Young wrestler climbing ranks

Joey Payeur

A Fort Frances native with Rainy River connections right now has a wrestling future as bright as anyone in his class in the entire U.S.
Hudson Mann’s silver medal at a meet in Superior, Wis. on Saturday, combined with his gold medal at another event in Owattona, Mn., had the Mighty Mustangs Wrestling ace and International Falls resident breathing rarefied air.
As of the latest USA Wrestling Future Olympian rankings at the Novice 130-pound division for those born in 2005-06, Mann is No. 1 in all of America with 80 ranking points.
“This is something that reinforced what hard work and sacrifices can do,” said Mann’s father, Jeremy, who is an assistant coach for the Mighty Mustangs.
“It’s also nice to see him competing and beating kids from top-notch wrestling schools and programs,” he added.
“Many other coaches have taken notice of Hudson because of the area and small program we come from.”
Competing in the 115- to 120-pound advanced bracket in Superior, Mann (whose grandmother lives in Rainy River) pinned a Gopher National silver-medalist with one second left in the first period.
He then went up against a four-time national champion and a wrestler-of-the-year award winner in the 110-pound category who moved up in weight class for the meet.
Falling behind 8-0, Mann came back with an escape and a takedown to stay close through two periods before his opponent racked up a series of points in the third to pass Mann for the win with only 17 seconds left.
Mann wasted no time in his final match–pinning his foe in 20 seconds to earn the silver.
The next day, Mann cleaned up in Owattona to raise his MNUSA season points total to 985 to put him in the top three in his division in the entire state.
That puts him in line to compete in the Novice 110- to 120-pound group at the MNUSA state championships March 10-12 in Rochester, Mn.
If he finishes in the top three in his class and weight at what his dad called “the toughest tournament in the state,” Mann will get a chance to wrestle for the Minnesota national team at the Heartland Duels in mid-April in Iowa.
“The strongest parts of Hudson’s wrestling overall are his strength, being strong on the bottom, good at scrambling, and keeping the pressure on his opponents,” noted Jeremy Mann.
“He truly has a passion for the sport of wrestling.”
Mann also said the expectations for his son going into the MNUSA state tournament are good.
“I fully expect him to make the Minnesota national team, and figure it will come down to Hudson and one other wrestler in the finals who he has wrestled before,” he predicted.
“Both Hudson and the wrestler from southern Minnesota have beat each other once,” Mann noted.
“It’s going to come down to who makes a mistake.”
Mann said no matter how his son fares in Rochester, “I think it goes to show everyone up north that it is possible to complete at the highest level and achieve success.”
“It’s also nice to see the Fort and Falls get publicity for something besides the cold,” he quipped.