Lumberjacks wrestling: Maas, Johnson place third at state meet
ST. PAUL — Brian Maas and Kade Johnson both had visions of saluting the crowd from their positions atop the podium at the state Class 3A wrestling meet on Saturday.
Those dreams were dashed Saturday morning, however, when the two Bemidji athletes dropped their semifinal matches. But Johnson and Maas ended their state experience just two notches away from that top spot as they both answered the challenge with a pair of consolation-round victories and capped their winter by claiming third place.
At 113 pounds, Maas lost his semifinal 8-5 to Wade Sullivan of Lakeville North but the junior bounced back to defeat Austin Brenner of St. Cloud Tech with an overtime pin in the consolation semifinals.
That victory vaulted Maas into the third-place match where he embarrassed Jake Bergeland of Centennial 14-3.
Maas dominated Bergeland from the outset and he continued to pile the points throughout the six minutes of action.
His journey to the podium included a pair of Friday victories and Saturday’s two wins in three matches.
The 4-1 record at the state meet gave Maas a 43-1 overall mark this season.
Johnson fared even better as he finished 44-1 on way to his third-place finish at 182 pounds. The 44 victories ties Chris Miller for the program’s single-season record. Miller accomplished the feat in 2005.
Johnson entered the state meet with 37 pins and during the weekend he added three more to his school-record total.
The senior’s lone loss this season came in Saturday’s championship semifinal where he was edged 5-1 by Bobby Steveson of Apple Valley. Undaunted, Johnson returned to business in the consolation round, pinning Collin Sohn of Wayzata in 3:12 and hammering Joe Hoeve of Farmington 10-1 in the third-place match.
State Class 3A meet
Bemidji’s Saturday Results
Brian Maas, 113 pounds
Semifinals: Wade Sullivan (Lakeville North) dec. Maas 8-5. Consolation: Maas pin Austin Brenner (St. Cloud Tech) 6:24 (OT). Third place: Maas dec. jake Bergeland (Centennial) 14-3
Kade Johnson, 182 pounds
Semifinals: Bobby Steveson (Apple Valley) dec. Johnson 5-1. Consolation: Johnson pin Collin Sohn (Wayzata) 3:12. Third place: Johnson dec. Joe Hoeve (Farmington) 10-1