ST. PAUL -- All three individuals representing the Bemidji High School wrestling team placed in the Class 3A individual state tournament when the action wrapped up on Saturday inside the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Chance Hinrichs came in fourth at 152 pounds, while Peter Moen and Kaleb Beam were fifth at 195 and 285, respectively.
“They always give everything they have, and they leave it all out on the mat,” BHS head coach Rance Bahr said. “That’s what the fans like about them, that’s what I like about them as a coach. They’re just good kids and always give their best effort.”
Moen entered the day on the doorstep of a berth into the 195-pound state title bout, but his hopes were dashed when Willmar’s Lincoln Shinn won a 4-1 decision in the semifinals.
The loss slotted Moen into the consolation semis, but Shakopee’s Joey Johnson won a 5-3 decision. Nevertheless, Moen recovered for a 6-4 overtime win over MacAron Kukowski of Farmington in the fifth-place bout.
After a quarterfinal loss on Friday, Hinrichs fought all the way back into the consolation championship at 152. He pinned Brian Avre in 3:29 to advance to the consolation semis and then took a 7-5 decision over Dylan Anderson of Apple Valley.
However, Hinrichs’ run ended with a second-period pin from Cambridge-Isanti’s Tate Torgerson in the third-place bout, which put Hinrichs fourth in the field.
Kaleb Beam also grabbed a fifth-place finish for BHS, his coming at 285 pounds. He started his day with a 6-0 decision over Centennial’s Luke Breuning, though the encore was a consolation-semis loss to Luke Parzyck of White Bear Lake Area via a first-period pin.
Beam then wrapped up his tournament by pinning Willmar’s Charlie Farhat in 4:32 for fifth place.
“It just shows a lot of their character, a lot of their determination and who they are as people,” Bahr said. “It’s easy to show who you are when you win matches, but when you face disappointment and adversity, you find out a lot about young men.
“All three of them reacted in a great way, a positive way and kept pushing forward. (They) finished their tournaments off in a way that they can be proud.”
And since all three are seniors, they’re departing the program alongside fellow classmates Bryce Golden, Alan Wuori and Nic Geiger. Bahr said they’ve made a positive impact during their years at BHS.
“They’ve been leaders ever since they stepped into the high school wrestling room,” Bahr said. “I’m happy for them, of course, for what they’ve done, but also a little bit sad that this will be the last time that they’ll be wrestling for Bemidji High School.”