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Bemidji High School Saturday preview: Wrestling, gymnastics team at section meets

The Bemidji wrestling and gymnastics teams join post season action today, competing at tournaments at Buffalo and St. Cloud Tech.

The gymnasts are at the Section 8AA meet at Tech.

The wrestlers are at Buffalo for the 8-3A team tournament opening against second seeded Apollo.

Other openers pit St, Cloud Tech against Brainerd, Buffalo against Sauk Rapids and Alexandria against Moorhead.

Alex drew the top seed with Apollo second, Buffalo third and Brainerd fourth.

The semi finals will follow at 2 with the title match at 4.

While Alex drew the top seed after a narrow criteria win over Apollo, the Eagles are generally considered the best team in the event.

Buffalo was a surprise winner last year beating Brainerd for the title.

Bemidji and Apollo met at a triangular at Little Falls with the Eagles winning handily 61-7. Brainerd beat Tech 41-30 in their regular season match. Alex beat Moorhead 44-28. Buffalo and Sauk Rapids did not meet.

The thin Lumberjacks squad ended 4-13 in dual matches this winter, forfeiting as many as four weights in some outings.

They will fill all but one today though two are by recently elevated JV wrestlers.

They will go with:

103-Jake Crosby; 112;Colton Doty; 119-Tanner Conley; 125-Kyle Johnson; 130-Drew Peterson; 135-Cody Thoring; 140-Kodi Craft; 145-Derek Lofgren; 152-open; 160-Travis Utley; 171-Corey Huber; 189-Rob Mason; 215-Evan Olson; Hwt.-Andrew Cable.

Coach Rob Whelan will make several switches next weekend for the individual tournament at Tech with two or three wrestlers expected to drop a weight for better shots at gaining the state.

Doty, Huber and Olson appear to have the best shots based on season-long performances.

Seek fifth place

The gym team is seeking to move up two places to fifth this year after a seventh place finish last year.

The team reached only 128 that day but has been in the low 130's several times in recent starts.

St. Cloud Tech, ranked third in the state with a 148.6 average, is considered a breeze to take the title.

The Tigers won last year at 150 to 144 for Brainerd which is likely the top opponent this year. Moorhead, Monticello, SMA and Sauk Rapids preceded Bemidji last year with Apollo and Alexandria trailing.

But Bemidji was only eight points out of third.

The Bemidji chances were dimmed some this week by a leg injury to Rachel, Bell that will limit her to only the parallel bars today.

Katie Jensen, Nicole McDonald and Brooke Beck will work all four events with Amanda Sycks in the vault, beam and floor Katie Parker on the bars and vault and Audri Goodwin on the floor

Teams will enter five and count the top four scores toward the team total.

In addition to the winning team, the top five finishers on all four disciplines plus the all around qualify for the state individual tournament next weekend at St. Paul.

Bemidji has yet to win a team championship but has sent two individuals to the state.