Grand Rapids continued to make long strides in improvement as they were a strong third at the Henry Sibley Invitational Saturday depsite a somewhat depleted squad. Grand Rapids had four open weights due to an injury and some of their wrestlers participating in the ninth grade state tournament team.
Sibley won their own tournament with 198.5 followed by Waconia with 192, Grand Rapids 172.5, Rochester John Marshall 149.5, Chisago Lakes 111, St. Paul Highland Park 82, Cooper 79.5 and Hinckley-Finlayson 73.
With a full squad, Grand Rapids had a strong chance of pushing for the top spot, but had to settle for some strong individual outings on this day.
Leading the way for Grand Rapids was a pair of champions amongst six finalists. Kurt Ehrhorn and Eric Enerson cruised to championship victories, while Mitchell Jobe, Sam Hise, Alan Grossman and Corey DuBay had great torunaments to finish second.
Ehrhorn had three falls enroute to winning the 125 pound title as he powered his way to wins by pin over Jake Bowersox of Chisago Lakes, Cody Strand of Waconia and Tyrell Martin of Sibley for his first place medal.
Enerson racked up big points as well as he had two falls and a technical fall for his three victories. The 135 pound senior had a minute number over Jeff Abdullah of Chisago Lakes in the first round and then dominated D.J. Keenan of Henry Sibley in the semifnals before flattening Joe Claus of Hinckely-Finlayson in the third period of their finals bout.
Jobe took second at 103 pounds with a 7-4 semifinal victory over Tim Crockett of Sibley, but fell in a closer than the score indicates 6-2 decision to Sam Braunshausen of Waconia.
Hise had a strong day at 145 pounds beginning with a first round 15-0 technical fall win over Alex Even of Rochester John Marshall and continuing with a 10-2 major decision victory in the semifinals over John Castaneda of Waconia. The Rapids' junior fell in the finals to state ranked Zak Coates of Sibley, but didn't tarnish a good day for Hise.
A pleasant surprise was Grossman at 152 pounds as the sophomore knocked off the No. 2 seed Kenny LaPlante of Chisago Lakes in a 13-4 semifnal win to reach the finals. Grossman dropped a championship decision to Maz Zafka of Sibley in the finals, but ended the day with a the silver medal.
DuBay bulled his way into the 215 pound finals with a pair of bruising fall victories. The senior Thunderhawk captain stapled Alex Poor of Highland Park to the mat in 56 seconds in his first match and then needed just 3:02 to dispatch Jake Nase of Chisago Lakes in the semi's.
His win streak ended in the finals as he dropped a tight 2-0 decision to Brandon Bullock of Waconia in a good championship bout.
A trio of Rapids' wrestlers came through with some sterling wins to take third place in their weight classes and bolster the strong team finish.
Ryan Kolka won three straight matches recovering from a first round loss to take third at 130 pounds and he did so in fine fashion.
The T'hawk junior pinned Ken Mymato of Highland Park then avenged an early season loss to Travis Cammerer of Chisago Lakes with a well wrestled 8-2 decision. Kolka finished an outstanding day with a third place victory rallying from a 4-0 deficit to outpoint Luke Robison of Rochester John Marshall in an exciting 10-5 match.
Nick Ruder also gained some revenge as he too recovered from a first round loss to finish in third at 160 pounds. Ruder fell to Derek Sibernagle of Chisago Lakes in the first round and as fate would have it they met again for third, but this time Ruder carried the action and after taking a lead pinned Sibernagle for a satisfying victory.
Jeff Meyers also stormed back from a semifnal loss with two big wins for third at 189 pounds. He locked horns with Eathan Gutzman of Waconia first and the long, lanky frame gave Meyers fits for awhile, but he exploded in the third period after trailing and reversed Gutzman to his back and secured a fall with just under a minute remaining.
In the third place match, he and Tae Stone of Robbinsdale Cooper traded points liberally, but Meyers had the better of the action coming away with a thrilling 19-7 win for third. Alex Siikanen and Jordan Lewandowski finished fifth in their divisions for the Thunderhawks.
Grand Rapids is at home this week closing out their regular season home schedule hositing Virginia and Cloquet Thursday night and the Skip Nalan Invitational, the longest continuously run tournament in the state of Minnesota, on Saturday.