SUPERIOR, Wis. — At Saturday’s Superior Spartan Classic, the Virginia Area wrestling team had one wrestler take second, two finish in third and another capture fifth place.
As a result, the Blue Devils finished in ninth place in a 12-team field.
Virginia Area’s Nolan Campbell wrestled his way to second place at 120 pounds after winning his final four matches. He started out the tournament with a bye in Round 1.
Campbell won by fall over Robert Laakso of Proctor-Hermantown at 2:22 to advance to the first place match. However, Connor Wakefield of Grand Rapids defeated Campbell 7-5 in overtime in the title match.
At 126 pounds, sophomore Gavin Benz picked up his 75th career win on his way to a third-place finish. Benz opened with three victories by pinfall, but was stopped short of the first-place match by Markus Brown of Northwestern via a 6-3 decision. Benz went on to win the third-place match with a 5-0 decision over Derick Vollendorf of Ladysmith.
Getting his 75th win was “quite an accomplishment,’’ said head coach Dennis Benz.
Asher Hedblom (113 pounds) placed third and scored 21.0 team points. Hedblom opened up with a loss to Wyatt Johnson of Superior in overtime, 13-8, before winning four straight matches. His final win came in round five when he won in sudden victory 1 (overtime) over Logan Trautt of Northwestern, 7-5.
At 145 pounds, Jacob Burress went 3-2 in the event to finish in fifth place. He lost his first two matches by fall before rebounding to win the final three (with two being by fall. In the fifth-place match, Burress pinned William Graf of Chequamegon at 1:10 to take the victory.
In the tournament’s other matches, Carter Logan was sixth at 120 pounds; Ryan Wenzel took sixth at 220 pounds; Damian Tapio was eighth at 132; Erik Sundquist came in eighth at 138; Jackson Kendall was 10th at 106; and Gavin Nelson finished 11th at 106.
“Overall we did pretty well with just having eight scoring wrestlers. Most of the kids had 5 matches so it was a grind,’’ said coach Dennis Benz.
“The kids wrestled a lot of matches during the day and we stood right with everyone. We also took our JV and they had a great tournament as a group I was very pleased with their effort.’’
The Blue Devils wrestle today at the Bluejacket Triangular against Pequot Lakes and host Hibbing.
Team Results: 1, Northwestern 283; 2, Grand Rapids 213; 3, Ashland 187; 4, Eau Claire Memorial 164.5; 5, Chequamegon 129.5; 6, Superior, 126.5; 7, East Ridge 119; 8, Ladysmith 98.5; 9, Virginia Area 88.5; 10, Cloquet-Esko 80.5; 11, Proctor-Hermantown 75.5; 12, Bayfield 45.0.