JJ Bien 022523(2).JPG

JJ Bien of Goodhue celebrates his win in true second-place match on Saturday, Feb. 25 at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, qualifying him for the state tournament. Martin Schlegel / Republican Eagle

Goodhue came into the section tournament with some uncertainty. Nearly a whole new lineup and many who hadn’t wrestled varsity had to step up. Among the Wildcats that were in the Section 1A individual tournament at Mayo Civic Center Friday and Saturday, one was able to secure a trip to state.

JJ Bien, the Wildcat junior, has been on the team since eighth grade and felt he eventually would attain the long-term goal he had then; that he would wrestle at state.

“It always seemed like it was so far away, like it was never going to happen,” he said. “I always watched my peers wrestle at state. Felt good watching them. Looked up to them. Wanted to be like that.”

Bien won his true second-place match at 126 pounds over Tate Miller of Kenyon-Wanamingo in dramatic fashion. Bien trailed 9-5 late in the third period before rallying for four points to suddenly tie the match and force overtime. He won the match 11-9 in overtime with a takedown.

“I thought it was over and then I ended up getting that reversal and back points. It was exciting," Bien said. "It tied up after that and thought I'd give everything I had left. My coaches and family have supported me through all these years. It felt good to finally make it worth it.

"I felt like I was prepared for it. You never know what is going to happen when you go up against good guys like that. I was thinking I would have taken the first shot, but he hit out of nowhere and sprawled fast.”

The biggest turning point of the season for Bien came after facing Jack Krier of Zumbrota-Mazeppa. He went on a string of wins after and said his confidence was boosted being the aggressor in matches.

“When you get in your own head thinking they are super good guys and you kind of go on the defense more. I felt like I was really offensive against Jack and it put him on his toes a little bit,” Bien said. “Just staying aggressive. Don't give them a second to breathe.”

His path to second place at the section tournament wasn’t easy, but similar to the true second-place match, Bien came up clutch when he needed to.

Bien won his first match 12-11 over Caden Haag of Dover-Eyota. After losing by major decision 13-3 to the eventual 126-pound champion Gage Bartels of Chatfield, he pinned Henry Cushman of Wabasha-Kellogg, then had a rematch with Haag. Bien quickly won by fall in just over a minute to vault him from wrestlebacks to the second-place match.

Teammates Beau Jaeger, Grant Reed, Carsyn O’Reilly and Caleb Kurtti each wrestled in their respective weight classes second-place match.

Kurtti was the only one to make it to the section final. He lost to Kenyon-Wanamingo’s Will Van Epps, then lost to Tyler Mix of Dover-Eyota for second place.

Goodhue has had to readjust expectations for the tournament given how young the team is. Despite that, the Wildcats had a wrestler finish in the top 6 in all but two weight classes. Five individuals finished in third place, proving just how close the team has grown and what could be an even better outcome next year.

“I think a lot of our guys have a really good chance of making it next year,” Bien said. “They're young still and just getting started. We'll have a lot of guys still going, getting stronger.”

Lucas Schiell Z-M Championship.JPG

Lucas Schiell of Zumbrota-Mazeppa reacts after winning a Section 1AA title at 132 pounds at the section tournament on Saturday, Feb. 25 at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester. Alec Hamilton / Cannon Falls Beacon


Z-M sees seven earn state bid

Zumbrota-Mazeppa felt good about their chances of sending multiple individuals to state. After finishing second as a team in the team section tournament, the Cougars will have seven wrestles at the state meet.

Junior Jack Krier at 126 pounds, senior Lucas Shiell at 132 and senior Ryan Lexvold at 182 each won a Section 1AA title. Noah Schaefer (113), Laiken Copeman (145), Kaleb Lochner (152) and Wyatt Mulder (220) each earned second place in the section tournament and also will appear at the Class AA state meet.

Assistant coach Mark Krier said the team put in extra work to try and get as many as possible to state.

“This is the outcome of it. Anyone can have a great tournament. Very proud of them,” he said.

Krier noticed some performing at their best ever. Jack Krier fended off top 10 ranked opponents. To win his section title. Lucas Shiell wrestled his best match ever in the section final that Krier can remember. Lexvold finally broke through to win a section title and secure his first trip to state.

“He's been around so long and seems like a grizzled veteran,” Mark Krier said of Lexvold. “I'm so happy for him. He's been a leader all year for us.”

