FAIRMONT - It was only fitting that Fairmont/Martin County West junior Trevor Schultz donned one red wrestling shoe and a blue one during Saturday's South Central Conference Meet in Fairmont.
The Class AA, No. 2-ranked 106-pound Schultz - along with Red Bulls senior teammate Bryan Andrews, the No. 7-ranked 152-pounder - achieved a rare double-double on the prep canvas at Cardinal Gym.
Schultz and Andrews captured their respective individual weight classes at the SCC Meet only one day after both grapplers earned gold medals at the Valley Conference Meet in Springfield.
TWO IN A ROW — Fairmont/Martin County West wrestler Trevor Schultz (top) maneuvers around Blue Earth Area opponent Ryan Gronewold during 106-pound action at the South Central Conference Meet on Saturday at Cardinal Gym in Fairmont. Schultz went on to capture his second individual conference championship in as many days. (Photo by Chip Pearson)
"To the best of my knowledge, there's nowhere else in the entire state that a wrestler would have the opportunity to either earn a medal or become a champion in two different conferences in the same year," said Jake Tietje, the head coach of the first-year union between the Fairmont and Martin County West programs. "It was very strenuous for our guys to compete in back-to-back conference meets, and we had some fairly tired guys at the end of the day (Saturday).
"However, it's great preparation for the upcoming section individual tournament. In fact, it was a little more difficult because they probably wrestled more matches over a shorter time frame than at sections."
The Red Bulls lineup, similar to Schultz and Andrews, duplicated its fourth-place finish from Friday's Valley Conference meet during Saturday's SCC Meet.
FHS/MCW generated 143 points to place behind dual-meet champion St. James' winning total of 198.5, St. Peter's runner-up mark of 151 and Blue Earth Area's third-place score of 148.
"When you advance eight into the conference finals, it usually splits right down the middle and you get four champions," said St. James mentor Gene Hildebrandt, "so I was very happy to come away with six champions and the team title today."
Ruben Bermudez (113); Class A, No. 10-ranked 120-pounder Richy Soto; No. 6-ranked 145-pounder Giovanni Alvarado; Esteban Zelaya (170), Devin Wolle (182) and No. 10-ranked heavyweight Victor Torres delivered SCC crowns for Hildebrandt's team.
Ironically, Schultz, wearing a shoe representing each school's team colors, denied St. James of one chance to capture a gold medal by outdueling Class A, No. 5-ranked Cody Hanson during the 106-pound championship clash. Schultz (32-1) built a first-period lead with a takedown and two-point near-fall before delivering an escape and the only takedown of the third period to exit with a 7-1 victory over Hanson.
The Schultz-Hanson battle proved one of three SCC finals pitting a pair of state-ranked grapplers against one another.
Andrews (18-3) squared off against Waseca junior Zach Gehloff, who holds the No. 2 spot in the Class AA 152-pound ratings, and delivered Gehloff his first loss in 32 matches this season to exit Cardinal Gym with a gold medal.
Andrews produced two takedowns to Gehloff's two escapes to hold a 4-2 edge after one frame. Gehloff escaped from the down position to open the second period before Andrews recorded a double-leg takedown. Gehloff later escaped to trail 6-4 after two segments.
Gehloff notched a takedown in the third period to even the score, but Andrews later escaped to capture the 7-6 victory.
Waseca's Class AA No. 8-ranked 220-pounder Jacob Claybaugh posted an 8-0 major decision over Blue Earth Area's Class A No. 4-ranked Josh Johnson in the final clash of canvas titans on the day.
Johnson recorded a hard-fought 1-0 victory over FHS/MCW's Jovan Ramos during second-round action to deny Ramos the chance to join Schultz and Andrews atop the podium for a second straight day. Ramos, who won the 220-pound Valley championship on Friday, came back to capture third place in the SCC Meet via a fall.
Two other FHS/MCW grapplers and five other Blue Earth Area wrestlers reached the SCC finals, but placed second.
Alvarado pinned the Red Bulls' Joe Weber in 2:29 during 152-pound action, while Wolle pinned FHS/MCW's Jeff Brickner in 3:43 in the 182-pound gold-medal match.
New Ulm's Luke Schmit squeezed by Blue Earth Area's Class A, No. 5-ranked Carter Hanson by a 7-5 overtime decision at 160, while St. Peter's Collin Thompson edged the Bucs' Luke Schavey for the 132-pound crown, 9-8.
