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Somerset senior Gabe Flandrick (top), shown in a match earlier this season, became a four-time champion at the Eden Prairie Invitational on Saturday.

Somerset wrestlers blister Osceola, 53-30

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Things fell just right for the Somerset wrestling team in its final home dual match of the 2012-13 season.

The Spartans rolled up a 41-0 lead against Osceola last Thursday, locking up the team victory quite early as the Spartans finished with a 53-30 decision over the rival Chieftains.

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"The match went as well as we could have planned," said Somerset coach Mitch Flandrick. "It all fell in our favor."

Where the Spartans are strongest is in the middle weights. Having the match start at 138 pounds gave the Spartans the opportunity for success. They took full advantage of that opening.

The match started with Fred Mangine scoring a first period pin. Bobby LeRoy followed with a technical fall win at 145 pounds.

Osceola's Alex Freese missed weight for the 152-pound class by a half-pound, which fell perfectly for the Spartans. They slid in Andrew King to accept the forfeit at 152, moving Bailey White up to 160 to face Freese. White continued his recent string of successes by pinning Freese in the third period.

That was the first four straight pins, with Gabe Flandrick, Max Praschak and Cole Martinsen getting pins to raise the Spartan lead to 41-0.

Somerset's Lewey Raleigh received a forfeit in the 106-pound class. Somerset's final win came off another pin, from Logan Peterson in the final bout of the night.

Eden Prairie Invitational

The Spartans went looking for tougher competition on Saturday and they found it when they wrestled in the Eden Prairie Invitational.

This has always been a strong tournament and it was even more challenging with the addition of New Richmond and top Minnesota programs like St. Michael-Albertville, Anoka, Owatonna and Sibley. St. Michael-Albertville, one of the top-ranked programs in Minnesota, put 12 wrestlers into the finals of the tournament.

Somerset's Gabe Flandrick won the 160-pound championship in the tournament. He was honored as a four-time champion in the tournament, the first they've had in several years. Flandrick (31-1) defeated an opponent from Owatonna 12-4 in the finals.

Several Spartans ran into brutally tough weight classes. LeRoy took fourth place in the 138-pound class. That's more of an accomplishment than you'd think, considering he was one of five state placewinners who were competing in the bracket. LeRoy (28-5) defeated St. Michael-Albertville and Anoka wrestlers, but lost close matches to opponents from Sibley and Owatonna.

White and Zane Von Holtum each won two matches in the tournament to take fifth place in their brackets.

The Spartans complete their regular season this Thursday with an MBC dual match at Prescott. That leaves 10 days for the Spartans to practice before the Middle Border Conference tournament, which will be wrestled on Saturday, Feb. 2, at New Richmond.

"We load the schedule on the front side and then take this time to practice and get healthy," said Coach Flandrick. "We need to peak at the end of the year and this schedule has worked pretty well for us."

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