The Cougars have a mix of state returners and wrestlers appearing for the first time. No matter their experience, Mark Krier said the attitude remains the same. Be grateful to wrestle and be mentally prepared to give themselves a chance to win each match.

“The way I look at it and the way (head coach Link Steffen) looks at it, it's a new tournament,” Mark Krier said. “We're going up there to win. You have a chance to win every time you go out on the mat. Our kids believe that. We're going up there and we want to bring back lots of hardware.”

Section 1A

106: 1, Javier Berg (Chatfield); 2, Ryan LaCanne (Kenyon-Wanamingo); 3, Bronson Shea (Dover-Eyota); 4, Aiden Burns (Caledonia); 5, Parker Armagost (GMLOS); 6, Theo Kispert (Triton).

113: 1, Kaizen Johnson (Chatfield); 2, Hunter Frank (Caledonia); 3, Bryan Jacobson (K-W); 4, Lucas Erickson (Goodhue); 5, Cael Smith (GMLOS); 6, Braxton Wohlferd (St. Charles).

120: 1, Braxton Lange (Caledonia); 2, Chris Cushman (Wabasha-Kellogg); 3, Ryan House (Chatfield); 4, Aiden Quintana (GMLOS); 5, Reed Sommer (K-W); 6, Carson Pierce (D-E).

126: 1, Gage Bartels (Chatfield); 2, JJ Bien (Goodhue); 3, Tate Miller (K-W); 4, Caden Haag (D-E); 5, Henry Cushman (W-K); 6, Tanner Ginther (Caledonia).

132: 1, Owen Denstad (Caledonia); 2, Bolton Thesing (D-E); 3, Kane Larson (FCLMC); 4, Alden Pearson (Chatfield); 5, Hayden Holm (Goodhue); 6, Hunter Garness (Triton).

138: 1, Cory Scanlan (Caledonia); 2, Gavin Johnson (K-W); 3, Cohen Wiste (GMLOS); 4, Ayden Miner (Chatfield); 5, Damon Bye (D-E); 6, Connor Wingert (FCLMC).

145: 1, Tucker Ginther (Caledonia); 2, Carson Rowland (Chatfield); 3, Beau Jaeger (Goodhue); 4, Braxten Wiste (GMLOS); 5, Trent Foss (K-W); 6, Aidan Olson (St. Charles).

152: 1, Brodie Kellen (D-E); 2, Isaac Blocker (Caledonia); 3, Dillon Bartel (K-W); 4, Jack Dornack (Chatfield); 5, Carter Hovland (FCLMC); 6, Nate Beck (Goodhue).

160: 1, Gavin Gust (D-E); 2, Orion Sass (FCLMC); 3, Owen Garness (Triton); 4, Simon Seymour (Caledonia); 5, Chase Kobs (St. Charles); 6, Jeremiah O’Reilly (Goodhue).

170: 1, Jaedin Johnson (K-W); 2, Landon Lehnertz (D-E); 3, Grant Reed (Goodhue); 4, Oliver Hoeltzle (FCLMC); 5, Liam Schlichting (Triton); 6, Aden Kulas (Caledonia).

182: 1, Kail Schott (Chatfield); 2, Eric Mauss (Caledonia); 3, Jack Carlson (Goodhue); 4, Andrew Wendt (D-E); 5, Cole Sass (FCLMC); 6, Owen Craig (K-W).

195: 1, Tytan Small (St. Charles); 2, Ayden Goetzinger (Caledonia); 3, Carsyn O’Reilly (Goodhue); 4, Jackson Welsh (D-E); 5, Aidan Lindell (K-W); 6, Rowan Sween (GMLOS).

220: 1, Will Van Epps (K-W); 2, Tyler Mix (D-E); 3, Caleb Kurtti (Goodhue); 4, John Swanek (Caledonia); 5, Tyler Jennings (Caledonia); 6, Aaron Hutton (FCLMC).

285: 1, Jackson Duellman (D-E); 2, Grant Ness (Caledonia); 3, Cooper Ferrie (FCLMC); 4, Charles Koncur (K-W); 5, Bralyn Burnett (Chatfield); 6, Cayden O’Reilly (Goodhue).