St. Peter's Dylan Connor netted a second-period escape to nip Blue Earth Area's Kysten Zierke for top honors, 1-0, at 195; Victor Torres edged the Bucs' Martin Granados in the heavyweight finals, 6-4; while Waseca's Tanner Pehrson earned his fourth SCC championship by posting a 7-1 decision over Blue Earth Area's Jesse Alleven in the 138-pound finals.
Fairmont/Martin County West opens the Section 3AA Team Meet against Luverne at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Windom. The winner between FHS/MCW-Luverne faces No. 7-ranked Adrian Area in second-round sectional team action at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Windom.
Blue Earth Area competes in the Section 2A Team Meet, starting at 10 a.m. Saturday in Mapleton.
Team Standings: 1. St. James 198.5; 2. St. Peter 151; 3. Blue Earth Area 148; 4. Fairmont/Martin County West 143; 5. Waseca 134; 6. New Ulm 77.
106: Championship: Trevor Schultz (FHS/MCW) dec. Cody Hanson (SJ), 7-1. 3rd: Shaun Timmerman (SP) major dec. Ryan Gronewold (BEA), 9-0. 5th: Ryan Wacker (NU) pinned Andrew Burns (W), 2:53.
113: Championship: Ruben Bermudez (SJ) dec. Chris Pettis (SP), 8-2. 3rd: Alec Huber (BEA) tech. fall Christopher Krenz (FHS/MCW), 16-1. 5th: Jackson Killian (W) received a bye.
120: Championship: Richy Soto (SJ) major dec. Luke Cihak (NU), 15-7. 3rd: Cody Kurth (SP) pinned Lucas Maxon (W), 1:22. 5th: Matt Goodrich (BEA) received a bye.
126: Championship: Hunter Retzlaff (SP) major dec. Isaac Carreon (SJ), 14-1. 3rd: Mike Ankeny (BEA) pinned Tristan Hoy (W) 1:35. 5th: Elijah Gronewold (FHS/MCW) received a bye.
132: Championship: Collin Thompson (SP) dec. Luke Schavey (BEA), 9-8. 3rd: Taylor Berg (SJ) dec. Austin Brandes (NU), 3-2. 5th: Conrad Gauger (FHS/MCW) won via injury default over Brady Bomsta (W).
138: Championship: Tanner Pehrson (W) dec. Jesse Alleven (BEA) 7-1. 3rd: Kody Curry (SJ) dec. Devon Ford (FHS/MCW), 6-4. 5th: Bailey Kurth (SP) pinned Sam Hoppe (NU) 2:35.
145: Championship: Giovanni Alvarado (SJ) pinned Joe Weber (FHS/MCW) 2:29. 3rd: Jacob Deling (W) dec. Steven Pettis (SP), 5-4. 5th: Riley Shelgren (NU) pinned Jacob Johnson (BEA), 4:40.
152: Championship: Bryan Andrews (FHS/MCW) dec. Zach Gehloff (W), 7-6. 3rd: Zack Gleiter (SJ) dec. David Franta (BEA), 7-3. 5th: Cody Stark (NU) pinned Arturo Hildalgo (SP) 2:29.
160: Championship: Luke Schmit (NU) dec. Carter Hansen (BEA), 7-5 in OT. 3rd: Mikal McDaniel (W) dec. Kyle Bosacker (SP), 8-5. 5th: Phillip Bowie (FHS/MCW) won via injury default over Ryan Westman (SJ).
170: Championship: Esteban Zelaya (SJ) pinned Ashton Bartlett (SP), 1:49. 3rd: Chris Ramos (BEA) dec. Kory Brown (FHS/MCW), 3-1. 5th: Dylan Winegar (W) pinned Cole Wilfahrt (NU), 1:09.
182: Championship: Devin Wolle (SJ) pinned Jeff Brickner (FHS/MCW), 3:43. 3rd: Colin Chabot (SP) received a bye.
195: Championship: Dylan Connor (SP) dec. Kysten Zierke (BEA), 1-0. 3rd: Michael Hayes (W) pinned Julio Nino (SJ), 1:27. 5th: Luis Figueroa (FHS/MCW) pinned Lorenzo Hernandez (NU), 1:36.
220: Championship: Jacob Claybaugh (W) major dec. Josh Johnson (BEA), 8-0. 3rd: Jovan Ramos (FHS/MCW) pinned Adrian Torres (SJ), 1:59. 5th: Nick Kempenich (SP) pinned Braxton Greenwaldt (NU), 1:24.
285: Championship: Victor Torres (SJ) dec. Martin Granados (BEA), 6-4. 3rd: Kelvin Bahr (FHS/MCW) pinned Nick Milliman (SP) 2:57. 5th: Sam Sierra (W) won by injury default over Andy Bregel (NU).