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WRESTLING: Bemidji trio still alive at state; Jorgensen vying for title

If Jorgensen were to win the 145-pound title on Saturday, he would be Bemidji’s first individual state champ since Joe Mayberry in 1999.

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Bemidji Lumberjacks

ST. PAUL -- Dane Jorgensen is two wins away from a state championship.

Six Bemidji High School wrestlers took part in day one of the Class 3A individual state tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Friday, and Jorgensen survived as the lone Lumberjack still in contention for a state title.

Jorgensen won his 145-pound opener with a 9-0 decision over Carter Berggren of Prior Lake, and then he won in the quarterfinals with a 4-0 decision over Brendan Howes of Anoka.

Now in the semifinals, Jorgensen will meet St. Michael-Albertville’s Cole Becker. Becker defeated Jorgensen by an 8-6 decision when BHS and STMA met back in early December. On the other half of the bracket, Lakeville North’s Zach Hanson and Wayzata’s Kyler Wong face off for the other spot in the 145AAA championship.

If Jorgensen were to win the 145-pound title on Saturday, he would be Bemidji’s first individual state champ since Joe Mayberry in 1999. A top-two finish would be a program first since 2003, while third place would be a first since Chase Smith in 2020.

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Two other Jacks are still alive and hoping for a top-three finish themselves.

Both Seth Newby (170 pounds) and Nate Schwinghammer (220 pounds) won their first match, lost their second and then won their third. They each need one more win on Saturday to medal, while three straight victories would earn them bronze.

In the opening round, Newby defeated St. Michael-Albertville’s Bryon Sauvy by fall in 2:58. Newby then lost a 9-7 decision to Minnetonka’s Marco Christiansen, but he rebounded in the wrestlebacks by topping Quin Morgan of Mounds View by fall in 4:51.

Schwinghammer followed a similar path. After pinning Eden Prairie’s Julian Berg within 1:42 of the opening round, Schwinghammer suffered his first loss of the season by dropping a 6-2 decision to Stillwater’s Antony Tuttle. In wrestlebacks, Schwinghammer took out his frustrations on Apple Valley’s Conner Elliott with a 9-0 major decision victory.

Nick Strand also picked up a win for BHS, pinning Waconia’s Carter Katherman in 3:46 of the 106-pound opener. Strand then lost his next two matches to bow out of the tournament.

At 120 pounds, Gavin Osborn lost a 10-6 decision in the opening round and a 6-0 decision in the consolation bracket, while Barrick Nelson dropped a 4-0 decision to open the 182-pound bracket and didn’t earn a spot in the consolation field.

For Bemidji’s three remaining wrestlers -- Jorgensen, Newby and Schwinghammer -- the rest of the tournament resumes at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 5, back at the Xcel Energy Center.

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