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Herrick only Kernel to advance to semis; four others still alive

Mitchell’s 138-pounder Landon Neugebauer wrestles a Rapid City Central wrestler during the Class A state tournament Friday at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City. (Photo courtesy of Bob Everson)

Alex Herrick is the lone Mitchell wrestler to make it to the semifinals of the Class A wrestling tournament.

Herrick beat Watertown’s Dylan Mitzel in the first round by a 15-5 major decision and Dakota Valley’s Brady Dam in a 5-1 decision in the second round. The senior 152-pounder hits the mat today against Rapid City Steven’s Bailey Konvalin for a spot in the championship. Mitchell didn’t have a wrestler in the finals last season but did in 2012.

“Alex wrestled real solid,” MHS wrestling coach Travis Carpenter said. “He did what he had to do. Now, he has a match with a kid that he is familiar with.”

Herrick and Konvalin have faced off two times this season. Herrick defeated Konvalin in the first matchup, but Konvalin beat Herrick at the Jerry Opbroek Invitational in Mitchell.

The second day of the tournament begins with the semifinals at 11 a.m. CST in Rapid City.

Five other Mitchell wrestlers faced off in quarterfinal matchups Friday, but Herrick was the only one to advance to the semis.

Landon Neugebauer (138) came the closest to making it to the semifinals as he was defeated 6-4 in overtime by Sioux Falls Washington’s Grant Rosheim. Ethan Parr (145), Matt Larson (160), Tyson Sprinkel (195) and Chase Klingaman (220) also lost in the quarterfinals.

Neugebauer, Parr, Larson and Sprinkel each won their matches in the second round of wrestlebacks to secure top eight finishes.

Last year, Sprinkel was the only Kernel to finish in the top eight. Each of the wrestlers has the possibility to finish third if they can string together three wins today.

Mitchell’s Trey Hohn (132), Briggs Havlik (126) and Robert McCardle (285) each lost their opening matches. Havlik and McCardle both dropped their first wrestlebacks and were eliminated, while Hohn won his first wrestleback, but fell to Rapid City Stevens’ Logan Wood in the second round of wrestlebacks.

After the first day the Kernels are in 11th place with 38 points. Aberdeen Central sits in first place with 93.50 points.

“We took a couple hits,” Carpenter said. “We got five kids through, but I was hoping for six or seven. Now we have to get the kids we do have wrestling into better placing rounds.”