Mounds View wins 2023 MatBoss Minnesota Christmas Tournament in convincing fashion
High School
Posted by Andrew Hipps on Sunday, December 17, 2023 2:08 AM UTC
Photo: Jeff Beshey, The Guillotine

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Going into the 2023 MatBoss Minnesota Christmas Tournament, the team race was expected to come down to a battle between nationally ranked Michael-Albertville and defending champion Simley.

Mounds View had other ideas.

The Mustangs, ranked No. 2 in Class AAA by The Guillotine, won the team title on Saturday at the Mayo Civic Center in convincing fashion, outdistancing runner-up Simley by 25 points. STMA finished in third place.

Mounds View broke the 300-point mark, concluding the tournament with 300.5 points on the strength of three finalists, including two champions, and 10 placewinners.

Mounds View head wrestling coach Dan Engebretson called the team title a "stepping stone."

"The boys wanted to come in and make a statement, let everybody know that we're here," said Engebretson. "I think they definitely did that today."

Winning titles for Mounds View were Brett Swenson at 114 pounds and Quin Morgan at 215 pounds.

Brett Swenson, the son of legendary Augsburg wrestling coach Jeff Swenson, earned his title at 114 pounds with a come-from-behind victory over Simley's Austin Grzywinski, a St. Cloud State commit, 2-1.

After a scoreless first period, Swenson chose the bottom position in the second period and was ridden out the entire period by Grzywinski. With the score 0-0 after two periods, Grzywinski chose the bottom position in the third period and was able to escape for the first point of the match. Grzywinski held a 1-0 lead until late in the match before Swenson scored the go-ahead takedown with less than 15 seconds remaining and held on for the one-point victory.

"I've worked really hard for this," said Swenson. "I grind every day. It means a lot."

Quin Morgan, a South Dakota State commit, was workmanlike in the finals at 215 pounds, claiming a 6-1 victory over Stillwater's Cittadino Tuttle.

Morgan scored an early takedown and led 2-1 after the opening period. He extended his lead to 4-1 in the second period after an escape and a stalling point. Morgan added another takedown in the third to win by five. Quin Morgan is the son of Marty Morgan, 1991 NCAA champion and longtime head assistant wrestling coach at the University of Minnesota.

"I was a late developer," said Morgan. "You don't get too many wins like this. It feels good to finally catch people and pass them up, and finally be on top."

Mounds View's other finalist was Owen LaRose, who fell in the championship match at 107 pounds to Simley's Turner Ross, 16-6. Ross, a freshman ranked No. 1 Class AA, earned bonus-point victories in all four of his matches throughout the weekend, outscoring his opponents 49-7.

"I came here to win this tournament because it's a really good tournament," said Ross. "I did a good job I thought. It's just a good learning experience."

Ross was one of three finalists for runner-up Simley but the only Spartan to earn a title. His teammates Grzywinski and Cash Raymond (152) both fell in the finals.

Raymond, seeded No. 3 and committed to Augustana University, was defeated by STMA's Landon Robideau, 16-6. It was Robideau's third consecutive title at the MatBoss Minnesota Christmas Tournament. The match was competitive early, with Robideau scoring a late takedown in the first period to go up 2-0. The rising junior from STMA broke the match open in the second period, scoring six takedowns to extend his lead to 15-5. Robideau, a Minnesota commit, would continue the offensive onslaught in the third period, adding five more takedowns to earn a 25-10 technical fall.

"It's just showing the things I have done this past summer and fall are paying off," said Robideau. "Just my new mindset of just scoring points no matter if it's a 3-2 match or a 25-10 tech like it was."

Robideau was one of four wrestlers to repeat as a champion at the MatBoss Minnesota Christmas Tournament. Others repeat champions were Trey Beissel of Hastings (127), Logan Swensen of Wayzata (133) and Charlie Millard of Homestead (160).

