ST. PAUL -- At last year’s individual state wrestling tournament, Bemidji High School senior Peter Moen’s season ended at the hands of Mounds View’s Rowan Morgan.
But on Friday, Moen kept his state title hopes alive by pinning Morgan in the 195-pound quarterfinals of the Class 3A individual state tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
“Peter made his way through. He avenged a loss,” BHS head coach Rance Bahr said. “That kid beat us… out of the tournament last year. We’re excited for him for that one.”
The win was Moen’s second on the day, the two combining to put him in the state semifinals and two more wins away from a championship.
“It feels great,” Moen said. “It feels great to be down here and win my first two matches. Now I’m able to place.”
Moen was joined at the state tournament by fellow BHS seniors Chance Hinrichs (152 pounds) and Kaleb Beam (285 pounds). Hinrichs and Beam both won their openers, as well, before falling to the respective No. 1 seeds in their brackets.
“They’re all three wrestling really well. We ran into some very, very tough kids that (quarterfinal) round,” Bahr said. “Both Chance and Kaleb wrestled very well, I think they just ran into the best kid in their bracket.”
Hinrichs, seeded eighth at 152, pinned Albert Lea’s Griffin Studier at 3:12 to open the tournament. He then lost an 8-3 decision to top-seeded Willie Bastyr of Lakeville South. Hinrichs moved to the consolation bracket, where he took a 9-0 major decision over Felipe Mahmoud of Mound Westonka to cap his day.
At 285, the eighth-seeded Beam won by fall in the first round against Winona’s Zander Rusert at 4:48. He ran into the No. 1 seed in Lakeville North’s Bryce Benhart in the quarterfinals, though, where he was pinned in 2:22.
Beam wrapped up his day with a consolation win against Elk River’s Seth Hopkins with a pin at 1:56.
All three return to the mat when action resumes at 9:30 a.m. today at the Xcel Energy Center.
And if Moen hopes to keep his championship aspirations alive, he’ll have to do it against third-seeded Lincoln Shinn of Willmar -- who has beaten Moen three times this season.
“After I looked at my bracket, I wanted to be in the finals,” Moen said. “I’m doing everything possible to get there. If that means beating a kid that’s beaten me three times this year, I’m going to do it.”