KMS wrestlers advance six to state, while Braves fall just short three times

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Dylan Rudningen (right), shown during his championship victory at 138 pounds, is one of six Saints who qualified to the State Individual Tourney.
Aaron Zosel (right) wrestles during the third-place match at 145 pounds, which he eventually won on a pin.  Zosel missed out on a chance at true second with a 5-4 loss in the semifinals.

The KMS wrestling team qualified six wrestlers to the State Wrestling Tournament, set for this Thursday through Saturday at the Xcel Center in St. Paul.  

Earning state berths at the Section 5A Individual Tournament, Friday and Saturday at NLS High School were Will Magaard, Jared Carlson, Dylan Rudningen, Caleb Collins, Derek Krieger, and Brandin Dahl.

Rudningen, Krieger, and Dahl each placed first in their respective weight class, while the other three finished second.

The six individuals will join the entire KMS wrestling team, which also qualified to the State Tournament in team action, scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., Thursday with the Saints taking on second-seeded Pierz.

The Benson wrestling team failed to qualify any wrestlers to the state meet after sending two last year.

Aaron Zosel, Jared Knutson, and Ross Grussing each finished third for Benson, missing out on second place and a trip to state by a point or two in each case.

The Braves’ wrestling team beat Minnewaska Area in the first round of the section team tourney, 54-30, but then lost to Paynesville later the same night in the quarterfinals, 57-21.

KMS won a close semifinal match over LPGE-Browerville (34-33) before beating BBE in the finals, 43-23 for its fourth state team berth in the last nine seasons.

Seniors lost to graduation for Benson, which ended the team portion of its season with an 8-9 overall record, are Austin Whitcup, Chase Young, and Ross Grussing.

More about the Saints’ state team tourney can be found in separate story on page 5B....

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Pictured, top: Dylan Rudningen (right), shown during his championship victory at 138 pounds, is one of six Saints who qualified to the State Individual Tourney.

Pictured, bottom: Aaron Zosel (right) wrestles during the third-place match at 145 pounds, which he eventually won on a pin.  Zosel missed out on a chance at true second with a 5-4 loss in the semifinals.

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