Miles Longsdorf

River Falls’ Miles Longsdorf gets Hudson’s Dawson Clymer on his back before pinning him in the first period of the 152-pound match to extend the Wildcats’ lead to 31-18 over the Raiders Thursday night, Jan. 6 in River Falls. Longsdorf went on to win his 100th career match over the weekend at the Fred Lehrke Invitational in Schofield. Bob Burrows / Star-Observer photo

The River Falls wrestling team started the new year with a bang last week, beating Hudson 40-28 in a Big Rivers Conference dual Thursday night, Jan. 6, to move into sole possession of first place before claiming the team title at the 65th Fred Lehrke Invitational, Saturday at D.C. Everest High School.

Thursday night’s dual featured the only two remaining undefeated teams in the BRC and went down to the final match, where River Falls’ freshman Lincoln McCarty needed to avoid being pinned by Hudson senior Quentin Bratsch to preserve the Wildcat’s win. Instead McCarty led throughout the match before pinning Bratsch late in the third period to give the Wildcats a 40-28 victory.

River Falls led 31-18 with four matches remaining after Miles Longsdorf pinned Dawson Clymer at 152 pounds. Hudson answered with Joey Sullivan pinning Jacob Range at 160 and Ethan Winkleman posting a 17-5 major decision over Gavin Kohel at 170 to pull to within three, 31-28.

River Falls’ Tyler Haydon earned a 10-3 decision over Hudson’s Ben Draveling in the 182 match to extend the Wildcat lead to six while keeping Hudson’s hopes alive. But those hopes were dashed when McCarty took the final match of the night at 195 to seal the Wildcat win.

Hudson led 16-15 four matches into the night after Ethan Jensen earned a pin at 285, Liam Neitzel picked up a forfeit at 106 and Austin Krenz took a 7-5 decision in overtime from Jonas Longsdorf at 113. River Falls’ only points up until then came in the opening match at 220 where Vito Massa pinned Ryan Rambo in 1:42.

The Wildcats got back-to-back pins from Aidan Peterson and Ricardo Ceja at 120 and 126 pounds, respectively, to take an 18-15 lead but Hudson tied the match when Noah Moltzan earned an 11-5 decision over Vince Costabilo at 132.

River Falls took the next three matches, with James Hampton posting a 12-4 decision at 138, Owen Larson earning a decision at 145 and Miles Longsdorf pinning Clymer at 152 to open up their 31-18 lead.

The win leaves River Falls on top of the BRC standings at 4-0 while Hudson slipped to 2-1.

River Falls kept the momentum going at the 65th Fred Lehrke Invitational, Saturday at D.C. Everest High School with Miles Longsdorf picking up his 100th career win and Peterson earning his first tournament title in addition to the Cats claiming the team title.

The Cats had six individual champions on the day with Peterson winning at 120 pounds, Larson at 145, Longsdorf at 152, Haydon at 170, Kohel at 182 and Massa at 220. Kohel was named the Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament while Massa registered the tournament’s most pins in the least amount of time, needing a total of just 2 minutes, 7 seconds to win his four matches. He won his first three matches in 12, 15 and 17 seconds.

Three other Wildcats reached the finals, with Jonas Longsdorf finishing second at 106 pounds, Ceja at 126, and Range at 160. McCarty finished fourth at 195 pounds and Lucas Johnson was forth at 285 while Costabilo placed fifth at 132.

River Falls finished with a first place team score of 334 while host D.C. Everest was second with 267 and Stratford took third with 210.

Next up for the Wildcats is a BRC dual at Rice Lake Thursday, Jan. 13 followed by a trip to Stillwater Friday, Jan. 14.

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