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Fred Mangine (top) was one of the top performers for the Somerset wrestling team in the 2013 Northern Badger Invitational.

Three Somerset wrestlers place at Northern Badger Invitational

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The youth of the Somerset wrestling team was clear at the Northern Badger Wrestling Invitational.

But the three most experienced Spartans who took the mat in the tournament at River Falls High School last Friday and Saturday were all placewinners.

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The Spartans were without senior Bailey White, who was sidelined with a hamstring injury. That left senior Gage Kreucher, junior Max Praschak and sophomore Logan Peterson as the only Spartans in the lineup who were in the lineup last season. All three advanced to the second day of the tournament and were able to place in the tournament.

Praschak was part of a logjam of four state-ranked standouts at the top of the 182-pound bracket. He lost in the semifinals to eventual champion, undefeated Sebastian Larson of River Falls, 12-8. Praschak bounced back, defeating Jaylen Lansin of Cumberland 3-0 in the third place match. Lansin placed fifth at state last season.

Peterson took sixth place at 152 pounds, going 4-2 for the tournament. He lost two close matches, including a 2-0 defeat against Prescott’s Troy Urman in the fifth place match.

Kreucher is a late bloomer in wrestling, but he’s coming on fast. He went 5-2 in the tournament to take ninth place at 160 pounds. He’s become an extremely aggressive wrestler who listens for coach’s instructions while on the mat.

“That was probably the best performance of his career,” said Somerset coach Trent Larrieu.

The rest of the Spartans were in their first Northern Badger tournament. Fred Mangine won his opening match in the 132-pound bracket and was beating the third seeded wrestler from Spooner when he got dropped on his head and pinned.

Harrison Kern made it down to 145 pounds for the first time this season and was able to earn one win.

“For a second-year wrestler, he’s making big leaps and bounds,” Larrieu said.

The Spartans placed ninth among the 14 teams in Division 1 of the tournament. Larrieu said the Spartans would have been much more competitive if White had been able to wrestle.

“We didn’t want to take any chances with him. I think he would have placed top four and maybe even made the finals,” Larrieu said.

Because the tournament came two days after Christmas, the Spartans planned a Jan. 1 team Christmas party. After the party, the team will pull out the new mats for the remodeled wrestling room.

The Spartans don’t compete again until Thursday, Jan. 9, when they compete at Baldwin-Woodville.

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Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
(715) 243-7767 x242
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