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Classic move, dominant effort delivers Quinten Christensen repeat heavyweight title in Class B

The Wessington Springs/Woonsocket/Wolsey-Wessington senior wrestler completed a 43-0 season.

022522 B285 Quinten Christensen Grady Fey2.JPG
Wessington Springs/Woonsocket/Wolsey-Wessington's Quinten Christensen works a move against Redfield's Grady Fey following a victory in the Class B 285-pound championship match at the South Dakota State Wrestling Tournament on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022 at the Premier Center in Sioux Falls.
Marcus Traxler / Mitchell Republic

SIOUX FALLS — For the first time all season, Quinten Christensen used a classic wrestling move to earn a pin.

And the timing couldn’t have been better.

The Wessington Springs/Woonsocket/Wolsey-Wessington senior wrestler was successful in his title defense Friday at Class B 285 pounds and pinned his way to a final championship, earning a fall in 2 minutes and 41 seconds against Redfield’s Grady Fey. It completes a 43-0 season for Christensen.

To get it done, Christensen went to the classic cradle move, grabbing Fey’s neck and elbow around the knee and bringing them together to earn the fall, which was his 25th of the season.

“In that championship match, that wasn’t the plan,” Christensen said. “I don’t think I’ve used the cradle all year for a pin. It’s just awesome.”

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022522 B285 Quinten Christensen Grady Fey3.JPG
Wessington Springs/Woonsocket/Wolsey-Wessington's Quinten Christensen celebrates following a victory in the Class B 285-pound championship match at the South Dakota State Wrestling Tournament on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022 at the Premier Center in Sioux Falls.
Marcus Traxler / Mitchell Republic

In the four state tournament matches, Christensen earned four pins, finishing the two-day Class B individual tournament in a match time of 6:45. His pin of Fey and his semifinal fall against Wagner’s Brennan Leines arrived at nearly the exact same time of the match. Christensen spoke prior to the state tournament about wanting to dominate his competition and prove he was the best.

“Honestly, throughout my matches, that was my goal,” he said. “And I actually think I did that,”

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Christensen said the match was also proof of how his long and athletic body type has been beneficial for his wrestling efforts.

“I think I’m a little more athletic and quick and with my length, it helps with my shots and wanting to work up high or low. I think it’s beneficial on top as well. With that cradle, I don’t think a short guy can make that move happen at heavyweight.”

Christensen, who has signed to play offensive line for South Dakota State football, said it was starting to hit him after the match how much he will miss wrestling, even if he won’t have to worry as much about maintaining his weight for the mat.

“I’m going to miss it, I think more than I first expected,” Christensen said. “As much time and as much work as you put in and for it to pay off two years in a row, you really can’t ask for anything better than that. It’s really awesome.”

While it’s been more common in Class A, the number of wrestlers in Class B history that have won back-to-back heavyweight state championships is small, with Christensen becoming only the fourth wrestler to do it. McCook Central’s Brian Van Emmerik was a three-time winner from 1994 to 1996, while Randall Walder, of Redfield (2008 and 2009) and Dan Stibral, of Bon Homme/Scotland (2014 and 2015), each won two in a row.

Christensen, who is from Wessington Springs, was also appreciative of the Warhawks co-op, which completed its fourth season together at the state tournament. He said having the stronger co-op and quality practice partners made it possible, who happen to be head coach Kevin Haider and assistant coach Adam Haake.

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“I wouldn’t have won a state title or come close without those guys and without our co-op,” he said. “I’m really grateful.”

Related Topics: WRESTLINGPREP SPORTS
Traxler is the assistant editor and sports editor for the Mitchell Republic. He's worked for the newspaper since 2014 and has covered a wide variety of topics. He can be reached at mtraxler@mitchellrepublic.com.
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