Apollo junior: 176-0 and counting

  • Article by: BRIAN STENSAAS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 1, 2012 - 12:54 AM

Mitch Bengtson has the longest winning streak in state history. He has not lost since the second match of his eighth-grade season.


Mitch Bengtson of St. Cloud Apollo, right, defeated Sam Brancale of Eden Prairie 1-0 in the semifinals en route to winning last year’s Class 3A individual title at 119 pounds. Bengtson is in the 126 class this year.

Photo: Marlin Levison, Star Tribune file

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

As the victories have piled up, so have the inquiries around St. Cloud Apollo High School. And the answer is always the same.

"I get asked all the time, 'When's Mitch wrestling? We want to see Mitch,'" Eagles wrestling coach Tim Bengtson said of his son, the team's 126-pound junior stalwart. "And I tell them if they're just coming to see Mitch, they're not getting their money's worth."

Short matches have become Mitch Bengtson's thing, often with the same end result.

Make that, always.

Bengtson first stepped onto a varsity mat as a seventh-grader, finishing the season as the state's fifth-place wrestler in Class 3A at 103 pounds. He lost the second match of his eighth-grade year the next December, then figured that was quite enough, thank you very much.

He's 176-0 since, by far a state record for consecutive victories heading into this week's state tournament at Xcel Energy Center. He passed the previous state mark of 141 in a row early this season and barely stopped to cherish the moment.

"I don't know if something like this was ever his goal," Tim Bengtson said. "He's just never liked to lose, even all the way back to youth wrestling. And when he has lost, he's handled it very, very well. But he likes to win."

Mitch Bengtson certainly has done plenty of it, and in grand fashion.

His 218-5 career record includes 158 pins and a trio of state titles (at 103, 112 and 119 pounds). En route to those three championships, Bengtson has surrendered more than two points in the individual portion of the state tournament only once: as an eighth-grader in a 6-4 overtime victory in the opening round. He has allowed four points in the other 11 matches.

"Some people party and stuff like that; I want to wrestle," Bengtson said. "And I'm always wanting more."

Bengtson is ranked No. 8 nationally at 126 pounds by InterMat. He works out three times a day and, reluctantly, runs on the Apollo cross- country team in the fall for added conditioning.

"It isn't really my thing," he said. "But it gets me in good shape. I'll do anything to win. I can't afford to think about anything else."

That includes his impressive winning streak, which Bengtson shrugs off like a measly attempt at a takedown by an inferior opponent.

"He isn't a guy who rides the roller coaster of emotions," Tim Bengston said. "He's taken care of business. He's quite strong for his size, and when he wants to crunch somebody, he usually has his way."

  • related content

  • 2A preview: Worth extra weight, and bold

    Wednesday February 29, 2012

    While away in Fargo for the annual Rumble on the Red tournament, Michael Kroells approached his Scott West coach and made a bold statement.

  • 1A preview: Sibley East's Rose is back for another shot at the top

    Wednesday February 29, 2012

    The wave of momentum that came to a crashing halt for Nathan Rose at last year's Class 1A wrestling tournament is on the rise again.

  • Returning wrestling state champs

    Wednesday February 29, 2012

    (2011 weight in parentheses)

  • Class 3A quick hits

    Wednesday February 29, 2012

    • Apple Valley is appearing in its 30th consecutive team tournament. The six-time defending champion Eagles are ranked third in the country by InterMat. Apple Valley also will be heavily...

  • Class 2A quick hits

    Wednesday February 29, 2012

    • Simley is back in the team tournament for a fifth consecutive year and enters as the No. 1 seed after four championships in a row. Runner-up Scott West and...

  • Class 1A quick hits

    Thursday March 1, 2012

    • Six of the eight teams are back from last season, including defending champion Jackson County Central. The Huskies tied for last year's team championship with Frazee, which was upset...

  • Wrestling state tournament schedule

    Wednesday February 29, 2012


  • Benilde St. Margaret's and Edina punch their 2A tickets

    Wednesday February 29, 2012

    The Red Knights defeated top-seeded and No. 2-ranked Minnetonka with Jack Jablonski in attendance.

  • Wednesday's prep metro roundup

    Thursday March 1, 2012

    • ROCHESTER LOURDES 4, NORTHFIELD 1: Junior forward Alex Funk scored a hat trick, with all three of his goals coming in the second period, to push Rochester Lourdes to...

  • CLASS 3A

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Cleveland - LP: T. House 1 FINAL
Detroit - WP: A. Simon 4
Chicago Cubs 0 Postponed
Cincinnati 0
Kansas City 0 Postponed
Chicago WSox 0
Houston - WP: S. Feldman 9 FINAL
Oakland - LP: K. Graveman 3
NY Mets - WP: M. Harvey 8 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: C. Sabathia 2
Washington - LP: S. Strasburg 0 FINAL
Miami - WP: T. Koehler 8
Toronto 2 Top 9th Inning
Tampa Bay 4
Atlanta 1 Top 7th Inning
Philadelphia 2
Boston 2 Bottom 6th Inning
Baltimore 3
St. Louis 2 Bottom 5th Inning
Milwaukee 0
Pittsburgh 0 Top 2nd Inning
Arizona 0
San Francisco 1 Top 2nd Inning
Colorado 0
Los Angeles - B. McCarthy 7:40 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Texas - C. Lewis 8:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Wilson
Minnesota - T. May 8:10 PM
Seattle - J. Paxton
Atlanta 83 FINAL
Brooklyn 91
Chicago 90 FINAL
Milwaukee 92
Golden State 25 1st Qtr 0:57
New Orleans 22
Memphis 9:30 PM
Washington 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 3
Detroit 2 3rd Prd 5:23
Tampa Bay 0
Nashville 1 1st Prd 13:30
Chicago 0
Vancouver 8:00 PM
Philadelphia 0 2nd Half
Columbus 3
Real Salt Lake 0 2nd Half
New England 2
Sporting Kansas City 7:30 PM
D.C. 9:30 PM
Vancouver FC


question of the day

Poll: Who has been the Wild's best player in the playoffs?

Weekly Question





Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters