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Witt claims Kenmare Invitational title at 132

More than 100 wrestlers from nine teams converged on Kenmare Friday for the 44th annual Kenmare Invitational Wrestling Tournament won by Stanley with 146.5 points.

12/15/15 (Tue)

Taking the title... Peyton Witt wrestles Tioga's Hugo Garcia in the 132B-pound quarterfinals in the Kenmare Invitational Tournament held Friday night. Witt beat Garcia in a 14-2 major decision, going on to win the championship with a pin and a decision. (Photo by Robin James)

By Marvin Baker

More than 100 wrestlers from nine teams converged on Kenmare Friday for the 44th annual Kenmare Invitational Wrestling Tournament won by Stanley with 146.5 points.

The Honkers brought 12 wrestlers to the tournament including three seniors, three freshmen and three eighth-graders.

One of those wrestlers, Peyton Witt, took first place in one of two 132-pound brackets.

Witt moved his way up to the championship in the 132B class with three wins after taking a first-round bye.

Just an eighth-grader in his second year of wrestling varsity, Witt took down Hugo Garcia of Tioga in a 14-2 major decision, pinned Trenton Anderson of Stanley in 3:17 and took the title with a 5-1 decision over Gavin Parisien of Northern Lights.

In that match, Parisien attempted to drop Witt to the mat numerous times, but Witt continued to skirt out of bounds by back peddling.

In his quarterfinal match against Garcia, Witt got dropped to the mat and almost immediately, Witt made a backward flip and got back on his feet.

“Peyton is a very strong wrestler with a lot of experience already and can surprise us at any time,” said Kenmare head coach Danny Mogren. “He continues to get better every week, he handles pressure well and stays focused which is great for his age.”

Brandon Burtch, also wrestling at 132, took second place in a round-robin tournament, losing a 13-1 major decision to Velva’s Jeseb Mogen in the championship.

“We knew Brandon was going to have a tough time in the finals as they are both in great shape,” Mogren said. “Mogen looked good. He has a lot more experience on the mat than Brandon and comes from a family of wrestlers. He will wrestle him again on Thursday in Minot so we’ll see if we can fix some minor mistakes and come closer.”

In the opener, despite Burtch tossing Velva’s Aaron Dean around like a wet noodle, Dean stuck with Burtch until he ran out of gas in the third period with Burtch winning a 3-2 decision over Dean and moving on to take a 10-1 major decision over Walter Winkler of Des Lacs/Burlington.

Ty Jesz, Austin Manz and Skylar Ford all placed third in their respective weight divisions, Jesz at 182, Manz at 152 and Ford at 120.

Jesz just back to the team after a lingering shoulder injury from football, wrestled well, scoring 16 points for the Honkers.

After receiving a first-round bye, Jesz pinned Brandon Ledahl of MonDak (Grenora/Westby, Mont.) in 34 seconds, moving on to the semis where he dropped a 9-3 decision to Colton Rudolph of Stanley.

That dropped Jesz into the wrestle backs where he knocked off Graydon Olson of Velva in a 6-1 decision.

That set up a second match with Ledahl in which Jesz won easily. Jesz built up a 6-1 lead in the first, extended it to 13-3 in the second, then pinned Ledahl with 45 seconds remaining.

Manz, wrestling at 152, performed in very similar fashion as he did in the Velva tournament, pinning his opponents or getting pinned.

Manz got a tough start in the round-robin tournament, getting pinned by Noah Flores of Grafton in the second period.

He came back with a pin over Velva’s Brady Lawson in 1:21, got pinned by Velva’s Jon Thomas at 3:42 and finally, took third with a 1:07 pin of Dyllon Craft of Stanley.

After getting a first-round bye, Ford pinned CJ Hellman of Velva in 2:33, setting up a match with Kaiden Bredahl of DLB who hadn’t yet wrestled thanks to two consecutive byes.

The two evenly matched wrestlers went at it in one of the most exciting matches of the tournament. The match was close all the way with Bredahl constantly trying to pin Ford.

But Ford continued slipping out of Bredahl’s grip, bouncing around like a boxer and tiring Bredahl.

In fact, in the third, Bredahl flipped Ford on his back, Ford wiggled out of it and put Bredahl in what appeared to be a submission hold half way through the period, but Bredahl, like Ford, wiggled out of it, got a reverse and won the 14-12 decision.

Ford came back strong, pinning Brady Volk of Rugby in 3 minutes and pinning Trevor Halstad of Stanley in the third-place match a minute into the third period.

Other Kenmare wrestlers included Nicolai Topolski at 103 pounds, Tyler Burtch and Lathan Stroklund at 126, Levi Young at 138, Michael Schlosser at 145, Zane Miller and Brennit Bossingham at 170.

In an unusual circumstance, Burtch and Stroklund wrestled each other after both wrestlers lost their first match and Burtch got a bye, setting up the all Kenmare match.

The match started out with Burtch taking the upper edge, but Stroklund came back in the second, flipping Burtch to the mat and trying to pin him in a head lock when the buzzer sounded ending the second period.

In the third, the wrestlers traded attempts until Stroklund pinned Burtch with 14 seconds left.

“Every coach has a different approach to how to deal with two teammates wrestling each other,” Mogren said. “I usually stand back and watch from a distance. By watching I can usually see a bad habit or something we don’t see in practice.”   Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!