The north metro’s finest wrestlers compete this week in the state tournament at Xcel Energy Center. The team portion, which includes Totino-Grace (seeded No. 4 in Class 2A) and Centennial (3A), takes place Thursday. The individual portion takes place Friday and Saturday.
Totino-Grace senior Lance Benick, with a 39-0 record at 195 pounds, will seek his fourth state title. Benick is ranked as the nation’s top wrestler at his weight.
Seven other Eagles wrestlers will be in action: Jake Svihel (106 pounds), Michael Menth (126), John Lewis (145), Jared Florell (170), Isaac Florell (182), Kez Flomo (220) and Sam Anderson (285). Isaac Florell is ranked No. 1 at his weight by The Guillotine wrestling magazine.
Representing Fridley are Nic Fite (113), John Bartee (138) and John Allen (170). Columbia Heights qualifiers are Jefferson Paladines (120), Ibrahim Ibrahim (145) and Basil Muhammad (160).
In Class 3A, The Guillotine puts 11 north metro wrestlers among the top five in their respective weight class.
Osseo’s Carson Brolsma, 39-0, is No. 1 at 152 pounds. A year ago he took second at 145 pounds.
Wrestlers ranked third are Tyler Eischens of Anoka (113), Tyler Berdahl of Coon Rapids (195) and Anoka’s Jeremy Rodman (220). Anoka’s Matt Njos ranks fourth at 160.
Elk River’s Garrett Caldon ranks fifth at 120 pounds and boasts a 35-1 record. Others ranked fifth are Centennial’s Jack Bergeland (113), Anoka’s Calvin Germinaro-Nahring (126), Aaron Wilson of St. Francis (138) and Michael Bothwell of Coon Rapids (182). Kiyanu Baker of Coon Rapids, ranked fifth at 160 pounds, will wrestle at 152 at the state meet.
Blaine hockey wins awards
Blaine senior goalie Makayla Tilton received the Herb Brooks award among Class 2A girls’ hockey players. The award honors character on and off the ice.
Her coach, Steve Guider, was named Class 2A girls’ hockey coach of the year. The Bengals reached their first state tournament since 2001 and won the consolation crown.
Osseo junior guard Kiara Russell scored career point No. 1,000 last week. She leads the Orioles with an average of 23.5 points per game this season.