Medford’s Elwood Wins Wrestling Title; VonRuden Finishes Second
Charley Elwood's high school wrestling career is off to a great start. And he's not even a high school student yet. The Medford Tigers' eighth grader won the state title at 113 pounds at the state wrestling tournament at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul Saturday night. He was the state runner-up at 106 pounds last year.
Elwood competed a 35-2 season with a 4-0 win over Derek Steele of Sibley East in the title bout. Elwood scored take downs early in the first and second period to account for the points. He becomes Medford's 11th individual state wrestling champ.
No 1 ranked Elwood went 4-0 on the tournament. He pinned Jace Olson of Border West at 2:24 in the first round, beat Easton McCrory of Minnewaska Area 3-1 in the quarterfinals and topped No. 2 ranked Zach Brown of Crookston 9-5 in the semifinals.
Medford junior Willie VonRuden finished second at 145 pounds, losing 5-4 to top-ranked Kyle Cavanaugh of Caledonia/Houston. Tied at 2-2 entering the third period, VonRuden went ahead 3-2 on a escape. With about 30 seconds to go, VonRuden was called for stalling for a point for Cavanaugh, who then quickly took VonRuden down for a 5-3 lead. VonRuden got a late escape but fell just short 5-4.
On his Twitter account Sunday, VonRuden wrote, "Went from the highest of highs, to the lowest of lows this weekend. I can't thank my family, friends, and the community of Medford enough for all the support throughout the long season! One more year to reach the goal." VonRuden (32-2) took third place at 138 pounds in 2018 as a sophomore.
Tigers' eighth grader Alex Helgeson lost to the top seed at 106 pounds Michael Majerus 9-1 then fell 15-5 to Ethan Hendrickson of United North Central in the consolation bracket. Helgeson went 24-12 on the season.
Westfield junior Colton Krell ended up third at 170 pounds. The top-seed Razorback won his first two matches 9-1 over Alex Lange and 9-3 over Brett Graham from Frazee. In the semifinals, Krell lost to unbeaten Payton Meyer, who went on to win the title, 7-2.
Krell beat Shawn Buysse from Minneota 10-4 and Graham a second time 9-3 to capture third. Krell (38-4) was the runner-up at 160 in 2018.
Westfield junior Dylan Nirk lost a 3-2 decision to Dylan Jergenson from Minnewaska Area then fell to Alex Chidester from Oglivie 5-3. Nirk went 27-11 for the season.
NRHEG senior 285-pounder Quinten Arndt lost 6-2 to No. 2 seed Tanner Berguis from ACGC then dropped a 3-0 decision to Cian Buehler from Ottertail Central. Panther senior Tyler Jacobson lost to No. 5 rated Jace Paplow 5-0 and did not advance to the consolation round.