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PREP WRESTLING: Central downs Red River, sets school record

Grand Forks Central started off its wrestling dual against rival Grand Forks Red River with three pins, jumping out to an 18-0 lead. Early, it appeared Central easily would break the program’s record for single-season dual wins.

But Red River battled back to make things interesting on Saturday night at the Roughriders’ gymnasium. 

The Roughriders would come as close as six points, but Grand Forks Central held on, winning the dual 39-24.

The win was the 18th on the season for the Knights — a school record for Grand Forks Central.

“We were nervous going in,” said Central coach Matt Berglund. “We looked on paper and felt it could go 7-7 as far as matches won … But like what has happened all year, we had different guys step up.”

The dual began at 170 pounds, where Central’s Blake Brandon pinned Zach Hettwer at 2:34. At 182, it took Central’s Kyle Terrill just 52 seconds to pin Chase Hageman. Like Terrill, Nick Escobar dominated his match for the Knights at 195, winning by pin at 1:02.

The Roughriders, however, fought back, picking up wins at 220 and at 285 by Colt Goulet and Carter Beulow, respectively.

Red River then received a win at 106 from Trey Larimer, making the score 18-12 in favor of Grand Forks Central — the closest the Roughriders could come.

“Central has a very good team,” said Red River coach Bruce Moe. “They were just a better team today. We’re getting better every week; we just have to make a few corrections and I feel we could have competed better.”

Red River also received wins by Sean Murphy at 126, Malek Larimer at 138 and Wyatt Goulet at 160.

Chase Mullane, Tyler Keener, Jesus Flores, Garrett Litzinger, and Spencer Oen also picked up wins for the Knights.

“They gave us a great match,” said Berglund. “Fortunately we won some of those toss-up matches. Hopefully this carries into the individual regions, we want to get as many qualifiers as we can.”

Throughout the season, Central has focused on its ‘Average Joe’ motto. The team’s balance helped lead the Knights to a record-setting season.

Central will face Bismarck Century in the first round of the upcoming North Dakota state Class A wrestling tournament.

 “If we wrestle like we have all season we match up pretty well with Century,” said Berglund. “They have a really good team; we will definitely be the underdog … But we have embraced that ‘Average Joes’ role, so we will take that into state and hopefully get another win.”