East Ridge wrestling: Lyden punches ticket to second state tourney
The season has ended for the East Ridge wrestlers except for one.
East Ridge 120-pound junior Reid Lyden earned his second-straight state berth, making him the first-ever East Ridge wrestler to accomplish that feat.
Lyden's path to state was not a smooth journey though, as a preliminary first round loss on Friday left his state chances in peril.
Lyden, who is ranked fourth in the state and second at his sectional tournament, was defeated by Apple Valley's Gannon Volk, ranked fifth in the state and third at sectionals, 6-5 in a show stopper that had a championship feel to it.
With the loss, to make his way back to state, Lyden would have to wrestle his way to a third-place finish and then hope that Volk would be able to defeat the top-seeded Dan Rosa of Rosemount, who was also ranked third in the state.
Lyden did his part, defeating Eagan's Dawit Gebreab 10-0, followed by Alex Lindstrom of Eastview 4-1 to capture third place.
As Lyden won his third place match, Volk was doing his part, upsetting Rosa 9-2 on the championship mat.
Lyden seized his opportunity in the "true second" match, defeating Rosa 12-4, while scoring four takedowns, to earn the only state berth for the Raptors.
"(It's) not really the way we wanted to do it, but fun and exciting nevertheless," head coach Hans Horning said. "Reid has really matured this year from last - he deserved to get back to state."
Four other East Ridge wrestlers were able to place in the top six of their weight classes, with sophomore Emilio Huerta (152) earning fourth. Eighth-grader Ty Okada (106), junior Jake Trevis (126) and senior David Kroger (182) each placed sixth.
Lyden, who placed sixth at the state meet, earning all-state honors, will now compete at state on Friday and Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center. He faces Tanner Johnsoy from Prior Lake in the first round. Wrestling begins at 11 a.m. in Class AAA.