East Ridge wrestling: Lyden kicked out of section tournament, Raptors season ends
The East Ridge wrestling season concluded Saturday at the Section 3AAA individual tournament at Eagan High School under unusual circumstances.
The Raptors finished with four place-winners at the meet and did not qualify an individual for the state tournament.
“It was a pretty strange day,” East Ridge head coach Wayne Otto said.
Raptors senior Reid Lyden, ranked fourth at 126 pounds and a two-time place winner at state, got disqualified in his opening round match against Park’s Austin Thurmes for flagrant misconduct for foul language. Otto didn’t know at whom the foul language was directed, but it appeared directed at the referee.
It ended an otherwise remarkable career for Lyden, which included a fourth-place finish at state last season and a sixth-place finish the previous season. Lyden recorded his 175th career victory Jan. 25 this season.
Despite the incident with Lyden, Otto said the tournament ended on a good note with senior Nate Tigges claiming third place at 182 pounds with a 6-4 decision over Rosemount’s Kouta Suggi. The win put Tigges in place for a true second match and a chance at qualifying for state, but Tigges lost to Eastview’s Luke Dodd by fall at 5 minutes 19 seconds. Tigges finished the season with a 25-15 record and entered the tournament seeded fifth.
Senior Ryan Thompson hit a milestone with his 50th career victory during the tournament and finished fourth at 113 pounds after reinjuring himself in the third-place match against Eagan’s Riley White. Thompson suffered an injury in the last regular season match of the season against Hastings and aggravated the injury in the second period Saturday against White. Thompson finished the season with a 23-9 record.
Senior Jimmy Vitt ended his season with a sixth-place finish at 195 after a 9-4 loss to Eagan’s Victor Tokman. Vitt wrestled up a weight and wasn’t expected to place, Otto said.
The tournament concluded a tumultuous season for the Raptors, who saw several wrestlers leave the team at different points in the season.
“It was pretty chaotic,” Otto said of his first year as head coach at East Ridge. “There were a lot of things to overcome. A lot of kids improved their wrestling skills and their competition skills.”