Brandon Valley's Navarro Schunke won a MatBoss Minnesota Christmas Tournament title in 2021 but did not compete in the event last season.

Trey Beissel, a state champion last season at 106 pounds, came through to win the title as the No. 4 seed at 127 pounds. After defeating top-seeded Tegan Sherk of St. Franics in the semifinals, Beissel topped second-seeded Logan Davis of Albert Lea in the finals. Davis led 2-1 after the opening period but Beissel broke the match open in the second period with a takedown and nearfall points. He would hang on to win 7-4.

"It's early in the season but a win's a win," said Beissel. "I got a good win out there against a really good guy."

Swensen edged Albert Lea's Michael Olson 3-1 in sudden victory in the championship match at 133 pounds. The two future Big 12 wrestlers traded escapes in the second and third periods for the only points scored in regulation. With just three seconds remaining in sudden victory, Swensen, a South Dakota State signee, secured a takedown on the NDSU signee off a single leg to earn the victory.

"That's a good win for me," said Swensen. "My opponent is gritty. Tough match. I had to leave it all out there. I'm pretty tired. He stayed in really good position. So did I. Those matches early in the season help me out later on in March."

Millard, ranked No. 2 nationally by MatScouts, topped Wayzata's Charlie Petit 10-5 in a very competitive championship match at 160 pounds. After a scoreless opening period, Petit, an Augustana University commit, scored the first point off an escape before Millard secured a takedown to go up 2-1. The Minnesota signee Millard would add two more second-period takedowns -- with the final one coming in the closing seconds of the period -- to grab a 6-3 lead after two periods. Millard extended his lead to 7-3 after an escape in the third period. Petit battled back in the third period with a takedown to cut the deficit to 7-5. Millard would escape and add a late takedown to win the match by five.

"Obviously, I came here to win," said Millard. "I'm glad I showed the [Minnesota] coaches once again that I'm ready to be a Gopher."

Schunke, a Kansas State football commit, came out on top at 285 pounds, one of the most competitive weight classes in the tournament. After defeating the returning champion Will Sather of Eden Prairie 6-0 in the semifinals, Schunke faced the nation's No. 1 heavyweight in the finals, Amery's Koy Hopke, a University of Minnesota signee. After a scoreless opening period, Schunke chose the down position in the second period and escaped with just five seconds left in the period to go up 1-0. Hopke evened the match at 1-1 with an escape in the third period. Midway through the final period, Schunke drove Hopke off the mat -- earned a stalling point in the process -- to take a 2-1 lead. Hopke stayed aggressive and nearly scored a takedown on the edge of the mat in the closing seconds but Schunke held on for the win. It marked the first loss of Hopke's high school wrestling career.

"It just proves that you have to keep working," said Schunke. "He has beaten me twice before. I knew that. The second I found out he was coming I went with my coach every day. He has pushed me to be great."

Photo: Jeff Beshey, The Guillotine

Woodbury's Alex Braun won the title at 145 pounds and earned the Most Outstanding Wrestler award. He earned the title in a weight class that included three NCAA Division I signees and dominated Mound Westonka's Jack Nelson in the finals. Braun, a University of Oklahoma signee, led 3-1 in the second period before busting the match open with a takedown and nearfall points to go up 8-2. He would get a couple turns in the final period to win 13-3.

"I made a statement for myself today," said Braun. "It was a good tournament."

Another University Oklahoma commit claimed a title at 172 pounds, Bryce Burkett, a junior from Watertown-Mayer. He edged University of Minnesota signee Jed Wester of STMA 6-5 in the finals. It was the second straight year Wester finished as a runner-up.

"It really just kind of shows where I'm at," said Burkett. "I know where I'm at but going out there and showing it, proving to myself that I can be that guy, be the best in the state, get to my goals, it meant a lot."

