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Wrestling: United brings home some hardware again

Feb. 29—ST. PAUL — Dawson-Boyd/Lac qui Parle Valley/Montevideo had something to prove after taking a loss to Kasson-Mantorville in the opening round of the Class AA state team wrestling tournament,

The United wanted to wrestle three matches at state. It did exactly that with wins in the consolation bracket over Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 46-12 and Watertown-Mayer/Mayer Lutheran 42-18 Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center.

United took fifth place for the second straight season.

"Our goals were to come here and get three duals today and come home with some hardware, which we did," said United senior 139-pounder Dan Gunlogson. "We just had to refocus, stay locked in on our goals and do what we had to do."

United, unseeded in the Class AA tournament, built an 18-11 lead on the second-seeded KoMets after six matches. K-M won six straight matches from 145 to 215 to pull away with a 35-24 victory. The KoMets finished in second place after losing to top-seeded Simley 32-26 in the final.

"They were pretty down because we expected to win (against K-M)," said United head coach Hank Ireland. "We fought 'em hard, we lost a few close ones. We saw the path was there to beat Kasson and we just fell a little bit short.

"The boys were down, but the way we started against DGF, we came out so hot."

United opened its match with the Rebels on a 34-0 run.

"We got to take it to the next guy and show them what United does," Gunlogson said.

It took a few matches to get going against WM/ML. The Royals led 14-6 through four matches before United won eight of the final nine matches to secure the consolation championship.

"The boys realized this is it, let's bring home hardware," Ireland said. "So they dug down and took care of business."

Both Ireland and Gunlogson cited United's conditioning as an X-factor throughout the team tournament.

"Our conditioning is better than we could have asked for," Ireland said. "No one's going to out-work us, no one's going to be in better shape than us. That showed today."

Now, six United wrestlers — Eli Olson (107), Ben Gunlogson (127), Dan Gunlogson (139), Kameron Sather (145), Zach DeBeer (215) and Brady Rhode (285) — prepare for the individual tournament Friday and Saturday.

"(Fifth place is) a good cap to our season," Dan Gunlogson said. "We've put in a lot of work (and) we've done a lot of extra reps. We showed what we did and it paid off."