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Arlington narrowly wins thrilling dual meet against M-P
MARYSVILLE — It was the last dual meet of the season before beginning postseason wrestling and the clash of Marysville and Arlington wrestlers did not disappoint.
The meet was loaded with close matches and Arlington narrowly won the Jan. 29 meet in a come-from-behind win, 30-27.
Neither coach came away from the meet completely satisfied with his team’s performance, but the spectator was certainly a winner.
“It was a tough one,” said M-P coach Craig Iversen. “I thought we were in position to win it. They swung some key matches. A little here or there swings the whole meet.”
The teams took jabs at each other early on, trading wins in the first four events of the night. Arlington junior Josh Mani pinned M-P’s Kyle Bossom late in the first round, but Marysville senior Ricky Dschack tied it up by pinning Arlington’s Matt Kratzer at 215 pounds.
Dschack, Marysville’s varsity heavyweight, had switched weights with Tomahawk senior Tannon Hillis due to an injury. So Hillis moved up for the night, creating an intriguing match between the state veteran and Arlington’s state hopeful Bryant Dickerson. Dickerson had a visible weight advantage on Hillis, but by the end of the second round, the two were tied 2-2. Late in the third round, Dickerson made his move, stringing together a few takedowns with a near fall to culminate in a 10-3 win by decision.
In the light weights, M-P took an 18-9 lead with first-round pins from freshmen Luis Cardona and Christian Mendoza. But with another dramatic third round at 119 pounds, Arlington pulled a little closer.
Arlington junior Justin Goheen held a modest one- to two-point advantage through the first two rounds, but both he and Marysville’s Brandon Blevins turned in on for the third round as he took his first lead, 5-4 on a takedown early in the round. With an escape and a takedown, Goheen retook a 7-5 lead with less than a minute to go. Goheen went up 10-5 with a near fall but Blevins flipped him, scoring four points on a reversal and a near fall in the waning seconds of the match. Still, Goheen was the one to earn points for his team, winning a narrow 10-9 decision.
High drama marked the next four matches, which the teams split all decisions by two or fewer points. At 130 pounds, Marysville’s Jake Lervold was tied 2-2 with Arlington’s Chris Berg going late into the third round. What had appeared bound for overtime ended in a 4-2 win for Berg, who scored on a takedown in the final seconds of the match. Starting with the fourth match in that series, a win for Arlington’s David Lopez-Nava, the Eagles won four of the remaining five matches.
Even so, momentum was by no means in Arlington’s favor. At 145 pounds, Arlington junior Dustin Ward broke a 0-0 stalemate that had gone on for 5:40, scoring a point on an escape for a 1-0 decision. Freshmen Chris Herbert and Blake McPherson saw the night’s only overtime match, a 5-4 decision in McPherson’s favor to tie the teams 24-24.
With a third-round pin, Arlington senior Chris Myers assured his team of a win, putting Arlington up 30-24. Even if Marysville was able to answer with a pin of their own in the final round, Arlington held the tiebreaker with more match wins.
At 171 pounds, Cole Cushing bounced back from a 2-0 deficit to start the first round to lead 5-2 on a near fall by the end of the second round. Arlington’s Seth Henderson wouldn’t get any closer than 5-4, but even with the match resulting in a 10-7 decision in his favor, Cushing looked disappointed as the third-round buzzer sounded.
“I thought that we wrestled OK,” said Arlington coach Shaun Williams. “We didn’t know much about them coming in. It was a good dual meet.”