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6-1 is sweet success for Somerset wrestlers

Somerset's Steven Moncada (top) is shown trying to turn St. Croix Central's Frank Holter for back points in Thursday's match. This clash of seniors was one of the hotly contested matches, with Moncada winning 6-3. Dave Newman / RiverTown Multimedia

The first part of the season's goal has been achieved.

Now the Somerset wrestlers want to see where it can take them.

For the first time, the Somerset wrestling team finished among the top two teams in the Middle Border Conference dual match standings. The Spartans finished with a 6-1 MBC dual record after wins over St. Croix Central and Amery this week.

The Spartans are now looking toward this Saturday's MBC tournament, which will be wrestled at Baldwin-Woodville. Spartan coach Ali Peterson said the goal is to again be the second place team behind Ellsworth.

Despite facing the two bottom teams in the MBC standings last week, the Spartans got a pair of good tests. The Spartans defeated St. Croix Central 60-6 on Thursday. That happened in spite of nearly every match being a closely contested battle.

"We found ways to win the tight matches," Peterson said.

Nick Kearns, Steven Moncada, Preston Anez and Austin Eggebraatan won close decisions. Jared Grahovac, Zach Maitrejean, Nick Bushinger, Brett Vetterkind, Zeb Rivard and Tyler Hantsbarger won with pins.

On Saturday morning, the Spartans wrestled at Amery, making up a match that had been postponed twice due to weather. With forfeits in both lineups and a number of pins, this match ended up lasting just 31 minutes. But the Spartans got the result they sought, a 45-30 win, to lock up second place.

Peterson said the wrestlers took time to enjoy their accomplishment on the trip home.

"Six and one is pretty dang sweet. I can't say enough positives about how much they dedicated themselves," Peterson said.

Somerset moved into the MBC for the 2002-03 school year. This is the first time Somerset has ranked among the top two teams in the conference, with Ellsworth taking one of those positions every year since then.

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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