Section 1AA

106: 1, Broc Vaughan (Kasson-Mantorville); 2, Ryan Collins (Albert Lea); 3, Jent Beyer (Zumbrota-Mazeppa); 4, Jag Foster (Pine Island); 5, Christian Zibrowski (LARP); 6, Adam Parrish (Cannon Falls).

113: 1, Michael Olson (Albert Lea); 2, Noah Schaefer (Z-M); 3, Aiden Graner (PEM); 4, Owen Lange (LARP); 5, Ben Steele (Byron); 6, Cris Ramirez (Lake City).

120: 1, Logan Davis (Albert Lea); 2, Jonah Coleman (K-M); 3, Hunter Karnitz (Stewartville); 4, Ryan Stimets (Z-M); 5, Henry Dohnalik (La Crescent-Hokah); 6, Gavin Peterson (Cannon Falls).

126: 1, Jack Krier (Z-M); 2, Calvin Singewald (Cannon Falls); 3, Aiden Friedrich (K-M); 4, Nate Evans (Lake City); 5, Brody Ignaszewski (Albert Lea); 6, Reid Rinn (Stewartville).

132: 1, Lucas Schiell (Z-M); 2, Nick Korman (Albert Lea); 3, Owen Friedrich (K-M); 4, Nick Thein (Pine Island); 5, Jonathan Opelt (Cannon Falls); 6, Nolan Ford (PEM).

138: 1, Aivin Wasmoen (Albert Lea); 2, Jace Deyoung (Stewartville); 3, Brayden Lorentzen (Byron); 4, Zayne Novek (Z-M); 5, Logan Dittrich (PEM); 6, Noah Swarts (K-M).

145: 1, Joseph Kennedy (K-M); 2, Laiken Copeman (Z-M); 3, Dominic Michel (PEM); 4, Alden Smith (Pine Island); 5, Maverick Attig (Albert Lea); 6, Titan Tekautz (LARP).

152: 1, Luke Swanson (K-M); 2, Kaleb Lochner (Z-M); 3, Ben Grabau (Pine Island); 4, Gavin Bartel (Byron); 5, Eli Jensen (LARP); 6, Weston Roberson (Lake City).

160: 1, Dominic Mann (K-M); 2, Colten Black (Cannon Falls); 3, Derrick McMillian (Albert Lea); 4, Tanner Elzen (Stewartville); 5, Oliver O’Brien (Waseca); 6, Camdyn Anderson (LARP).

170: 1, Cole Glazier (K-M); 2, Christian Rodriguez (Waseca); 3, Isaiah O’Reilly (Z-M); 4, Alex Hinrichs (PEM); 5, Teaghen Tolbers (Albert Lea); 6, Aiden McDaniel (Pine Island).

182: 1, Ryan Lexvold (Z-M); 2, Kadin Indrelie (Albert Lea); 3, Owen Nelson (K-M); 4, Tristan Zingler (Cannon Falls); 5, Alexander Bedsted (PEM); 6, Luke Scheuer (Byron).

195: 1, Eli Richardson (K-M); 2, Payton Garza (Waseca); 3, Ethan Roberson (Lake City); 4, Maeson Tradup (PEM); 5, Teigan Baird (Cannon Falls); 6, Evan Schroeder (Albert Lea).

220: 1, Matthew Veroeven (Waseca); 2, Wyatt Mulder (Z-M); 3, William Roth (Byron); 4, Drew Rahman (PEM); 5, Brayden Burgeson (Lake City); 6, Jaden Perez (LARP).

285: 1, Heath Parrish (K-M); 2, Carter Geerts (Byron); 3, Jenaro Delgado (Waseca); 4, Tucker Buck (Z-M); 5, Andrew Wilkemeyer (LARP); 6, Zach Diderrich (La Crescent-Hokah).

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Thank you for taking part in our commenting section. We want this platform to be a safe and inclusive community where you can freely share ideas and opinions. Comments that are racist, hateful, sexist or attack others won’t be allowed. Just keep it clean. Do these things or you could be banned:

• Don’t name-call and attack other commenters. If you’d be in hot water for saying it in public, then don’t say it here.

• Don’t spam us.

• Don’t attack our journalists.

Let’s make this a platform that is educational, enjoyable and insightful.

Email questions to jjohnson@orourkemediagroup.com.

Share your opinion


Join the conversation

Recommended for you