seed and eventual champion Dylan Louwagie of Marshall. He would reach the third place match with a 12-4 major decision before losing to tournament number one seed Jesse Potts (39-9) over Fairmont/MCW in the third-place match.
Junior Owen Bertram (19-16) would also finish fourth at 113, coming within a point of reaching the finals. He upset second-seed Hsa Khee Lar (31-9) of Marshall by fall in the quarterfinals and then dropped a tough 6-5 decision to Carter Brandes of New Ulm Area in the semifinals. He picked up a 7-5 win to reach the third-place match where he lost a 5-2 decision to Davin Rose of MAHACA.
Andy Fischer (16-21) reached the semifinals at 170 before losing to eventual champion Mario Maldonado of Fairmont /MCW by an 8-1 decision. He then won by fall before losing in the third-place match to finish fourth.
Mason Rummel (22-11) was the number two seed at 195, but after a quarterfinal pin, would lose to Matt McNeill (13-11) of MAHACA in the semifinals. He then picked up a fall to reach the third-place match where he would drop an 11-5 decision to Worthington’s Jacob Neuberger to finish fourth.
Joseph Anderson went 2-2 at 145 pounds to finish in fifth, Brayden Reynolds was 1-2 at 160 to finish in fifth and Damico Arredondo went 1-2 at 120 pounds to finish in sixth.
“I couldn’t be more proud of every one of our wrestlers,” Carlson said. “They listened to what we talked about, competed to the best of their abilities, and left everything on the mat. “Overall I think our guys got pretty good draws when it comes to state, so whoever brings their best is going to win. Everyone is there for a reason.”