Park wrestling: Wolfpack sending seniors Linssen and Giadyu, and sophomore LaBrosse to state
This week three Park wrestlers will have a chance to achieve something no other Park wrestling team has ever done.
Park seniors Cody Linssen and David Giadyu and sophomore Collin LaBrosse qualified for the state tournament, each placing second at the Section 3AAA individual tournament at Eagan High School on Saturday.
The trio — all ranked in the top six in their respective weight classes — now have the opportunity to place in the top six at the state tournament, which would be the first time Park would have more than two wrestlers place at the same state tournament. It’s the second state tournament for all three Wolfpack wrestlers.
“Obviously our goal is to get all three of them in the championship match,” Park head coach Jim LaBrosse said. “But, they all have a chance of placing. We’re hoping to get all three of them place and set the school record.”
Linssen, Park’s highest-ranked wrestler, is returning to the state tournament after missing last year’s competition because of a knee injury. He placed sixth as a sophomore. Ranked third at the 220-pound weight class, Linssen (35-4) got a tough draw right off the bat. He’ll face No. 2-ranked junior Alex Hart (39-3) from Prior Lake in the first round.
Collin LaBrosse, 37-3 and ranked fifth at 120 pounds in Class AAA, will take on White Bear Lake junior Andy Andress (27-6) in the opening round.
Giadyu, 34-5 and ranked sixth at 138 pounds in Class AAA, is set to take on Alexandria sophomore Blake Olhausen (31-9) in the first round.
A loss in the first round doesn’t mean the state tournament will end for the wrestlers. If their first round foes win their second matches, first-round losing wrestlers re-enter the tournament in the “wrestle-back” bracket. However, if their first-round opponents lose their second match, the first-round loser is eliminated.
“The brackets look pretty good for the guys,” Jim LaBrosse said. “All three of them are healthy and good to go. I think all three of them can place high.”
In a tournament dominated by No. 1-ranked Apple Valley — the Eagles had 13 section champions and one runner-up — Park placed 10 of 12 wrestlers in the top six and had seven wrestlers place in the top four.
“We had a really good tournament from a team aspect,” Jim LaBrosse said. “Placing 10 of 12 was really fantastic. We wished we could have had a couple more go to state, obviously, but it was a very good tournament as a team. It’s a very tough section.”
At the Section 3AAA championship tournament, all three Park wrestlers had showdowns with higher-ranked Apple Valley wrestlers in the finals.
Linssen took on No. 1-ranked Paul Cheney (39-1) of Apple Valley in the championship at 220 pounds and was pinned in the third period. Linssen had already beaten Eagan’s Aaron Obermueller (20-11), who finished third, earlier in the tourney.
“He was actually outwrestling Cheney until he got caught,” Jim LaBrosse said. “But, he wrestled a very good match.”
Giadyu took on No. 1-ranked Seth Gross (37-2) of Apple Valley in the 138-pound championship. Giadyu, who had already clinched a spot at the state tournament by beating third-place Alex Lindstrom (28-14) of Eagan, suffered a knee injury in the final against Gross and defaulted out of the match. Jim LaBrosse said Giadyu will be ready to go at the state tournament, however.
“He kind of hurt his knee a little bit, but he was wrestling him really tough,” Jim LaBrosse said. “He’s really wrestling well right now.”
In the Section 3AAA championship match at 120 pounds, Collin LaBrosse lost 3-1 in a showdown with No. 2-ranked Gannon Volk (35-6) of Apple Valley. LaBrosse had beaten Eagan’s Dawit Gebreab (23-16), who finished third, earlier in the tournament.
“It was right down to the wire, he just gave up a takedown at the end” Jim LaBrosse said. “But, we’re happy to be that close to Volk. I think next time might be a little different story.”
Returning to the state tournament was a goal for the three wrestlers all season.
“They all handled pressure very well,” Jim LaBrosse said. “Those guys work so darn hard to prepare themselves physically and mentally. In this sport being mentally prepared is half the battle. They have to believe in themselves and they certainly do.”
Park juniors Cory Flaata, Daniel Duval and Jake Lanik each finished in third place at the Section 3AAA tournament.
“They all had true-second wrestlebacks for a chance to go to state, but just lost all those matches,” Jim LaBrosse said. “They were all close, but they just couldn’t pull it out. It’s great for those guys to get in that situation with a chance to go to state though.”
Flaata, who was 35-7 on the year and ranked ninth at 160 pounds, beat Rosemount’s Connor Busho (27-14) with an 8-1 decision for third place, but fell 7-2 to Eastview’s Jacob Rukavina in the second-place match. Rukavina (33-5) was ranked sixth. Unranked Jackson Graham of Apple Valley (24-5) won the championship.
At 132 pounds, Duval (19-20) earned third place with a pin of Eagan junior Nick Holt (18-21). He lost a technical fall to Rosemount’s No. 3-ranked Adam Hedin (38-4) for second place. Apple Valley’s No. 1-ranked Maolu Woiwor (37-2) won the weight class.
In the 145-pound bracket, Lanik (18-14) beat Eastview junior Casey Dravis (25-17) with a 9-4 decision for third place. Lanik lost to Eagan junior Joe Dubbels (29-8) 9-2 for second place. No. 4-ranked Brock Morgan of Apple Valley (37-4) won the championship.
Also for Park, eighth-grader Garrett Whitehead and freshman Justin Sabin placed fourth at 106 pounds and 285 pounds, respectively, and senior Austin Thurmes and sophomore Devin Hubbard placed sixth at 132 pounds and 182 pounds, respectively.
Class A wrestlers kick off the individual state tournament on Friday at 9:00 a.m. Class AAA wrestlers are set to hit the mat Friday at 1 p.m. The quarterfinals start at 4:30 p.m. Friday with Class AAA wrestling beginning at 6:30 p.m. All consolation quarterfinals begin at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday. The Class AAA individual championship semifinals start Saturday at 10:45 a.m. with the third through fifth place matches following at 4:30 p.m. and individual championships starting at 7 p.m.
“Our guys are going to let it all hang out at the tournament,” Jim LaBrosse said.