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Woodbury wrestling: Royals earn 12th at prestigious Rumble on the Red

Woodbury turned in a top-15 performance at the rugged Rumble on the Red tournament in Fargo, N.D., Dec. 27-28 at the 69-team field.

The Royals finished 12th overall with 96 points and trailed 10th-place finisher Rosemount by 2 ½ points. Last season, Woodbury finished 19th out of 66 teams.

Apple Valley ran away with the tournament title with 343 points. Runner-up West Fargo finished with 187.5 points.

Senior Justin Herold-Plakut, who ranked fifth in Class 3A at 160 pounds, and junior Ben Donnelly, who is ranked seventh at 145 pounds, both finished fifth at the tournament.

Herold-Plakut won his first three matches, two by fall and one by major decision, before losing to Lakeville North’s fourth-ranked Lucas Westrich 6-4 to reach the semifinals at 160 pounds. Herold-Plakut, who placed third last year at 152, went on to win three of his four matches in wrestlebacks to place fifth. Herold-Plakut lost 7-2 against Cambridge-Isanti’s third-ranked Cody Skog 7-2 in a match to go to the third-place match. Herold-Plakut beat Rapid City, S.D.’s Kasey Klapprodt 7-5 for fifth place.

Donnelly placed fifth for the second consecutive year after bowing out in the semifinals 3-1 against Apple Valley’s third-ranked Brock Morgan. Donnelly lost his next match in wrestlebacks to eventual third-place winner Osseo’s Carson Brolsma, who is ranked second at 145, 9-4 to end up in the fifth-place match. Donnelly picked up a 3-2 decision over United South Central’s Dylan Herman, who is ranked third in Class A.

Howard Jones started the tournament with three consecutive falls before losing by fall to Royalton/Upsala’s second-ranked in Class A at 170, Mitch Lange, a four-time state entrant, who finished second a year ago at the Rumble on the Red at 160 pounds. Jones lost his match in wrestlebacks to Moorhead’s Samuel Grove, who is ranked eighth, by fall.

Fifth-ranked Ty Johnson lost his first match 7-5 to fourth-ranked East Ridge’s Reid Lyden, but went on to win his next four matches in wrestlebacks. Johnson lost 3-1 to Collin Kraus to miss a chance at placing in the top eight.

After the Rumble on the Red, Woodbury placed third Saturday at the Cannon Falls tournament with 165.5 points in the 12-team meet.

The Royals trailed just 11th-ranked in Class 2A Cannon Falls, which finished second with 181.5 points and tournament-winner 7th-ranked in Class 3A Shakopee, which had 209 points.

Donnelly won the 145 weight class with a 4-0 decision over Benilde-St. Margaret’s Logan Kass and Herold-Plakut repeated as champion in the 160 pound class with a 12-3 major decision over St. Charles’ Andrew Daylan.

Jones gave Woodbury a second-place finish at 170 after he pinned his way to the championships with two falls. Pine Island’s Sam McPhail, who is ranked third at 160 in Class A, beat Jones 9-1.

Delaney took third at 138 with an 8-5 victory over Kimball’s Brady Mehr. Delaney fell 11-8 to Cannon Fall’s Connor Rohr in the semifinals.

Anthony Doreo took third place at 182 after a fall in his first match and a 4-3 loss to Byron’s Matt Hintz in the semifinals.

John McNiff finished third at 195 with a fall against Shakopee’s Jessie Jimenez.

Pavel Swensen earned a third-place finish with a fall in one minute over Shakopee’s Nick Kropiwka. Swensen defeated Pine Island’s Alex Aarsvold by fall but fell to eventual champion at 285, St. Charles’ Tyler Heim 4-1.

Austin Braun finished fourth at 120 after an 8-1 loss to St. Charles’ Jacy Ball. Braun lost a 3-1 decision to Cannon Falls’ fourth-ranked Ryan Epps in the semifinals.

Ben Malacko placed fifth at 126, Johnson took fourth at 132 after a 3-1 overtime loss to Shakopee’s seventh-ranked Tyson Leon. Johnson lost 9-2 in the semifinals against Kimball’s second-ranked Quinten Berres. Berres won the Class A state title last season at 126 pounds.

Woodbury hosts the annual District 833 championship triangular Thursday against rivals Park and East Ridge.

—Nick Gerhardt