St. Paul — Delano 220-pound senior Edward Hajas put himself in the championship semifinals of the Class AA State Wrestling Tournament with a pair of wins Friday at the Xcel Energy Center.
Hajas (40-3) pinned MFC’s Bodee Zens at 2:44 in the first round, and took care of New London-Spicer’s Nick McKenzie (26-8) by a 5-1 decision in the quarterfinals later Friday.
Hajas is the only Delano wrestler out of four who is still alive in the championship bracket.
In the semifinals Saturday, Hajas will face Simley’s Bennett Tabor, who is undefeated at 48-0.
Tabor defeated Hajas earlier this season.
Hajas finished third at 220 pounds last season. Tabor finished fourth at 195 pounds.
Carson Tschudi’s third state tournament did not start the way he wanted it to. The Tiger junior lost 5-3 in a sudden victory to PLPR’s Connor Tulenchik in the first round Friday morning.
Because Tulenchik (46-4) won his quarterfinal match, Tschudi was granted a wrestleback match.
Tschudi (30-6) had no problem with Zimmerman’s Joe Gardas (38-6) in that wrestleback match, winning a 5-2 decision.
The win put Tschudi in the second round of wrestlebacks. He will take on Orono’s Jacob Schmid (39-6) Saturday.
In the 285-pound weight class, Hajas’ sparring partner and classmate, Matt Baker, opened his first state tournament with a pin fall of MFC’s Brody Ash at 3:36 of their opening-round match. The undersized Baker (33-8) was unable to fend off Plainview-Elgin-Millville’s Logan Wingert (40-2) in the semifinals. Wingert pinned Baker at 2:27.
Wingert finished second at state a season ago.
Baker saw a familiar face staring at him in that wrestleback match, as he took on Orono’s Shea Albrecht (25-10), a Wright County Conference East foe.
Albrecht was bumped to the consolation bracket when he was pinned by Wingert (4:00) in the first round.
After a scoreless first periods, Baker took a 1-0 lead with an escape and scored two more on a takedown for 3-0 lead in the second period. But, in the same sequence that got him that two points, Albrecht reversed Baker and put the Tiger on his back.
Albrecht recorded the pin fall, on what was the Orono Spartans’ mat, at 2:56, ending Baker’s state tournament and his career in a Delano singlet.
In the first state-tournament match of his career, Delano senior Tyson Kroells lost 3-2 to Pierz’s Trevor Radunz.
The one match proved to be the end for Kroells, as he did not receive a wrestleback match.
Radunz lost his quarterfinal match, and took that wrestleback spot.