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Class B wrestling roundup: Howard second, Winner in third after first day

Howard's Kieffer Klinkhammer wrestles Philip Area's Blair Blasius in their 113lb Class B quarterfinal match during the first day of the state wrestling tournament on Friday at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls. (Matt Gade / Republic)

SIOUX FALLS—The Howard wrestling team picked the right time to shine.

After the first day of the Class B state wrestling tournament, Howard is in second place with 58 team points, slightly ahead of third place Winner (57.5). Canton holds a large lead on the team title race with 79 points, while McCook Central/Montrose is sixth (42), Bon Homme/Scotland/Avon is seventh (40.5), Parkston is eighth (39), Wagner is tied for ninth (35) and Kimball/White Lake/Platte-Geddes is tied for 12th (32).

In front of a loud Premier Center audience in Sioux Falls, the Tigers advanced eight grapplers into the placing rounds. Five Howard wrestlers—Lane Miller (106 pounds), Kieffer Klinkhammer (113), Aidyn Feldhaus (182), E.J. Leetch (195) and Evan Kizer (22)—each moved on to today's semifinals.

"We've been preparing for this weekend for weeks," Howard head coach Corbin Surat said. "We wanted to peak this weekend and I think we are doing that."

In wrestlebacks, Howard picked up key bonus points from Carter Calmus (126), who picked up a pin in the first round, and Isaac Feldhaus (152), who won by major decision to bump the Tigers in front of the Warriors.

"They are feeding off each other," Surat said about the bonus points in the wrestlebacks. "We might not have finished as high as we wanted to in the region meet, but we were OK with that because we know what was coming up."

Kizer improved to 37-4 and is the top seed in his respective weight class, while Leetch holds the No. 3 seed in his weight class and Klinkhammer is seeded fourth.

"We just have to keep it rolling," Surat said about the semifinal round. "We've trained pretty hard for this week. We just have to keep believing."

Winner started the day strong, qualifying five wrestlers—Kaden Keiser (106), Atlas Willuweit (120), Wyatt Turnquist (126), Trevor Peters (138) and Sam Kruger (145)—for the semifinals.

Also in Class B, area top-seeded wrestlers Lance Soukup (113), of Wagner, Paul Lauck (145), of McCook Central/Montrose, and defending state champion Dawson Semmler (160), of Parkston, rolled into the semifinal round.

The Red Raiders will have four wrestlers competing today, while MCM and Parkston each had five grapplers advance to the second day. Action continues at 10 a.m. today in Sioux Falls.