A herd of Mighty Mustangs were on the mats in Blackduck, Mn. back on Jan. 26 for their first state qualifier of the season.
By meet’s end, five members of the International Falls-based program had punched their ticket to the state tourney set for April in Grand Rapids.
State tournament qualifiers included locals Zayne Basaraba (Grade 3, second place) and Vai Lockman (Grade 3, second place), along with Jack Wolfe (Grade 1, second place), Teagan Green (Grade 2, first place), and Rodger Dueck (Grade 4, second place).
Pre-K wrestlers who placed in Blackduck included Hendrix Basaraba (third), Jace Krueger (fourth), Malachai Workman (fourth), Victor Schermerhorn (third), and Pyke Lloyd (fourth).
Grade 1s George Boe and Jenika Schermerhorn both took third place while Douglas George came in fourth.
Second-grader Abby Barnhart placed fourth while older brother Aiden (Grade 3) took third place.
Avery Larson (Grade 4) and McKenna McTavish (Grade 6) both took fourth place, as well.
“Blackduck was the first tournament for several of our new wrestlers and they all had fun gaining some experience with that type of competition,” said Mighty Mustangs’ head coach Dan Schermerhorn.
“Our veterans, who have been around a couple of years, wrestled well and I think we will be seeing more of them qualify for state as we get to more tournaments in February,” he added.
Hudson Mann, who originates from Fort Frances, wrestled in three tournaments in Wisconsin the same weekend as the Blackduck tournament.
He opened with a first-place finish on the Friday night before following that with a pair of third place-finishes Saturday and Sunday.
Junior Noah Mathis, meanwhile, competed in the Skip Nalan tournament in Grand Rapids on the Saturday, finishing in fifth spot there.