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State wrestling: Osakis' Johnson caps career with fifth at state wrestling

Osakis 120-pound wrestler Seth Johnson wrestles St. Charles' Mark Buringa in his first wrestleback bout Friday at the Class-A Individuals State Tournament. Johnson lost the matchup by a 12-3 major decision, but went on to take fifth place in the tournament. (Ryan Pietruszewski | Echo Press)1 / 3
Waldvogel2 / 3
Osakis junior Gage Zieske wrestles in the state tournament this past weekend at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. (Ryan Pietruszewski | Echo Press)3 / 3

Osakis senior Seth Johnson and juniors Gage Zieske and Colton Waldvogel competed in the Class-A State Wrestling Tournament this past weekend at the Xcel Energy Center.

Zieske and Johnson each advanced to day two of the tournament, and Johnson came away with fifth-place hardware.

"The great thing about the state tournament is how unpredictable it can be," head coach Joey Andreasen said. "There are always unexpected highs and lows throughout the tournament and this year was no exception."

Waldvogel had a tough first-round match in the 152-pound bracket to open the tournament. He was pinned by Matt Schindler of Eden Valley-Watkins in 3 minutes, 44 seconds, and when Schindler lost his next match, Waldvogel was eliminated.

"Colton's tournament didn't turn out the way he wanted," said Andreasen. "But he did win a section championship, which is a great accomplishment. I believe he will come back strong next year and put himself in position to place next year."

Johnson was matched up against West Central Area-Ashby-Brandon-Evansville's Drake Swanson in the first round of the 120 bracket. Swanson had won the six prior meetings between the two wrestlers, but Johnson came out with an 11-9 decision win.

Mark Buringa, of St. Charles, pinned Johnson in the quarterfinals, but Johnson went on to win his next two matches in wrestlebacks by beating Blue Earth's Caden Ochsendorf by a 6-3 decision and Teddy Pesch of Minneota 3-0.

Then, after losing to Deer River's Jace Geving to be taken out of third-place contention, he was placed in the fifth-place bout and beat Dawson Fallon of Pine Island in a tight 6-5 decision.

"Seth Johnson had a tournament of a lifetime," Andreasen said. "Seth has always had the ability but has always ran into obstacles along the way. His success this weekend seems to be a surprise to many, but the coaching staff and myself always knew he had the ability to place at the state tournament. I couldn't be happier for his success."

Zieske almost had the same success in the 132-pound bracket, but fell just short in his first Saturday match. To get there, he topped LeSueur-Henderson's Dalton Pauly in the opening round before losing to Pierz's Brandon Ortman by a 10-3 decision in the quarterfinals and beating Matthew Frost in his first wrestlebacks bout.

He had a 6-1 lead over Alex Borsgard of Windom on Saturday, but slipped up and ended up being pinned with 14 seconds left in the third period.

Borsgard ended up losing his second match, but won the fifth-place bout by injury default.

"Gage's tournament also didn't turn out the way he had hoped," Andreasen said. "Gage was 15 seconds away from placing. It's going to take a few days to get over that one.

"One positive from the tournament for Gage is that loss is going to fuel him for the next year. I have no doubt in my mind that he will place very high next year and I believe he has the ability to win it if things go his way. Gage is a very talented and dedicated wrestler."

All three of the Osakis wrestlers were Section 5A champions, and six other wrestlers placed in the section tournament. As a team, the Silverstreaks finished 9-17 in duals.

"The overall season was a successful one," said Andreasen. "Each year is getting tougher and tougher as more schools continue to co-op. We feel that being able to put together a competitive team — being one of the smaller schools to still have their own team this year — is a huge success."