Redwood Valley standout goes 3-2 at State

Junior Kaleb Haase led the Redwood-River Valley wrestlers with a fifth-place finish at 220 pounds over the weekend at the Class AA state individual wrestling tournament held at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. It was the second straight fifth-place finish for Haase (35-5), who came within a single point of reaching the state championship match.

“Kaleb wrestled well,” Coach Paul Carlson said. “I know it’s not what his expectations were, but he lost two matches by a single point and only gave up five points in his five matches so he gave himself a chance.”

Haase opened with an easy 8-0 major decision over Bodee Zens of Milaca-Faith Christian and then ran into a familiar foe in New London/Spicer’s Nick McKenzie in the quarterfinals. Haase was dominating McKenzie in the Section 3AA championship match before being disqualified for an illegal move. This time, Haase would have no trouble as he cruised to a 5-1 victory to move into the semifinals. In the semifinals he went up against second-seed Garsen Schorr (40-4) of Kasson-Mantorville and would wrestle a tough match before losing 3-2. In the consolation round he lost a tough 1-0 decision to Dawson Kellogg of Perham (45-6) before rebounding to top Brayden Weber of Becker 3-2 for fifth place.

Fellow junior Chad Maddock (30-8) opened with an 8-5 preliminary win over Charles Barnett of Delano. In the quarterfinals he would lose by fall to Brandon Swanson (35-2) of North Branch to drop into the consolation bracket. There, he defeated Wyatt Mergen of Albany with a fall in 1:43 but would lose by fall to Zach Carlson of Caledonia to fall one match from the medal round.

Senior Tayte Harazin (36-3) entered state with high expectations but suffered a 5-2 loss to Jon Smith (33-10) of Mora in the prelims and then was eliminated when Smith fell in the quarterfinals. Senior Omar Arredondo (27-17) lost his preliminary match by fall to Carter Entinger (38-4) of Watertown-Mayer and got to wrestle a second match but was eliminated with an 8-5 loss to Joe Gardas of Zimmerman. Senior James Ploeger had a tough draw at 182, losing by fall to Kolin Baier of Mankato East in the prelims.  He was then eliminated when Baier lost.

“Having five qualifiers was something our program should be proud of,” Carlson said. “It’s a testament to our wrestlers working hard and believing in themselves. We had high expectations, but our kids came through.”