Woodbury wrestling: Donnelly finishes fifth in state, Herold-Plakut wins a pairWoodbury eighth-grader Ben Donnelly finished in fifth place and freshman Justin Herold-Plakut went 2-2 in his four matches at the 2010-11 state wrestling tournament, held Friday and Saturday, March 4 and 5, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
By: Patrick Johnson, Woodbury Bulletin
For Woodbury’s Justin Herold-Plakut and Ben Donnelly, their second trip to the state wrestling tournament went much better than their first.
After losing their first matches at last year’s state meet and being eliminated on the first day, Donnelly, an eighth-grader, finished in fifth place and Herold-Plakut, a freshman, went 2-2 in his four matches at the 2010-11 state wrestling tournament, held Friday and Saturday, March 4 and 5, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Donnelly, who entered the state competition unranked and ended his year with a 37-9 record, defeated Rochester Mayo sophomore Jake Hanson 3-1 in the fifth-place match to earn All-State honors in his second state tournament. Hanson was 34-7 on the year and ranked fifth in Class AAA.
Donnelly and Herold-Plakut, who entered state ranked eighth Class AAA at 112-pounds, won their first matches and advanced to the quarterfinals with lopsided opening-round wins. Herold-Plakut, who ended the year 40-4, beat Buffalo sophomore Cedric Jimenez 9-0 in the opening round of the 112-pound bracket. Donnelly beat Bloomington Jefferson/Bloomington Kennedy junior Hugo Felix 8-0 in round No. 1 of the 130-pound weight class.
In the quarterfinals, however, Donnelly and Herold-Plakut each fell to highly ranked foes. Herold-Plakut lost to St. Michael-Albertville sophomore Cole Sladek 15-6 in the quarterfinals. Sladek (41-3) was ranked second in Class AAA. Donnelly fell to Apple Valley seventh-grader Mark Hall, who is 41-3 and ranked No. 1 in Class AAA, 14-2 in the quarterfinals.
Wins in the quarterfinals would have moved the Royals’ wrestlers onto the semifinals on Saturday, March 5. However, the quarterfinal losses dropped them into the consolation round or “wrestle backs” where they battled for third through sixth place.
In the consolation round, Donnelly beat Champlin Park junior Bobby Jackson with a pin at 2:19 to keep his second state tournament going and followed it up with a 7-5 overtime win over Owatonna sophomore Bowen Schultz (30-12) in the consolation quarterfinals, guaranteeing himself a medal.
However, after beating Schultz, Donnelly fell 4-2 to unranked Willmar junior Alex Johannes (32-4) in his next match. A win over Johannes would have put Donnelly in the third-place match. But, the loss put him in the fifth-place match where he defeated Hanson.
Herold-Plakut defeated Maple Grove eighth-grader Joey Neumann with a 5-2 decision to advance in the consolation round to win a date with Albert Lea sophomore Lucas Hansen on Saturday. However, then Hansen bested Herold-Plakut 3-1 in the consolation round quarterfinals, ending the Royals wrestler’s tournament.
See the March 9 issue of the Bulletin for the full story and additional photos