Watertown-Mayer also had a champion at 121 pounds, with Titan Friederichs claiming the title. Friederichs, a returning state champion, held on for a 1-0 victory over Wayzata's Luke Koenen. Friederichs, a multiple-time Fargo All-American, escaped in the second period and rode out Koenen in the third period for the win. Watertown-Mayer finished sixth in the team standings.

"I've been working every day going for this," said Friederichs. "I prayed about it. I journaled about it. I wrote about it."

Farmington crowned a pair of champions with Davis Parrow winning the title at 139 pounds and Cole Han-Lindemyer taking the title at 189 pounds.

Parrow, a sophomore, edged top-seeded Parker Lyden of Forest Lake 7-6 in the finals at 139 pounds. Parrow jumped out to a 5-0 lead after getting a takedown and then put Lyden on his back, nearly securing the pin before Lyden earned a reversal to cut the deficit to 5-2. Lyden chose down in the second period and escaped to inch closer at 5-3, which is how the second period would end. Lyden gave Parrow an escape to start the third, which extended the Farmington wrestler's lead to 6-3. With 40 seconds remaining in the match, Lyden used an inside trip to secure a takedown and get within a point. Parrow, though, would hold on for the narrow victory.

"I've been training a lot for this tournament," said Parrow. "My goal this year was to win this tournament and win state. So I got one of the two goals done for this year."

Han-Lindemyer won his title at 189 pounds with a 9-5 victory over Minnetonka's Marco Christiansen in a battle of NCAA Division I commits. Christianson, a Nebraska commit, struck first with a takedown but Han-Lindemyer responded with a takedown of his own to make the match 3-3 after the opening period. The two wrestlers then traded escapes in the second and third periods before Han-Lindemyer pulled away in the third period with a takedown and nearfall points.

"I don't really like to think about wins as big wins or small wins, or like big tournaments or small tournaments," said Han-Lindemyer. "I just like to go out there and compete. Going out there every single time, putting it all on the line, giving my best effort. I don't really care who it's against."

Finals Results:
107: No. 1 Turner Ross (Simley) maj. dec. No. 2 Owen LaRose (Mounds View), 16-6
114: No. 2 Brett Swenson (Mounds View) dec. No. 4 Austin Grzywinski (Simley), 2-1
121: No. 2 Titan Friederichs (Watertown-Mayer) dec. No. 5 Luke Koenen (Wayzata), 1-0
127: No. 4 Trey Beissel (Hastings) dec. No. 2 Logan Davis (Albert Lea), 7-4
133: No. 1 Logan Swensen (Wayzata) dec. No. 2 Michael Olson (Albert Lea), 3-1 SV
139: No. 2 Davis Parrow (Farmington) dec. No. 1 Parker Lyden (Forest Lake), 7-6
145: No. 1 Alex Braun (Woodbury) maj. dec. No. 3 Jack Nelson (Mound Westonka), 13-3
152: No. 1 Landon Robideau (STMA) tech. fall No. 3 Cash Raymond (Simley), 25-10
160: No. 1 Charlie Millard (Homestead) dec. No. 3 Charlie Petit (Wayzata), 10-5
172: No. 2 Bryce Burkett (Watertown-Mayer) dec. No. 1 Jed Wester (STMA), 6-5
189: No. 1 Cole Han-Lindemyer (Farmington) dec. No. 2 Marco Christiansen (Minnetonka), 9-5
215: No. 1 Quin Morgan (Mounds View) dec. No. 3 Cittadino Tuttle (Stillwater), 6-1
285: No. 2 Navarro Schunke (Brandon Valley) dec. No. 1 Koy Hopke (Amery), 2-1

Team Standings (Top 10):
1. Mounds View 300.5
2. Simley 275.5
3. STMA 260.0
4. Kasson-Mantorville 228.5
5. Shakopee 224.0
6. Watertown-Mayer 192.5
7. Scott West 185.5
8. Stillwater 172.0
9. Albert Lea 171.5
10. Hastings 168.5