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State wrestling: Apple Valley’s Jayden Haueter shares his positivity on the mat, and to his 2.6 million TikTok followers

When Jayden Haueter steps onto the mat, his opponent already often knows who he is.

Sometimes that’s due to his wrestling prowess — the Apple Valley senior entered this week’s individual state tournament ranked third in Class 3A at 139 pounds by The Guillotine. Other times — perhaps even more often — he’s recognized because of his social media stardom.

Haueter is a popular content creator who has 2.6 *million* followers on TikTok.

“Honestly, it blows my mind,” Haueter said of the number. “It’s great being the TikTok guy.”

That’s how he’s known in wrestling circles because, frankly, it’s rare to find a wrestler who’s also a viral personality. Those two things don’t often go hand in hand. His TikTok account is littered with videos of him dancing, lip-syncing or doing skits, which are mostly lighthearted and funny. It features very few mentions of his wrestling career. Those two things generally stay separate.

The senior said his activity on the app exploded during COVID. He and his entire family, including his three siblings, are active making videos, which also feature numerous cameos from his friends.

“It’s just basically about our lives,” Haueter said. “It’s just a crazy life, and we mix so well.”

Haueter said he’s been teased for his videos by wrestlers, many of whom live in a constant state of intensity.

“That’s something I don’t allow to faze me, because I know I have a chance to change so many younger people’s lives,” Haueter said, “and I know a lot of people look up to me.”

And anyone who does doubt or make fun of him, he can probably put them on the mat. That happened in Fargo a couple years ago when Haueter was teased for his TikTok fame.

“I was like, ‘OK, watch this.’ And bam, Greco All-American my first year ever doing it,” Haueter said. “I really shut up a lot of people. People from different states, different cities. I just love shutting people up and doing me. And TikTok is one of the best platforms to do it on.”

Haueter doesn’t expect the teasing to cease, but he’s unbothered by it. He knows the value his platform brings to himself and others.

“I’m like, ‘I have a chance to change a lot of people’s lives, I’m making good money off of it, and I’m having fun,’” he said. “And that’s the one thing that my parents and my coaches want me to do my senior year is just have fun.”

That’s the same mentality he carried into his final high school state wrestling tournament. Haueter placed fourth at state last year, and he said his anxiety got the best of him.

“And (this year) I am not nervous, no anxiety, I’m just doing me,” Haueter said. “It’s my last time doing it, so I’m having a pretty fun time.”

There’s simply an appreciation for being on the mat. Haueter had to withdraw from a Christmas tournament this winter because of a shoulder injury. En route to his recovery, he decided to make a change. He made a point to connect more with God and is focused on his happiness.

“God works miracles, and he’s working one with me right now,” Haueter said.

The senior lost a tight quarterfinal match Friday evening in the Class 3A, 139-pound bracket — likely the most competitive bracket this year across all weights — but has the opportunity to wrestle back to as high as third place Saturday. That would mark his third season as a state place-winner. Not bad for a kid who described himself as the “most unathletic kid ever” a few years ago.

The credit for that, he noted, goes to all the extra work he’s put in, as well as the Apple Valley coaches he listed off one by one, who he said “created me.”

Haueter will wrestle for Augsburg next year, the same school at which his brothers will play football. That’s the program that made Haueter feel the most wanted.

There, he’ll be able to continue his wrestling career.

On TikTok, he’ll be able to continue being himself. Haueter has two things he wants to spread with his videos.

No. 1: Positivity.

No. 2: Men’s mental health.

“I feel like that’s really overlooked a lot. I’ve watched a lot of UFC fighters — Paddy Pimblett — guys who have promoted it, too. I just think a lot of people struggle,” Haueter said. “I’m an energetic kid. Everyone thinks I’m doing great. But no, I’ve struggled in my life, and no one has known about it. I’ve just had to keep it to myself and talk to my parents about it. I feel like more people really need to catch onto that, because even the (seemingly) happiest people can be the saddest people. And that’s just wrong. That breaks my heart.”

And he hopes to be a part of the solution.

History

Northfield sophomore Caley Graber became the first girl in Minnesota state wrestling tournament history to win a match against boys in the individual bracket.

More impressive than that? She won two.

Graber went 2-0 Friday to advance to the Class 3A, 107-pound semifinals Saturday in St. Paul, where she’ll square off with Eagan’s Dylan St. Germain.

The entire girls individual tournament plays out Saturday.

East metro advancers

The following East Metro wrestlers reached the semifinals and enter Saturday still alive in a state championship pursuit (weight class in parenthesis):

2A Boys: Simley’s Turner Ross (107), Simley’s Austin Grzywinski (114), Simley’s Justus Heeg (133), Simley’s Cash Raymond (152), Mahtomedi’s Evan McGuire (189)

3A Boys: Eagan’s Dylan St. Germain (107), Stillwater’s Joe Dauffenbach (107), Mounds View’s Brett Swenson (114), Stillwater’s Noah Nicholson (114), Hastings’ Blake Beissel (121), Hastings’ Trey Beissel (127), Farmington’s Davis Parrow (139), Forest Lake’s Parker Lyden (139), Woodbury’s Alex Braun (145), Park’s Gunnar Mullen (152), Woodbury’s Brad Little (152), Lakeville South’s Bo Bokman (172), Farmington’s Cole Han-Lindemyer (189), Apple Valley’s Marcell Booth (189), Mounds View’s Quin Morgan (215), Lakeville North’s Antonio Menard (215), Stillwater’s Cittadino Tuttle (285), Forest Lake’s Mark Rendl (285)

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