PIERRE — Dozens of area youth wrestlers finished on the podium at the South Dakota State Middle School Wrestling Tournament held on Feb. 13.
The accomplishments included a number of champions. The tournament is open to wrestlers in grades 6-through-8 affiliated with South Dakota high school programs but are no longer eligible to wrestle in the SDHSAA varsity postseason.
In the 95-pound division, Howard’s Conner Giedd was the bracket’s champion, while Parkston’s Kash Neugebauer was the top finisher in the 120-pound division. Wagner’s Gannon Knebel won the 138-pound division with a pin in the championship round.
Winner’s Ryken Orel was the champion at 152 pounds. In the 285-pound division, Andes Central/Dakota Christian’s Ty Garcia was champion.
Mitchell’s youth wrestlers were well represented at the tournament. Sean Foote reached the championship match at 170 pounds, finishing second for the Kernels. At 195 pounds, Rocky Clark finished third for Mitchell.
Among the girls divisions, Mitchell’s Daniela Borja finished third in the 126-pound division, while Frances Kranz was eighth in the 95-pound division. Teammates Penn Long and Kellan Odell were seventh in the boys 126-pound and 138-pound divisions, respectively. Mitchell had two placewinners in the 182-pound division, with Oscar Luque finishing seventh, while Keith Buchholz was eighth.
In the boys competition, Wagner’s Kahle Hill finished second at 145 pounds. Judd Hansen, of Burke/Gregory was a third-place finisher at 75 pounds, while McCook Central/Montrose’s Landon Flogstad took third place at 80 pounds. Parkston’s Gage Reichert was third at 95 pounds and Paxton Nedved, of Mount Vernon/Plankinton/Corsica-Stickney, was third at 120 pounds. At 132 pounds, Parkston’s Zach Vanzee took third place, while Kellen Cihawk-Brozik, of Winner, was fourth.
Two area wrestlers placed at 100 pounds, as well, with Bon Homme’s Jackson Kaul finishing third, while Javin Kniffen, of Parkston, was eighth. At 138 pounds, Hunter Loeffler, of ACDC, was a fifth-place finisher. Evan Bartels, of Winner, took sixth place at 145 pounds.
In the 70-pound division, Bon Homme’s Ryvr Larson and Chamberlain’s Brody Neilan reached the podium, finishing sixth and eighth, respectively. At 90 pounds, Quayden Culbert of Parkston was the sixth-place finisher.
Isaiah Crownover, of Bon Homme, placed in the 152-pound bracket, taking seventh place. McCook Central/Montrose’s Tucker Peterson took seventh place at 160 pounds, as did Mason Stone, of Andes Central/Dakota Christian, at 220 pounds. MVPCS’ Tyce Feistner was eighth at 126 pounds.