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Spartans win two duals, take fourth at Eden Prairie

Two dual wins and a strong finish in the Eden Prairie Invitational made last week quite a fruitful week for the Somerset wrestling team.

The Spartans rolled to the dual wins, beating St. Croix Central 63-18 last Tuesday and Prescott 58-14 last Thursday.

On Saturday the competition was more challenging at Eden Prairie. The Spartans finished fourth among eight teams. Seniors Andrew Neumann and Cory Warman won tournament championships, with Warman receiving the honor as the tournament's Outstanding Wrestler.

In both of the dual matches the team win was a foregone conclusion because of the four forfeits each of the opponents was giving up. Somerset coach Dennis Potter said the most impressive wins for the Spartans against St. Croix Central came from Andy Nash, Mike Roettger and Austin Bell. Nash and Bell won with pins and Roettger took the 171-pound match with a 6-2 decision.

Against Prescott, freshmen Drew Baillargeon and Justin Neumann came through with nice wins. Baillargeon got three nearfall points in the third period to pull out a 7-6 win. Neumann won at 189 pounds, 9-0.

Nate Hildebrant came through with a big pin at 130 pounds for the Spartans and Luke Forrest put together a quick pin to win the 160-pound match.

The Eden Prairie tournament is an annual event for the Spartans and it always provides a good challenge.

The Spartans were able to get four wrestlers into the finals of the tournament. Neumann and Warman won their title matches. Bruce Baillargeon and Matt Nelson also reached the finals for the Spartans.

Warman has faced his challenges lately, being put on his back in three recent matches. In each case he was able to fight off his back and win the match.

In the finals Saturday Warman was put to his back in the first period in a banana splits move. He came back and pinned the opponent from Willmar in the second period.

Neumann reached the finals at Eden Prairie for the fourth time in his career, winning his third title. The finals was a rematch of last year's finals and just like last year, the match went into overtime. In double overtime Neumann was able to get an escape and put his opponent on his back to earn the win.

Nelson was seeded third and took second place. He pinned his way to the finals, where he was pinned.

Baillargeon won his first two matches to get to the 152-pound finals, but he was taken down three times in a 7-3 loss in the championship match.

Tyler Leroy placed third in the tournament, Andy Nash and Justin Neumann were fourth place finishers and Luke Forrest placed fifth.

The Spartans complete their first season in the Middle Border Conference this Thursday, with a home match against Amery. The Spartans will then be off until the MBC tournament, which will be wrestled on Saturday, Feb. 8.

Somerset 58, Prescott 14

140 - Kurt Van Horn (P) dec. Andy Nash 13-4. 145 - Ryan Karisch (P) dec. Andy Hecth 11-1. 152 - Bruce Baillargeon (S) won by forfeit. 160 - Luke Forrest (S) pinned Joe Gilles :47. 171 - Mike Roettger (S) won by forfeit. 189 - Justin Neumann (S) dec. Lance Huebner 9-0. 215 - Andrew Neumann (S) won by forfeit. 275 - Matt Nelson (S) pinned Jayson Tomberg 5:28. 103 - Tyler Leroy (S) won by forfeit. 112 - Drew Baillargeon (S) dec. Jordan Boles 7-6. 119 - Jake Boles (P) pinned Steve Vanasse 1:30. 125 - Austin Bell (S) pinned Ty Reis 2:48. 130 - Nate Hildebrant (S) pinned Ron Johnson 1:49. 135 - Cory Warman (S) dec. Nick Swanson 12-6.

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.
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