One is a senior defending state champion making his fifth state appearance (fourth individual). The other three are freshman just getting their first tastes of big-time high school success, their first state tourneys. Jake Mandt (Chatfield), Seth Goetzinger (Chatfield), Carter Jonsgaard (LARP), and Caden Anderson (FCLMC) excelled at the Section 1A wrestling tourney. Each’s mat services are needed for the State Class A wrestling tourney at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Mandt ho-hum repeated as 145-pound section champ, going 18-3 tech fall, pin, and 7-1 decision (over Z-M’s 24-2 Luke Tupper) for the title. It is Jake’s third individual section championship (132 in 2015, 145 in 2017). The senior, ranked #1 in the state, is 35-0. Teammate Seth Goetzinger came from the 4-seed to claim 106 pounds He started with two pins, including sticking top-seed, #2 in state, Michael Majerus (31-5) of Z-M in the semis. In the finals, Goetzinger avenged a loss at the Stewartville Tourney. The freshman handled 2-seed Anthony Romero (31-3) of GMLOS via 8-0 major decision to claim his first section title. Goetzinger improved to 30-7. LARP’s Carter Jonsgaard was a 3-seed at 113. He notched two decision wins (12-8, 9-3) to make the finals. There, in the third period, foe Beau Jurrens (20-12) of Z-M got a takedown to go ahead. Jonsgaard near immediately flowed into a reversal, then a pin, a dramatic winning, losing, winning, match is done situation! The freshman earned his first section title and improved to 30-11. Taking the most serendipitous road to state was FCLMC’s Caden Anderson. Seeded fifth at 120, he lost his opening match (7-5 in SV-1) then worked his way back through the consolation bracket. The trek included a pin and two decisions (2-1, 6-2) to force a true second match with LARP’s Gable Speltz. Speltz rode two decision wins (6-3, 6-4) into the finals, but fell to top-seed Jackson Hale (GMLOS) 3-0. Anderson (23-7) notched a 3-2 decision win over Speltz to take true second and earn a trip to state. Caden is one of two twin freshman brothers of FCLMC’s last state wrestling champion, Niko Anderson. Speltz (24-10), also a freshman, took third. Three Gophers wrestled for state in true second matches. Cael Bartels (113) took a trek similar to Caden Anderson. He started with a 3-2 loss to the other Anderson (Cale) in his first match. Bartels then won four straight (17-9 MD, 12-7 D, 8-3 D, fall) to force a true second. He led that bout with Z-M’s Jurrens 3-1 in the third, but was tagged twice for stalling. Jurrens secured an overtime 6-3 decision (TB-1). The sophomore Bartels (25-13) took third. He scored a meet high 44 total points. At 170, Davontae Goldsmith won (pin), lost (10-2 MD to eventual section champ, #2 in state Hayden Voxland of Z-M), then won two straight (10-0 MD, 7-4 D). In his true second match, he faced top seed, #3 in state Kelby O’Reilly (37-6) of Goodhue. Goldsmith suffered a take-down in overtime to lose 3-1 (SV-1). The junior (25-9) took third. At 182, Carter Fishbaugher took the same route, winning (pin), losing (pinned by Z-M’s #1 in Class A 35-3 Caden Steffen), then winning two straight (pin, pin). Fishbaugher faced D-E’s #3 in state Michael Nelson (32-5) for true second, falling by pin. Fishbaugher (15-9), a senior, took third. His three pins on the day tied for a tourney high.