All Alex Hart could do was lie there.
The Prior Lake sophomore ran into Roseville's undefeated Trae Story in Class 3A's 195-pound quarterfinals and was reminded why this division is so tough.
Hart managed to squeak out a couple of points in a 7-2 defeat. However the strength and riding ability of Story kept him on the ground for most of the final 45 seconds of each period.
"It's a lot different," Hart said about wrestling with three other nationally recognized wrestlers. "I haven't wrestled someone that tough in a couple weeks. It's fun and challenging. I just try to compete with these guys and see what I can do."
Options to face an out-of-the-ordinary opponent are many in this powerful class. Lakeville South's Tommy Petersen and Moorhead's Chase Morlock are former state champions ranked 13th and 20th in the nation, respectively. Story is the only undefeated (41-0) wrestler in the group and was a state runner-up last year.
"Statistically, I guess," it is one of the best classes, Story said after earning himself a spot in the semifinals against Morlock. "But I just focus on my own weight."
This is the mentality he hopes will keep his record perfect and attach a state title next to it.Milestone for Bengtson
Career win No. 263 took longer than normal for Mitch Bengtson. Other than this abnormality, nothing seemed significant about his 13-5 decision over Albert Lea's Lucas Hansen. Then, about an hour later, the St. Cloud Apollo senior was signing autographs when he learned he had become the second-winningest wrestler in state history.
"I didn't even realize that ... I knew I was close," Bengtson (263-6) said about the milestone. "It feels good to be able to say that. I just have to keep improving and be the best I can."
This means even improving on the 138-pounder's seven-point quarterfinal win. Though Bengtson knows he can't pin them all, 35 of 42 wins this season were by way of pins, including his first-round victory.
These results have collected the three-time state champ and sixth-year varsity wrestler a fan base. Monticello's Logan Stiller has been a fan since Bengtson's freshman year and refers to him as a "beast."
Stiller sought Bengtson's autograph on his headgear, hoping it would bring some success. The 120-pound Monticello senior went on to win his wrestleback round Friday night.SMA's Eull upset early
The state's No. 1-ranked 220-pound wrestler's bid for a state championship lasted only 4 minutes, 54 seconds.
St. Michael-Albertville's Mitchell Eull (28-2) was pinned in the third period of the first round by Winona's George Weege.
The No. 10-ranked Weege made sure his 189 Twitter followers knew about the upset, tweeting, "Beat the number one kid in the state," before losing in the semifinals.
Eull played a vital role in STMA's co-champion finish in Thursday night's team event. He won the first of two final-match victories that tied the score 28-28.Mpls. South postscript
The individual run of Minneapolis South senior Brandon Strong (145 pounds, 38-4) ended with a 4-0 defeat in Friday's quarterfinals but was much improved compared with his journey with the South football team this fall.
Strong was a two-way starter and captain for the 4-5 Tigers, whose transitional season into Class 6A was followed by the Star Tribune.