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Four Lakers Earn Spots On The State Mat

03/06/2022, 8:00pm CST
By Tom Schardin

Alan Koehler earned a chance at a second straight individual state title.

The junior on the Prior Lake wrestling team was one of four state qualifiers for the Lakers in the Section 2AA individual tournament Feb. 26 at Eastview High School. He was one of two champions, including senior Cole Edwards.

Koehler won the 120-pound crown with not much resistance. Ranked No. 1 in the state at that weight, he won by fall over Keiichi Kong of Apple Valley in the title match.

Koehler had a bye in the first round and won by technical fall in the semifinals to take a 39-1 record into Class 3A individual state tournament, which is March 4-5 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Last winter, Koehler was the 106-pound state champion. If he can win again, he’ll become the third Prior Lake wrestler to win two state titles, joining Jake Kahnke and Alex Hart.

Kahnke won the 189 crown in 2006 and the heavyweight title in 2007. Hart was the 220-pound winner in 2014 and won at heavyweight in 2015.

No Prior Lake wrestler has ever won three individual state titles.

Meanwhile, Edwards won the 182-pound section title with a win by pin over in the title match over Gavin O’Neill of Farmington. Edwards (40-4) also had a first-round bye and won by fall in the semifinals.

Junior Ben Brennan (16-6) and senior Carter Berggren (21-18) also earned state berths for Prior Lake, finishing runner-up at 113 and 145 pounds, respectively.

The top two finishers in each of the 14 weight classes make the state field.

Brennan lost 16-6 to Austin Laudenback of Apple Valley in his title match. He had a bye in the first round and won 7-5 in the semifinals.

Berggren had a longer road to state. He won his quarterfinal match by fall and earned a 9-5 decision in the semifinals, before falling by technical fall to Zach Hanson of Lakeville North in the final.

Berggren had to win a true-second march to earn a state spot and did so with a 2-1 overtime tiebreaker over Parker Elliot of Apple Valley.

Junior Aidan McGowan ended up third for the Lakers at 160 pounds. He won three of his four matches.

McGowan lost in the semifinals by a 3-2 margin to Marcell Booth of Apple Valley, won by fall in the consolation semifinals and then earned a fall in the third-place match over Cole Frost of Eastview.

Other finishes for the Lakers included senior Owen Dotseth (4th, 195), eighth-grader Zach Gabler (5th, 113), junior Victor Safanov (5th, 152), Senior Ryan Horejsi (5th, 170), sophomore Jackson Mikolyzk (6th, 126), sophomore Ethan Andryski (6th, 132), ninth-grader Brock Zurn (6th, 220) and junior Martin Owusu (6th, heavyweight).

Prior Lake ended the team portion of the season Feb. 18, losing 42-33 to top-seeded Farmington in the Section 2AAA semifinals. The fourth-seeded Lakers won 54-18 over fifth-seeded Lakeville North in the quarterfinals.

Prior Lake finished the dual season with an 8-9 overall record, including a 5-3 mark in the South Suburban Conference.

Second-seeded Apple Valley won the Section 2AAA team title with a 37-24 win over Farmington in the title match.

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