Owatonna Wrestles Well at The Clash
Owatonna took second place in their bracket Saturday at The Clash National Wrestling Duals, going 4-2 on the weekend against top five-ranked teams from several states. It closed out a challenging stretch for the Huskies, who also finished in the top ten at the Minnesota Christmas Tournament and the Rumble on the Red. Next up is a Big Nine Conference championship showdown with Albert Lea Thursday, January 10.
Saturday at Rochester Regional Sports Center, Owatonna won two out of three matches in the Second Bracket which brought together the teams that had finished second in their opening day bracket on Friday. OHS dropped a close 37-34 opening-night decision to Oak Park River Forest, IL who went on to win the overall championship in dominating fashion.
No. 3-rated OHS opened with No. 4 St. Michael-Albertville on the second day and won 40-25. Starting the dual at 145 pounds, Landen Johnson and Kaden Nelson got the Huskies off to a 7-0 lead, but Owatonna trailed 17-16 at heavyweight. Isaiah Noeldner pulled off an improbable, controversial, come-from-behind win by pin on a scramble at the edge of the circle at the end of the third period. Officials discussed the move for a couple minutes and STMA also lost a point due to unsportsmanlike conduct. Owatonna went ahead 22-16 and didn't trail again.
Yves Evillard earned a major decision over a ranked wrestler at 113 pounds. Chase Dallman also beat a ranked foe with a late five-point move to rally for the win at 126.
In Saturday's second meet, Owatonna lost 37-26 to eventual bracket champion Denver, the No. 2 ranked small school in Iowa. The Huskies fell behind 13-0 after the first three weights, but saved a few bonus points and briefly took a 15-13 lead after consecutive wins by Cade King, Nick Staska and Quincey Price. Denver went back up 16-15 after a close win at heavyweight. Noeldner went toe-to-toe with a much bigger, top-ranked fellow-football player.
Top-rated Blake West won by major decision and Evillard scored a pin versus a top-five rated opponent for a 26-16 Huskies' lead. Denver won the final five bouts including a win by injury default to clinch the meet in the final match after an Owatonna wrestler's move was deemed illegal, leading to the injury. Denver won 37-26.
In the final meet of The Clash for the Huskies, Matt Seykora started the match-up against Waukee, a top-five rated big school in Iowa, with a pin in 32 seconds. The teams traded big-point victories early. Then Owatonna reeled off three straight wins by pin from Noeldner, West and Evillard to put OHS up 29-15. The Huskies clinched the dual on Jacob Reinardy's pin. In fact both Owatonna wins Saturday were clinched on his falls. OHS won 44-26.
During Friday's opening rounds Owatonna beat Thompson, AL 39-34 with pins from Reinardy, Johnson, Nelson and Staska and a tech fall from King. In the semifinal 41-20 victory over Kearney, MO Ethan Stockwell, Johnson and Nelson had falls while King and West turned in tech falls. OHS lost to Oak Park River Forest, IL 37-34 in the Friday finals. The teams split the matches 7-7, but OPRF earned bonus points in each bout where Owatonna did not. Dallman, Johnson and Nelson all had pins.