Park wrestling: State run ends sooner than hoped
Park expected a deep tournament run from its state entrants in the Class 3A state individual meet at the Xcel Energy Center Friday in St. Paul, but instead did not advance any of the three to the second day of competition.
Seniors David Giadyu and Cody Linssen, along with sophomore Collin LaBrosse, all came into the tournament ranked in the top 10 in their weight classes. Giadyu ranked sixth at 138 pounds, Linssen third at 220 and LaBrosse fifth at 120.
“We were obviously disappointed in what happened,” Wolfpack head coach Jim LaBrosse said. “We thought we had three all-state caliber wrestlers.”
In a head-scratching opening matchup, Linssen (35-5) met Prior Lake’s second-ranked Alex Hart (43-3) in the first round of the tournament at 220 pounds. Linssen fell 7-6, but had Hart sweating out the third period. Hart went on to pin Rochester John Marshall junior Kenny Maclin in 1 minute 16 seconds.
Hart went on to win the state title with an 8-5 victory over Apple Valley’s No. 1-ranked Paul Cheney. Park coaches felt Linssen stood as good of a shot at reaching the final as Hart if Linssen won the first-round matchup.
Linssen got a match in the consolation bracket against Maclin (25-7), but got caught in a scramble and lost by fall in 59 seconds in a one-point match.
“That’s how dangerous this tournament is,” Jim LaBrosse said. “You have to be on your ‘A’ game at this tournament.”
Park’s Collin LaBrosse ran into the buzzsaw that was Blaine’s sixth-ranked Malik Stewart in the second round and became another upset victim. Stewart picked up a 12-4 victory over the fifth-ranked LaBrosse. Stewart (29-2) started the tournament with an 8-4 victory over Mound Westonka’s third-ranked Sam Bennyhoff and went on to finish in second place in the weight class.
In his second state tournament appearance LaBrosse opened the tournament with a 13-5 victory over 10th-ranked Andy Andress of White Bear Lake.
LaBrosse (38-3) took a 4-2 lead in the first period and expanded it to 9-3 with a nearfall and a takedown in the second period. He then added two takedowns of Andress (27-7) in the third period and held on for the win.
However, after losing to Stewart, LaBrosse went on to lose to Bennyhoff 6-4 in the consolation bracket. Bennyhoff defeated LaBrosse 7-5 last season in the first round at the state tournament at 113 pounds.
“I think from last year I was a little more nervous and cautious of what I was going to do,” LaBrosse said. “This year I learned that I am one of the best in state.”
Giadyu made his second consecutive state tournament appearance at 138 pounds for the Wolfpack but got only one match after losing by fall to Alexandria’s unranked junior Blake Olhausen. Giadyu (34-6) led for the majority of the match, but lost his lead late in the third period, then was pinned with 21 seconds left by Olhausen, a sophomore.
Olhausen (32-9) lost to White Bear Lake’s 10th-ranked Elijah Muedeking to prevent Giadyu from getting another match in the consolation bracket.
“It was hard. It sucks,” Giadyu said. “I lost to a guy I know I should’ve beat and I was beating him. I’m not mad. I’m just disappointed, because I know how good of a wrestler I am. There’s not much I can do about it now. It’s done.”
Giadyu said he will wrestle this spring and hopes to continue to do so in college.
“I have bigger goals now and my time will come,” Giadyu said. “I’m really disappointed, but I have other stuff in store. I just need to keep working hard and strive for something else.”