Mitchell’s Daniela Borja leads the way for Kernels with title at state middle school wrestling meet

Kernels had a pair of girls land top-two finishes at state meet

Mitchell Republic file photo

PIERRE, S.D. — With a state title, Mitchell’s Daniela Borja led the way for the Kernels’ wrestlers representation at the South Dakota State Middle School Wrestling Championships contested on Saturday, Feb. 12 at T.F. Riggs High School.

Borja, wrestling in the girls 120-pound division, won the seven-wrestler bracket, capped with a 3-2 decision in the championship match over Aberdeen Central’s Jasmine Maas. Borja also had a 15-0 technical fall in the quarterfinals and a third-period fall in the semifinals prior to her championship match. Lyman’s Ella Ehlers claimed third place in the weight class, as well.

Kernel teammate Frances Kranz earned a second-place finish at 100 pounds, as well, dropping a 6-4 decision to Dakota Valley’s Bella Monical in the championship match.

The tournament was open to sixth, seventh and eighth graders competing in a South Dakota High School Activities Association-affiliated middle school program who will not be wrestling in the SDHSAA postseason. No team points were kept but more than 60 schools and communities were represented.

For Mitchell’s boys representation, Oscar Luque finished in fifth place at 195 pounds, including a 40-second pin in the fifth-place match. Noah Bennett was a placewinner, taking eighth place at 100 pounds.


Three other area wrestlers earned boys championships at the meet. At 75 pounds, Ryvr Larson of Bon Homme took home the bracket title over Chamberlain’s Brody Neilan with a 7-2 decision in the championship round. At 80 pounds, Burke/Gregory’s Judd Hansen knocked off Myles Kettwig, of Harrisburg, for a 6-4 decision in the championship match. At 100 pounds, Keagan Hill, of Mount Vernon/Plankinton/Corsica-Stickney, won by decision over Harrisburg's Logan Johns by a 5-4 decision to win his bracket.

Taos Webord, of B/G, was second at 106 pounds, falling in the championship match in a 36-second pin to Redfield’s Conner Zens, and Mason Janak finished in fourth place at 145 pounds for B/G.

Kimball/White Lake/Platte-Geddes was represented by a second-place finish from Rhys Truman at 70 pounds, dropping a 3-0 decision in the championship match to Aberdeen Central’s Bailey Gillen. Vincent Lenz was fourth at 95 pounds and Carter Konechne was fourth at 120 pounds for KWLPG.

Winner’s Rylan Robbins finished in second place at 95 pounds, with an 11-1 major decision claimed by Harrisburg’s Griffin Felder. Mason Curtis finished in fourth place at 138 pounds for the Warriors.

Stetson Riggs, wrestling for Hanson County, finished in second place at 160 pounds, dropping the championship match by fall to Tea Area’s Jaeden Waltner in 5:06. Bon Homme’s Michael Branaugh was third at 80 pounds and Easton Tschetter of Marion/Freeman claimed third place in the 90-pound bracket.

Howard’s Nolan Mentele was among the wrestlers to pick up five pins in the tournament, recording those falls in a total time of 8:53. Mentele finished in fourth place at 152 pounds. Brayden Kreber had four pins representing Wagner, en route to a fourth-place finish at 160 pounds, logging those falls in 5:31. Brandon Valley’s Ozzy Schweigert led the tournament with six total pins in a time of 10:54.

Daniel Dorsey, of MVPCS, had the day’s fastest pin, recording a 2-second fall in a wrestlebacks match, on the way to a 2-2 finish in his 90-pound bracket.

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
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