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Somerset wrestlers notch first conference win

The Somerset wrestling team was able to earn its first Middle Border Conference dual meet victory of the season last Thursday.

The long trip to Durand was worthwhile for the Spartans, who scored a 52-24 decision over the Panthers.

The Spartans won seven of the 10 matches that were wrestled, with the wins coming from wrestlers of all experience levels. Seniors Bobby LeRoy and Gabe Flandrick scored pin fall victories, but that's nothing new considering they both have well over 100 wins in their careers.

Another senior earning a win was Zane Von Holtum in the 285-pound match. Somerset coach Mitch Flandrick speaks with admiration for Von Holtum, who worked hard to lose a considerable amount of weight in his quest to become a respectable wrestler. With each season, Von Holtum has become a more agile wrestler whose record is above the .500 level this season.

"He's doing what it takes to have some success and that will help him after he's done wrestling," Flandrick said.

Junior Bailey White and freshman Logan Peterson continued their recent upswing. White won the 152-pound match by a 14-0 score. It was the only match out of the 10 that didn't end in a pin. Peterson logged a pin in 45 seconds in the 142-pound bout.

Two wrestlers who are getting more opportunity to compete in the varsity lineup are Fred Mangine and Gage Kreucher. Mangine followed up his two wins in the New Richmond Invitational with a pin in the 138-pound match at Durand. Kreucher was able to score a second period pin in the 160-pound class. Flandrick said Kreucher has led in a number of his matches, but got caught out of position, which led to getting pinned. This time Kreucher maintained smart position throughout this match, which put him in line to get the pin.

Stillwater Stampede

The Spartans were able to win one of their three matches in the Stillwater Stampede tournament on Saturday.

Somerset was one of the few smaller schools in the tournament. The only other school Somerset's size was Chatfield (Minn.), which is one of the Gopher State's powerhouse programs.

The win for Somerset came against Minneapolis South, with the Spartans scoring a 35-30 victory. This was a classic team victory for Somerset. LeRoy, Flandrick, Praschak and Peterson were winners, but they get wins in most Spartan matches. Somerset was able to get the team victory because Kreucher, Rhys Linke and Alex Turner came through with wins in their matches. Turner's pin in the 220-pound match clinched the victory for the Spartans.

In the second round the Spartans faced Chatfield. Chatfield steamrolled the Spartans 64-13. White, Flandrick and Praschak were the only Spartans to register wins in the match.

The Spartans finished the day against Bloomington Kennedy, losing 57-21. After Kennedy built a 30-0 lead in the light weights, the Spartans were competitive in the rest of the match. LeRoy, White, Flandrick and Praschak were victorious for the Spartans.

With his three wins in the tournament, Flandrick reached the 150-win mark for his career. He is the first Somerset wrestler to ever reach that win total.

Final home dual

The Spartans wrestle at home this Thursday, in their final home dual meet of the season. Osceola will be the opponent and this match will include the Parents Night and Senior Night celebration for the Spartans.

This Saturday, the Spartans will be part of the Eden Prairie Invitational. This is expected to be a highly competitive tournament with top teams from Minnesota and Wisconsin.