Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, March 6, 2000

LP wrestlers head to state undefeated

By John Halverson
LP/HT Wrestling Coach

Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity Winsted wrestlers Alek Halverson and Josh Eckstein each completed a perfect 34-0 season, winning Section 5 wrestling titles at Kimball Feb. 26. Both went on to compete in the state wrestling tournament for their fourth consecutive year.

Halverson won the 119-pound Section 5 title with a convincing 15-2 decision over Nussbaum of Meadow Creek Alliance Academy (MCAA) in the first round. He then defeated Buboltz of Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop (GFW) 7-4 in the semi-finals. For the championship, Halverson really turned it on as he demolished Miller of Montgomery-Lonsdale 12-2.

Josh Eckstein placed first at 160 pounds with a pin over Kopp of Montgomery-Lonsdale in round one, followed by an easy 15-4 decision over Holdvogt of Eden Valley-Watkins in the semi-finals. He won his title match 13-5 over Libbesmeier of Kimball.

The Bulldogs had three third place finishers at the section competition. David Eckstein got close to the state tourney trip, but lost in a true second match to place third, with only the top two allowed to go on.

David Eckstein won 13-2 over Kimball in round one, but lost a heartbreaker 6-4 in the semis to Eden Valley-Watkins. He came back to win 4-0 over Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City (ACGC), and pinned Montgomery-Lonsdale for third, giving him the true second shot. David Eckstein lost 9-2 to Meadow Creek for second.

Justin Heldt had a huge tournament, going 5-1 for the tourney. Heldt started with a pin over St. Croix Lutheran, but lost a tough 12-8 decision to GFW in the next round. He then strung together four wins to place third.

Heldt first pinned Koppe of Concordia Academy, then he decisioned Howard Lake 4-2. Next, he had his biggest match, defeating Bloomington Trinity 8-2. For third, Heldt beat GFW 5-1 in overtime, defeating the same wrestler who beat him earlier in the tournament.

Joel Gueningsman started the tourney with an upset loss to Meadow Creek. He came back to pin Bloomington Trinity in the consolation bracket. Next, Gueningsman pinned Concordia Academy and beat Montgomery- Lonsdale 3-2. For third place, he decisioned GFW 3-2. Because Gueningsman did not lose to the champion, he did not get a true second shot.

The Bulldogs had two fourth place finishers. Dan Fiecke placed fourth at 145 pounds by defeating an Eden Valley-Watkins wrestler 8-4 in round one. In round two, Dan Fiecke lost to ACGC 5-0. In the consolations, he beat GFW 5-1, but lost 3-0 to Sibley East for a fourth place finish.

Ryan Schermann placed fourth when he tech-falled St. Croix Lutheran 17-2 in round one, and then was pinned by Meadow Creek. Schermann came back to defeat GFW 6-1, but then, lost by fall to Sibley East for fourth place.

Ryan Fiecke placed fifth in the tournament when he defeated Sibley East 8-1 in the first round at 189 pounds. He then lost 7-3 to Howard Lake, and 8-6 to Concordia Academy. Ryan Fiecke placed fifth when he won 6-5 over Sibley East.

Jon Kusske (103 pounds) and Travis Schurmann (112 pounds) each placed sixth in the sections. Kusske lost to MCAA 4-0, won 10-7 over Eden Valley, lost 9-4 to Kimball, and lost 8-2 to ACGC.

Schurmann lost by fall to Montgomery-Lonsdale, defeated Kimball 13-2, lost to Eden Valley-Watkins 9-2, and lost by fall to Concordia Academy.

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