State wrestling: Simley wins program record sixth straight state title

Simley did something Thursday it had never previously achieved in the program’s storied history — win a sixth straight state title.

SilmeyÕs Derrick Dohmen celebrates after defeating Mantorville KeymoniÕs Jonah Coleman in the 145lb division during the Class 2A team championship of the State Wrestling Tournament at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Thursday, February. 29, 2024. (Craig Lassig / Special to the Pioneer Press)

The Spartans did so by besting longtime rival Kasson-Mantorville 32-26 to win the Class 2A crown at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. And while the performance wasn’t quite as dominant as the Spartans have been in recent years, it was at least equally — if not more — impressive.

The Spartans graduated a lot of firepower from a year ago and lost three contributors from this year’s lineup to season-ending injuries midseason. And, in the end, it didn’t matter. Because, as it often does, Simley found a way.

Whether that was through wrestlers shifting spots in the lineup to make the lineup work or guys stepping up to make unexpected contributions, the Spartans refused to allow the program’s standard to slip. It certainly was upheld Thursday night in St. Paul.

Turner Ross and Austin Grzywinski delivered tech fall victories at 107 and 114 pounds to put the Spartans up 10-0. Those were expected victories for the Spartans. But it was at 121 pounds where Simley scored an important nail-biter, as Aiden Mincey edged Spencer Myers 7-6 to extend Simley’s lead to 13-0.

Simley’s first pin of the match came at 127 pounds from Jake Kos, who drew the fall in the waning moments of the second period. Justus Heeg scored a victory over Aiden Friedrich in another top-10 showdown to move the Spartans’ advantage to 22-0.

Kasson-Mantorville didn’t get on the board until the 139-pound match, when Owen Friedrich delivered a technical fall. Simley bounced back immediately, with senior captain Derrick Dohmen coming up with an upset victory at 145 pounds. Dohmen, ranked No. 10, edged fourth-ranked Jonah Coleman 3-2.

A win for Cash Raymond at 152 pounds in a match featuring a pair of top-three ranked wrestlers extended Simley’s lead to 29-5.

The cushion was necessary, as Kasson-Mantorville cut into the Spartans’ lead via a pair of pins to make it 29-17.

No matter, Vristol Short — nephew of Simley coach Will Short — secured the title in the following match with an overtime takedown.


St. Michael-Albertville lost a heartbreaker a year ago, squandering a 32-9 advantage to fall to Hastings in stunning fashion, with the Raiders finishing the duel with three straight pins to win the Class 3A state title by a single point.

There was no such collapse for the Knights on Thursday. A year later, St. Michael-Albertville got its state title in dominant fashion, besting previously unbeaten and top-seeded Mounds View 47-10.

On paper, the Knights and Mustangs figured to be an electric duel. Mounds View’s rise to the top of the state rankings this season has been nothing short of impressive. But St. Michael-Albertville always appeared to be a peer given the depth of talent each team sported.

But seemingly every expected close match Thursday went the way of the Knights.

St. Michael-Albertville scored a trio of coin flip victories to jump out to a 9-0 advantage.

Grant Bergeron topped Owen LaRose at 107 in a battle of top-seven ranked wrestlers, then fourth-ranked Lincoln Robideau pulled off a mini upset of second-ranked Brett Swenson in overtime. Then Brady Bergeron bested Will Schneider 6-2.

Chase Mills delivered a pin at 127 pounds, and the Knights were off and running with a 15-0 advantage.

Mounds View is strong in the middle and upper weights, where it has made its hay all season. The problem is the Knights are just as formidable at nearly every step. Mounds View’s Apollo Ashby is the No. 2 ranked wrestler at 152 pounds. But the Knights’ Landon Robideau is a dominant top-ranked wrestler who won via tech fall.

At the next weight, Jarrett Wadsen scored an upset via pin for St. Michael-Albertville in a top-five showdown to essentially put the duel away. St. Michael-Albertville’s Jed Wester put an exclamation point on the proceedings via a tech fall victory at 172 pounds over third-ranked Ethan Swenson.

Put simply, it was the Knights’ day, and their year.

Perhaps Mounds View will be the Knights of next season, getting back to the same stage and potentially getting over the top. The Mustangs will return five ranked wrestlers on next year’s squad, four of which are ranked in the top four at their respective weight classes.


— Chatfield won the Class A title with a 47-7 victory over Staples-Motley.

— Apple Valley fell 45-11 to Shakopee in the Class 3A quarterfinals. Shakopee went on to take third place.

— Hastings, the defending champ in Class 3A, lost tight quarterfinal 33-32 to Albert Lea. The Raiders reached the consolation final, where they fell to Willmar.

— Totino-Grace and Becker tied 30-30 in the third-place match in Class 2A

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