Florell wins state, Svihel takes runner-up for Totino-Grace

By Matthew Davis
Contributing Writer

Totino-Grace wrestler Jared Florell is declared the winner in the Class 2A state wrestling championship at 182 pounds. (Photo by Jason Olson, Sun Current Newspapers)
Totino-Grace wrestler Jared Florell is declared the winner in the Class 2A state wrestling championship at 182 pounds. (Photo by Jason Olson, Sun Current Newspapers)

Jared Florell saw a familiar face in the Class 2A state wrestling championship for 182 pounds.

Florell (41-2), a Totino-Grace senior, got a rematch with Bobby Striggow of Orono (42-4) for the title just a week after meeting for the Section 4AA title in Orono.

Florell got the upper hand again in a 7-3 decision to go out a champion at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

“I thought I controlled the match pretty well,” Florell said.

It concluded a successful showing for Totino-Grace at the Class 2A state wrestling individual tournaments on March 3-4 with two wrestlers making the final.

Totino-Grace sophomore Jake Svihel also made it to the championship for a second straight season in his weight class short in the final. Svihel (43-4) lost 9-7 to Charlie Pickell of Mankato West (38-4) in the 113 final.

Both Svihel and Florell dominated their way through their respective brackets at the Class 2A state individual wrestling tournament.

A Minnesota State High School League referee raises Columbia Heights High School Junior Manny Alvarez’s arm in victory at the state wrestling championships, Friday, March 3 in St. Paul. Alvarez, who finished the season with a 39-4 record, made it to the semi-finals, where he placed fourth in the AA heavyweight wrestling category. (Photo provided by Columbia Heights Public Schools)
A Minnesota State High School League referee raises Columbia Heights High School Junior Manny Alvarez’s arm in victory at the state wrestling championships, Friday, March 3 in St. Paul. Alvarez, who finished the season with a 39-4 record, made it to the semi-finals, where he placed fourth in the AA heavyweight wrestling category. (Photo provided by Columbia Heights Public Schools)

Florell pinned Garsen Schorr of Kasson-Mantorville in 1:07 for the first round. Florell then shutout Holt Truax of Bertha-Hewitt-Verndale 6-0 in the quarterfinals. Florell then collected his second pin at 3:52 in the semifinals against Dawson Kellogg of Perham.

Svihel took his first match 11-1 in a major decision against Tucker Gifferson of Hutchinson. Svihel followed it up with a 17-8 major decision against Ryan Noshbush of Mora. Svihel had more of a battle in the semifinals with an 8-4 win over Ben Naddy of Ottertail Central.

Triston Zuniga, Connor Dehn, Michael Menth and Nate Schutz also competed for the Eagles but didn’t come up with any wins in their respective weight classes.

The Eagles also competed in the Class 2A team tournament on Thursday, March 2 but fell in their only two matches.

Allen takes fifth for Fridley

John Allen finished the season strong for Fridley with a fifth-place finish at 220 pounds in the Class 2A state individual wrestling tournament.

Allen (32-4) pinned Sam Wamre of United Clay Becker (32-8) in the fifth place match at the Xcel Energy Center on Saturday, March 4. Allen lost to Wamre in the first round on Friday, March 3 in a 5-2 decision.

Allen bounced back to beat Jacob Clark of Plainview-Elgin-Millville 7-3 and Cole Bungarden of Dawson-Boyd-Lac Qui Parle-Montevideo in a pin at 59 seconds. Allen’s 9-3 consolation semifinal loss to Ethan Kimber of Bertha-Hewitt-Verndale set up the fifth-place rematch with the Wamre.

Columbia Heights wrestler Dylan Lentz competed in the state tournament last week at 160 pounds, but did not place. (Photo by Jason Olson, Sun Current Newspapers)
Columbia Heights wrestler Dylan Lentz competed in the state tournament last week at 160 pounds, but did not place. (Photo by Jason Olson, Sun Current Newspapers)

Jack Nguyen, Nic Fite and Ben ZayZay also competed for Fridley at state but did not make the podium.

Hylanders’ Alvarez finishes fourth

Manny Alvarez of Columbia Heights reached the semifinals for the 285-pound bracket of the Class 2A state individual wrestling tournament and finished fourth for the tourney March 3-4.

Alvarez (39-4) pinned Xavier Whalen of Bemidji in 2:47 and then pinned Walker Russek of Delano in 4:39. Alvarez then came a point a shy in a 1-0 semifinal loss to Mitch Trigg of Foley.

Alvarez rebounded to beat Ben Kemp of Henry Sibley 7-5 in the consolation semifinals to reach the third place match. Chandler Kurth of Hutchinson pinned Alvarez in 3:19 for the third place match.

Edwin Pesantez and Dylan Lentz also competed for Columbia Heights at state but came up with a match victory.

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Fridley wrestler Ben ZayZay competed at 160 pounds in the state wrestling tournament last week in St. Paul, but did not place. (Photo by Jason Olson, Sun Current Newspapers)

Fridley wrestler Nic Fite competed at 132 pounds in the state wrestling tournament last week in St. Paul, but did not place. (Photo by Jason Olson, Sun Current Newspapers)
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Fridley wrestler Ben ZayZay competed at 160 pounds in the state wrestling tournament last week in St. Paul, but did not place. (Photo by Jason Olson, Sun Current Newspapers)