RAPID CITY — Wrestlers from Spearfish, Belle Fourche, and Sturgis Brown competed at the Region 4A tournament held Saturday at Carold Heier Gymnasium on the Rapid City Stevens campus.
A total of 26 athletes qualified for this weekend’s state Class A tournament in Rapid City. They did so by placing fourth or higher in their respective weight classes on Saturday.
Six wrestlers will represent Spearfish at state. Seven Belle Fourche athletes qualified; 13 Sturgis Brown competitors also advanced.
Spearfish’s Oakley Blakeman claimed top honors at 145 pounds. He pinned Rapid City Stevens’ Bryan Roselles in 3 minutes 13 seconds of the title match.
Josh Hoffman claimed runner-up honors at 113 pounds for Spearfish. Teammates John Jeffery (third place at 120 pounds), Aiden Kracht (third at 132), Bailey Badwound (third at 152), and Mason Schlup (fourth at 195) also qualified for state.
“I thought we wrestled really well,” Spearfish head coach John Bokker said. “I was hoping for seven (qualifiers), but we got six through. That was definitely a good number for us considering we’re pretty young this year.”
Bokker said Blakeman was very calm and relaxed all day. “He really went after people and finished with pins on all his matches,” Bokker said in describing the Spartan junior.
Jeffery also earned Bokker’s praise for his efforts.
Bokker said confidence would propel the younger Spearfish wrestlers at the state tournament.
Two-time defending state champion Max Sailor did not suit up for Spearfish. Bokker said a skiing accident early in the season caused Sailor to miss the rest of the year. He added the senior is still bothered by a shoulder injury.
Belle Fourche’s Cade Bickerdyke earned second-place honors at 182 pounds. Teammates Thomas McCoy (138 pounds) and Aiken Crowley (285) finished third in their respective classes.
Four Broncs wound up in fourth place. They were Riley Dighton (106 pounds), Hunter Quenzer (132), Gunner Geib (170), and Brooks Clooten (220).
Belle Fourche head coach Bill Abell said it was great for the Broncs to qualify seven boys for state. “It’s the most we’ve taken since I’ve been there,” the eighth-year coach added.
Dighton, Quenzer, McCoy, Geib, Clooten, Crowley, and Bickerdyke earned Abell’s praise for their efforts.
“Overall, I was happy with the team’s performance,” Abell said. “Almost everybody on the team walked away feeling good about themselves. That’s a very good thing.”
Belle Fourche will adopt a familiar concept of “the ones” as it prepares for state.
“We’re going to score a point; we’re going to win a match,” Abell said. “That’s all we’re looking for.”
Five individual champions highlighted Sturgis Brown’s effort.
Logan DeSersa finished first at 126 pounds for the Scoopers. He defeated Rapid City Stevens’ Caleb Richter 4-2 in sudden victory in the title match.
Sturgis Brown’s Kelton Olson followed with a title at 132 pounds. He defeated Rapid City Stevens’ Jacob McCormick 10-6 in the title match.
The Scoopers also received a title from Wren Jacobs at 160 pounds. Jacobs defeated Douglas’ Payton DeWitt 4-0 in the title match.
Reese Jacobs emerged with the 170-pound title for Sturgis Brown. He defeated Rapid City Central’s Landin Winter 2-1 in the title match.
The 182-pound class featured champion Robert Merwin of Sturgis Brown. He pinned Belle Fourche’s Cade Bickerdyke in 1 minute 11 seconds of the title match.
Four Scoopers earned runner-up honors. They were Korbin Osborn (106 pounds), Maverick Simons (120), Aiden Werlinger (195), and Zak Juelfs (220).
Sturgis Brown athletes claiming fourth place were Beau Peters (113 pounds), Perry Ketelsen (138), Harrison Good (152), and Buck Fickbohm (285).
“We’ll take 13 and see what we can do,” Sturgis Brown head coach Mike Abell said.
Peters, Fickbohm, Merwin, DeSersa, and Wren Jacobs earned Abell’s praise for their efforts.
“The momentum is going to be a big thing,” Abell said of the team’s state preparations. “I think the kids are going to be relaxed.”
Rapid City Stevens collected 271 points to earn the team title. Sturgis Brown was second at 240 points, with Belle Fourche and Spearfish tying for fourth at 117 points.
Records and placings for area wrestlers follow.
113 pounds: Josh Hoffman 1-1 record, second place.
120: John Jeffery 3-1, third.
132: Aiden Kracht 2-1, third.
138: Quinten Carlson 0-3, sixth.
145: Oakley Blakeman 2-0, first.
152: Bailey Badwound 3-1, third.
160: Dylan Irion 1-2, fifth.
170: Markus Medina 0-2, fifth.
195: Mason Schlup 2-2, fourth.
106 pounds: Riley Dighton 1-2 record, fourth place.
113: D’Angelo Garduna 0-2, fifth.
120: Colton Shelley 1-2, fifth.
126: Elijah Braning 0-2, fifth.
132: Hunter Quenzer 1-2, fourth.
138: Thomas McCoy 2-1, third.
145: Gunner Jensen 0-3, sixth.
152: Andy Tonsager 0-3, sixth.
160: Devin Nowowiejski 0-3, sixth.
170: Gunner Geib 1-2, fourth.
182: Cade Bickerdyke 1-1, second.
195: Sean Wahlfeldt 1-2, fifth.
220: Brooks Clooten 1-2, fourth.
285: Aiken Crowley 2-1, third.
106 pounds: Korbin Osborn 1-1 record, second place.
113: Beau Peters 1-2, fourth.
120: Maverick Simons 1-1, second.
126: Logan DeSersa 2-0, first.
132: Kelton Olson 2-0, first.
138: Perry Ketelsen 2-2, fourth.
145: Zaven Osborne 2-2, fifth.
152: Harrison Good 2-2, fourth.
160: Wren Jacobs 3-0, first.
170: Reese Jacobs 3-0, first.
182: Robert Merwin 2-0, first.
195: Aiden Werlinger 1-1, second.
220: Zak Juelfs 1-1, second.
285: Buck Fickbohm 1-2, fourth.
Rapid City will host the state A wrestling tournament Thursday, Feb. 25 through Saturday, Feb. 27. The event will include dual and girls’ tournaments as well.
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