Hays takes fourth at State wrestling meetWoodbury senior grappler finishes high school career with a 43-2 record.
Woodbury senior C.J. Hays finished up his high school career as the fourth-place finisher at the Class AAA State Wrestling Tournament after a 4-2 showing in the 189-pound division that ended on Saturday evening at the Excel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Hays, who entered the title bracket with a spotless 39-0 record, earned win No. 40 over Hastings' Jake Swenson on Wednesday but was felled by a 7-1 score in Thursday's second round by eventual second-place finisher Kraig Schumm of St. Michael-Albertville. Schumm came into this year's tourney as the runner-up finisher at 189 pounds in Class AA (STMA moved up to AAA this season).
Dropping to the consolation bracket, Hays rebounded with three streaight wins, topping Brainerd/Pillager's Sam Pagel (7-3), Mounds View's Jeremy Hill (5-3) and Apple Valley's Matt Hechsel (13-4), before being defeated 6-3 by Cambridge-Isanti's Scott Gifford (6-3) in the third-place match.
Hays was the last Woodbury wrestler of the original five Royals in the tournament. Of his four teammates that also took part in the Class AAA field — Justin Herold-Plakut (103), Ben Donnelly (119), Brandon Borchardt (135) and Dan Tyler (140) — only Tyler was given a wrestleback after an opening-round defeat on Wednesday.
Tyler, who's first-round opponent, Timmy Ruter of Buffalo (41-0), won his second-round match to open a consolation bracket spot for the Royals senior. However, a match against Irondale's Derek Weinmann on Thursday would prove to be Tyler's last in a Royals uniform as he fell 14-0 to be eliminated from State competition.
The initial opponents for Herold-Plakut, Donnelly and Borchardt all lost their respective second-round matchups, leaving the WHS trio also out of the competition after just one match.